Wanita MCA also wants Zamihan to be sacked from wherever he was presently attached in the government service

KUALA LUMPUR: Wanita MCA today praised the swift action undertaken by the police in arresting and investigating Muslim preacher Zamihan Mat Zin for sedition.

The wing’s chief Heng Seai Kie said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) cadre officer was the face of religious bigotry.

“If left unchecked, this provocateur with his erroneous disparaging remarks about the Chinese community, can stir up racial tension, jeopardise religious harmony and unity thus destroy the nation, tearing our multiracial communities apart,” she said in a statement today.

She added that it was time for the authorities to rein in such people as there was the possibility that their speeches could cause the radicalisation of Muslims.

It could also lead to the creation of an apartheid practice of segregation in the private sector, or among policymakers in the federal and state governments as well as by local authorities, she warned.

She also said that Zamihan should be sacked from wherever he was presently attached in the government service.

“This will show that the government is serious about lowering ethnic tension. Otherwise, he may set a bad precedent for others,” said Heng who is also the national unity and integration advisor in the Prime Minister’s Department.

At the same time, Heng also said that the time was right for the government to consider tabling the National Harmony Bill to make race/religious hate speeches an offence.

She further said Malaysians must practise self-restraint against mouthing racial hatred and religious prejudices besides teaching themselves to be respectful and behave civilly to others of a different race and religion.

“Nevertheless, constitutional safeguards on the position of Islam as the religion of the federation, and the special position of the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak must be retained,” she added.

Blame Zamihan, not his religion

Meanwhile, MCA Youth treasurer Michael Lee warned DAP to stop its supporters from turning the Zamihan controversy into a racial issue.

Lee, who is also the Penang MCA Youth chief, said while Malaysian Chinese were rightly offended by Zamihan’s disparaging remarks against them, it must also be remembered that these were his personal slurs.

“They were an individual misdeed, and not representative of the federal government, or a religion or of an ethnicity,” he said in a statement today.

“Thus, it is unfortunate that supporters of self-proclaimed Superman Hew Kuan Yau (who picked up on Zamihan’s preaching and posted it on his Facebook), appear to turn the issue into an us-vs-them insult.

“DAP must restrain its supporters from exacerbating this issue before it spirals out of hand and descend into a racial issue of Chinese versus Malays/Muslims,” he added.

Lee said that the police were investigating Zamihan and urged everyone to be guided by the statement of the Malay Rulers.

He also lashed out at Hew – a former DAP man – for attacking Islam while criticising Zamihan.

“Criticise the individual but don’t involve their religion. It is about Zamihan, an individual’s tirade, and not about Islam or Malays or government officers.

“So when DAP supporters rant about “origins of their race,” this is uncalled for and makes them no different from Zamihan,” he said.

Remanded for two days

The police confirmed today that Zamihan has been remanded for two days to allow them to probe him for sedition in his speech at a mosque.

Federal CID director Comm Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said the Pertubuhan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah Malaysia (Aswaja) president has been remanded for two days until Friday.

He said Zamihan was arrested on Wednesday evening at the Dang Wangi police headquarters.

Yesterday Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun confirmed that a police report had been lodged against Zamihan and that he would be investigated under the Sedition Act.

In a video of the speech that was uploaded to YouTube, Zamihan allegedly said that it was wrong of Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar to prohibit a Muslim-only launderette from operating in the state.

In the same video, he described Chinese people as being “unhygienic”.