GEORGE TOWN: In a move seen as defending his views that the voices of Islam were hardly heard among leaders of the current administration, Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin showed a note he received from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad years ago.
In the note, the Perlis Mufti said Dr Mahathir told him to not “set aside the truth just because of fear. The struggle that is free of challenges and oppositions is not the real struggle.”
He said Dr Mahathir had given him a signed copy of his memoir, A Doctor in the House, that came with the note.
He uploaded the note on his Facebook page for his followers.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir had responded to Asri's statement by saying that the government had implemented various initiatives for Islam and Muslims in the country.
He denied that Muslims under Pakatan Harapan were threatened and said those who claimed that the voices of “defending Islam” were not heard among leaders today were “deaf”.
“We have done so much for Muslims, for Islam, but they did not hear,” he said after the 20th Asian Association of Management Organisations triennial gala dinner and awards night here on Monday (April 29).
To this, Asri said that's the reality voiced out by Muslims at all levels of society.
“I’m not sure who is deaf. Perhaps YAB Tun M (Dr Mahathir) was hurt by my good relationship with him over the years. I understand the situation.
“Insha Allah (God willing), I will hold dear to that philosophy, even if it's against Tun M’s own government,” he said.
Asri’s earlier statement slamming the Pakatan government came after an associate of controversial preacher Zakir Naik was arrested for allegedly insulting Hinduism.
Muhammad Zamri Vinoth was arrested on Sunday (April 28) in Kangar, Perlis.
Zamri, who heads Muslim propagation organisation One Centre Malaysia, is being investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act over a lecture at a mosque in Kelantan last year.
Perlis police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Noor Mushar Mohamad said Zamri has a criminal record and is also being investigated for criminal breach of trust and over a rape case.