KUALA LUMPUR: For a multireligious country to be stable, any discussions on religion should not involve running down others, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
One can also discuss religion in Malaysia, but he said it must be done in a rational manner.
“You can discuss (religions) like how we are doing today (in a forum), but if you are shouting on the streets, you are going to annoy a lot of people especially if you say something that touches on other religions.
“This country has people of many religions – if you want (Malaysia) to stay stable, don’t try to run down each other’s religions,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was speaking during a question and answer session after officiating an international colloquium on “Demystifying Islamophobia: Towards a deeper understanding of Islam” organised by the Institute of Islamic Understanding of Malaysia (Ikim) here on Monday (Nov 11).
On a separate note, he said, Pakatan Harapan had replaced “so-called Islamic leaders who did not-so-Islamic things”.
“When we overthrew (Barisan Nasional) not-so-Islamic leaders, we (Pakatan leaders) are not so perfect, but it is our duty to bring back teachings of Islam where the welfare of the people is our priority,” he said.
He added good governance is the key for any Muslim country to be successful.
“We do not want every single child to grow up to be ulamas (religious clerics). We need them to do other things, to become engineers, necessary to strengthen the economy and to resist foreign influence,” said Dr Mahathir.
He said Muslims are as able as anybody else but they are not given a chance to show their abilities to the point where many migrated to other countries where they contribute to the development of those countries.
“And we lose out because of the brain drain from Muslim countries to non-Muslim countries,” he said. -The Star