---->Sabah convention: Dr Chua and other MCA leaders shaking hands with party members during the convention in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng should stop “apple polishing” PAS by exploiting a speech that has been taken out of context, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Dr Chua said he had never belittled Islam in his speech at the Kedah MCA convention and both DAP and PAS were taking it out of context to politicise the issue.
He said Pakatan Rakyat should instead read his statement in the right context, adding that the issues relating to 57 Muslim nations in the world were taken out of a book, Malaysia and the Club of Doom, written by lawyer Syed Akbar Ali.
“I have not been ignorant, I have not been arrogant. I am just quoting from the book and giving the facts from the book,” he told reporters after opening the Sabah MCA convention here yesterday.
“When I spoke at the Kedah MCA convention, I said that each time MCA or other Barisan Nasional component parties reminded the Chinese to be cautious of PAS, it was due to the party’s emphasis on religious development, rather than socio-economic development.
“This would have great impact on national development. And I asked everybody there if they had a chance to read the book, and I gave them the main points, which basically talked about the 57 Muslim majority nations in the world,” he said.
Dr Chua said the writer had concluded that due to their emphasis on religion and neglect of socio-economic development, the countries, which made up 1.4 billion of the world’s population, only contributed 5% to the world’s gross domestic product, smaller than that of Japan, which had 135 million people.
The writer, he added, then went on to say that the educational level was also low in these countries, with about 800 million people mainly women, illiterate and had high poverty rates.
“At no time did I speak about the contributions during the Golden Age of Islam and the contributions of Muslim scholars in science, technology and mathematics. They are well known for it. I am a science-based student so I should know better.
“So I am telling Lim Guan Eng to stop apple polishing or buttering PAS so fat. Take it easy,” he said.
“Please tell PAS and DAP leaders to read my statement in the context of what is stated. There is no attempt by any MCA leader to belittle Muslims and all their contributions.
“I am talking about the present Muslim majority nations in terms of socio-economic development (in the book),” he said.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who was also present, said Dr Chua was just highlighting PAS’ agenda that was not good for the country’s future.
He said under Barisan, the country was progressive with its emphasis on national development for the well-being of the people.
“So, there is no need for the Opposition to twist, turn and manipulate this issue for their own interest. Don’t try and instigate,” he added.
THE STAR (Monday August 9, 2010)