Monday, April 12, 2010

DPM: Do Not Worry About Koh's Role in Interfaith Committee

The public need not worry on the role of Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon in the Interfaith Relations Working Committee as he does not have the power to decide on religious disputes, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the committee's role was to provide avenue to foster mutual understanding and solidarity among races and religions in the country.
"The committee, which was set up under the aegis of the Prime Minister's Department, may come out with findings that can be capitalised as guidelines to improve communication among various races.
"But it will not touch on the position and status of Islam. We have to respect each other's religion and create the spirit of  cooperation," he told reporters after handing over private pre-school initial grants from the Education Ministry in Bandar Sungai Buaya here today.
Muhyiddin was asked to comment on a plan by the Malay right-wing group, Perkasa to hand over a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, protesting against Interfaith Relations Working Committee being placed under Koh's ambit as it involved Islamic affairs.
Commenting on Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali's remarks that former Member of Parliament for Kota Baharu Datuk Ishak Ilani was not a suitable choice as Interfaith Committee chairman, Muhyiddin said Ilani had vast experience behind her and she should be given the opportunity to lead the committee.
He said representatives from the National Fatwa Council and the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) were also in the committee.
The cabinet last week agreed to set up the Interfaith Committee comprising representatives from all religions.
-  Bernama

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