KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has described the statement by PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who likened the recipients of the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) as animals, as insulting the people who require assistance.
"I am puzzled and amazed how a mentri besar and PAS leader, who should uphold Islamic religious principles, can make such a statement that is so insulting to the recipients, whom I know make up a large number of people," he told reporters here.
The deputy prime minister was at an election briefing by state Barisan Nasional chairman.
He said the recipients of the aid formed a group identified by the government who truly needed the assistance and the BR1M could change the lives of the recipients for a more comfortable future.
Nik Aziz recently said the granting of BR1M had received good response of the people but likened the recipients as "equal to chicken and cattle that would come if the people give these animals the food they liked."
Muhyiddin said he was saddened that the less affordable group was being insulted and belittled by the PAS leader.
"This (statement) should not have come out from (the mouth of) someone who calls himself a religious figure. More so the Islamic religion.
"Then, he (Nik Aziz) issues an edict declaring that this (giving of aid) is a forbidden act that is against the religion," he said.
Muhyiddin said Nik Aziz's statement contradicted Islamic teachings and should be rebutted by other religious leaders.
"The practice (of giving aid) by the government is to look after, assist, a charitable effort that should be supported by everyone.
"Thus, he (Nik Aziz) has made a statement that is most contradictory to Islamic principles, a wrongdoing in terms of religion," he added.
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