‘Uphold principles, values’

KUALA LUMPUR: It is time for PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang to put aside his archaic (kolot) and outdated (jumud) views and look to things that hold more value, says the Prime Minister.

Instead, he wants Abdul Hadi to focus on language, arts, culture and Islam as it is practised in Malaysia.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim took the Marang MP to task for saying the unity government was unsuitable as Pakatan Harapan was dominated by non-Muslim parties.

“He thinks this is not correct... (but) the important thing is the principle.

“Where have we sidelined Islam? How are Malays betrayed? Or (how have) we stolen Malay land, stolen shares, stolen government projects?

“We should judge (based on) this. Don’t use archaic and stagnant narratives of the past,” Anwar said.

Anwar signing on the “Orientalist Painting: Mirror or Mirage?” book as Syed Mokhtar (right) and Syed Mohamaed Albukhary look on at the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The StarAnwar signing on the “Orientalist Painting: Mirror or Mirage?” book as Syed Mokhtar (right) and Syed Mohamaed Albukhary look on at the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

On Thursday, Abdul Hadi said the current government was weak because it was not led by a Malay-Muslim party although the Malay and Muslim form the majority in the country.

Anwar said people should not be misled by such sentiments as Malaysia was a country of many races and faiths.

While it was important to uphold Islam, leaders should also ensure the rights of non-Muslims were upheld.

Anwar said there were many “past leaders” questioning why his administration was digging up past cases.

“I am not the one who is digging but merely returning what belongs to the rakyat. You have to return what you took.

“For me what is important is that we defend the Constitution, promote language and culture, Islam, eradicate poverty and stop misuse of power and position. This is what the unity government and the Opposition should emphasise,” he said.

On the willingness of Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to work together, Anwar seemed unfazed.

Meanwhile, Anwar called on conglomerates to support the arts and literature industry in the country.

The Prime Minister said, just like their support in fields like education, conglomerates should help further the art industry.

“I have urged efforts in various fields of education and theatre arts, and there should be efforts to support them.

“If we have 30 of these conglomerates providing support in various fields, it will enrich arts, literature, culture, education and society,” he said.

The Prime Minister had earlier launched the “Orientalist Paintings: Mirror or Mirage?” exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum here.

Also at the ceremony were Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, Albukhary Foundation chairman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary and Malaysian Islamic Art Museum director Syed Mohamad Albukhary.

The exhibition features a display of artwork from the 19th and 20th centuries, the golden age of Orientalism.

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