December 23, 2003

Nik Aziz insulted the Malays by his statement,
says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR Dec 22 - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday that Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat had insulted the Malays when he likened members of the community who refuse to accept Pas' Islamic state concept to the Jews.
"The statement by Nik Aziz who likened us to the Jews has insulted the Malays," he told a media conference after closing a national conference of Islamic thinkers organised by the Information Ministry's Special Affairs Department here.
He was asked to comment on the statement by Nik Aziz, Pas' spiritual leader, reportedly made at a ceramah in Kuala Terengganu last Saturday. He has also been criticised by political leaders and Islamic scholars.
On his address at the the closed door conference attended by the department's officers and freelancers, Abdullah said that exercising caution in implementing development by taking into account the various religions and ethnic races in the country had boosted the strength of the Barisan Nasional government in ensuring the well-being of the people.
"The style of the government's administration and national development is suited to the various religions and culture," he said.
Abdullah said that the development of the country was implemented for the benefit of all the races and not just one race.
He also said that Islamisation among the Muslims in the country must be developed within themselves instead of within the system alone.
"If there is an Islamic system but not adhered to, then it is meaningless," he said.
Present were Information Minister Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob, his deputy, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin, and parliamentary secretary to the ministry, Datuk Rizalman Abdullah.

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