22 April 2015
KUALA LUMPUR — The protest by a group of Muslims in Selangor who called for a new church to remove a cross outside its premises has drawn a strong reaction from a broad coalition of moderate Muslims and politicians, exposing the rift between ultra and moderate Muslims and prompting the Cabinet to announce that the police will launch an investigation.
Malaysian society has become increasingly polarised along religious lines in the past few years. In particular, the growing politicisation of religion means that, going forward, one can expect pushback from the majority of Malays, who are moderate in orientation, analysts told TODAY.
In announcing the Cabinet’s decision yesterday, an under-pressure Prime Minister Najib Razaksaid the Sedition Act or other existing laws could be used against the protesters. “The protesters should have discussed with the church, instead of taking actions that have created worry and restlessness in this multiracial country,” he said.
… “There is a worrying trend within the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) ruling party to politicise religious issues,” said Dr Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 23/11/2015