Friday September 21, 2012
Umno has doubts over Ngehís apology to Muslims
KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has questioned the sincerity of Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham who apologised for a tweet that implied Muslims in the country were wasting time protesting against an anti-Islam movie.
Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said: “One cannot simply make remarks and apologise only because the statement had angered others.”
“If it is that easy, we can also pass remarks, insult and ridicule other religions and later apologise.
“We question the sincerity (of the apology),” the Prime Minister said after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting here yesterday.
Ngeh, responding to a planned gathering by Umno Youth to protest the YouTube video clips of Innocence of Muslims, had asked if Muslims were “wasting too much time and energy protesting”.
He has since “retracted and apologised to any Muslim who is offended by my tweet as it was never intended to be so”.
Najib said Umno strongly condemned the production and airing of the movie and also the crude caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in a French magazine that had provoked Muslims worldwide.
He cautioned, however, that in defending their faith, Muslims should be responsible when expressing their displeasure.
“There should be no violence that can result in death, injuries and destruction of properties.”
Wisma Putra, in a statement yesterday, said the Government viewed with strong abhorrence the publication of the anti-Islamic caricatures.
Council of Churches Malaysia secretary-general Rev Dr Herman Shastri said the council condemned any attempt by individuals or groups that sought to denigrate other religious beliefs.
“In Malaysia, all religious communities uphold the principle of respecting each other's traditions and to not do anything that will hurt or jeopardise good relations among communities,” he said.
On another matter, the Prime Minister denied writing to International Islamic University rector Datuk Prof Dr Zaleha Kamaruddin to endorse the appointment of the university's deputy rector.
He said it was a desperate tactic by certain quarters to infiltrate campus election and give students a negative image of the Government.
At a separate function, Najib said the Government strived to develop and empower the new generation of Felda settlers by providing them with opportunities to gain as much knowledge as possible.