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Friday August 7, 2009

Jeff Ooi urged to apologise for calling JIM ‘extremist organisation’

GEORGE TOWN: Pressure is mounting on Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi to apologise and withdraw his statement which called Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) an extremist organisation.

Even his own boss, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, is not standing by him and has directed him to withdraw the statement.

Lim said he knew that JIM was not an extremist organisation, and that Ooi, who is his chief of staff, should withdraw the statement made last week.

At a press conference yesterday, he said that Ooi, who was away in Hong Kong, would also be asked to clarify his statement when he returns.

Ooi had last week called Penang Municipal Councillor Mohd Razali Abdullah, who is a member of JIM, an Islamic extremist.

On Wednesday, in an SMS from Hong Kong, Ooi repeated that JIM was an extremist organisation and that Mohd Razali was an Islamic extremist in a local government administration.

Ooi’s own party colleague, Penang DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) secretary Ng Wei Aik has also ticked him off for dragging JIM into his personal feud with Mohd Razali.

Ng said it was senseless for Ooi to attack JIM, which is a registered organisation having a very close working cooperation with Dapsy, to tackle various social issues in the state.

PKR state Youth secretary Khairil Anuar Kamaruddin yesterday also presented a memorandum to Lim, demanding that Ooi apologise to the Muslim community as well as to JIM.

Khairil said Ooi had crossed the line by attacking Islam and wanted him to apologise and retract his statement within 48 hours.

Late yesterday, Ooi finally relented and said that he would adhere to his boss’ directive to him to withdraw his statement.

In a statement from Hong Kong, Ooi, however, did not apologise for calling JIM and Mohd Razali extremist, but instead continued his attack on Mohd Razali, calling him a political burden on the state government.

He said the complex circumstances leading to Mohd Razali’s appointment to the One-Stop Centre (OSC) of the Penang Municipal Council, particularly as a JIM member nominated by PKR, and his behaviour during OSC meetings had made things difficult for the state government.

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