Najib meets Muslim and Christian leaders to resolve issue

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PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has weighed in personally on the latest religious controversy by meeting with Muslim and Christian leaders.

He held a meeting with Muslim leaders and intellectuals in Putrajaya yesterday. Today, he is due to have a talk with Christian leaders.

Najib’s press secretary Datuk Tengku Sarifudin Tengku Ahmad said yesterday that the meetings had been planned in advance and were not called to address recent developments.

Representatives from the Roman Catholic Church, the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) and the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) will be attending the lunch meet.

Earlier in Putrajaya, Najib said everyone must accept the fact that Islam was the country’s official religion and that this could not be changed in whatever form.

“This is because the reality is that we have the Federal Constitution and its provision on the position of Islam and the other religions is very clear,” he told reporters after the meeting with 22 Muslim leaders and intellectuals.

“Under whatever circumstances, the Federal Constitution cannot be amended and as such, no one should worry or feel uneasy over this matter,” he said.

Najib said several issues were discussed during the hour-long meeting, including that on “changing” the country’s official religion as reported earlier.

“I normally meet the Muslim leaders from time to time. But under the present circumstances, it is most important for me to meet this group and again discuss the issue as well as other things,” he said.

He said that during the meeting, the Muslim leaders agreed that it was important to preserve harmony, peace and prosperity in the country.

As such, Najib stressed, everyone must control their emotions and not do anything that could jeopardise this.

On action against those who continued to exploit the issue, Najib said: “Firstly, whatever they want to do, it will not change the fact (that Islam is the country’s official religion). Reality cannot be altered.”

He said the authorities could take action against those who tried to exploit the issue to the extent of jeopardising national harmony.

“We don’t want any action taken by any group that will violate the country’s regulations and law because of utmost importance is the peace and harmony prevailing in our country,” he said.

Asked if this advice was directed at any particular leader, Najib said: “The advice is directed at everyone that we must reject extremist ideology and extremism. It is regardless (of any group).”

Among the Muslim leaders and intellectuals present were Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, Islamic Religious Education and Coordination Advisory Board chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Noor and National Fatwa Council chairman Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Husin.

Source : The Star

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