Malaysia: Umno dismisses Dr M’s call for PAS to apologise over ‘kafir’ label

  • Umno Youth on 10 Sep 19 said it will not demand an apology over the “kafir” label once used against it by its newfound ally PAS.
  • Instead, the wing’s chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said it was time to move forward.
  • “Whatever happened in the past, let bygones be bygones,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting with senior Umno Youth leaders on 10 Sep 19.
  • Earlier on 10 Sep 19, Dr Mahathir Mohamad questioned the cooperation between PAS and Umno, reminding the latter that it was once called “kafir”, or infidel, by the Islamist party.
  • “They were rivals. PAS has said Umno is a party of infidels,” the prime minister was quoted as saying.
  • Umno and PAS are set to formalise their cooperation with a charter up by a joint committee, to be signed by top leaders of both parties in Sep 19.
  • Asyraf said the call for PAS to retract the label is a “non-issue”, adding that the Islamist party could also raise issues during Mahathir’s first stint as the prime minister.
  • “Until today, Mahathir hasn’t apologised to PAS over what happened in Memali,” he said.
  • In 2018, PAS called for the formation of an RCI to probe the bloody incident.
  • “So, before Tun Mahathir asks PAS to apologise (over the kafir label), I hope that he will apologise for what happened during his tenure as the prime minister at that time.”
  • Asyraf said Umno Youth also supported a recent campaign urging Muslim consumers to prioritise products by Muslims, adding that it could help Bumiputera and Muslim entrepreneurs. He, however, said that this did not mean that it was calling for a boycott of products by non-Muslims.
  • Asyraf said the government was trying to fan racial sentiments by giving the impression that the “Buy Muslim First” campaign was a call to boycott goods by non-Muslims.

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