Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin says when it comes to national identity, there must always be a dominant race. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin says when it comes to national identity, there must always be a dominant race. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 ― Justice is for everyone, but when it comes to national identity, there must always be a dominant race, Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said.

In a video of a sermon posted on his Facebook page last night, Asri said the concept applies elsewhere, including India, China and Europe for all the west’s talk of human rights and equality for all.

“A nation must have its identity. We are not being racist… Islam… China is for Chinese. No one questions that. That it their identity. India is for who? For the Chinese, agree? Of course not. India is for Indians.

“Europe, despite them talking about human rights, equal rights, but Europe is still for the whites, for the white people.

“Malaysia, Tanah Melayu, for whom? For whom? Must have its people too. China is for Chinese. The Indian continent is for Indians, but Tanah Melayu is not for Malays? Cannot, cannot. Must be for all.

“Justice is for all, that is correct. But there must be a dominant race, correct? There must be a dominant race,” he said.

The mufti said he is not racist, but only rational and explained that he did not equate dominance with oppression.

“But if someone says because the Malays are dominant, and so we must oppress the other races, that notion, we must oppose, We oppose such oppressors.

“We must oppose when one says, we must be cruel to others, and disrespect their rights,” Asri added.

In his sermon, the mufti appeared to make a veiled barbed statement against certain Pakatan Harapan leaders for their silence in the face of attacks against the country’s armed forces.

“I notice that some who just got positions and all that, they can be so silent when people attack the military. Silence.

“No can’t do, because rahmatan-lil-alamin,” he said sarcastically, using the Arabic phrase that means mercy to all creation ― a line frequently cited by Minister of Islamic Affairs Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

Prominent tycoon Koon Yew Yin who founded property development giant IJM Corporation and infrastructure titan Gamuda Berhad, is currently under police investigation over a critical post in which he accused the armed forces of “doing nothing except eating and sleeping” and suggested the replace migrant labour to care for state-owned farms.

Koon’s remarks drew public backlash and he has since apologised.

Police are also investigating another prominent public figure, Mumbai-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik for alleged racial and religious incitement during a lecture in Kota Baru, Kelantan last Saturday.

In his video-recorded sermon, Asri said he disagreed with the fugitive evangelist’s innuendos about Indian and Chinese Malaysians, adding that the remarks were unnecessary.

“I am ready to criticise Zakir Naik. I said I don’t agree with the remarks, though it was taken out of context, but still, no need to say such things,” he said, adding that those who make scathing remarks about others lay themselves open to criticism.

Dr Zakir, wanted in India on money laundering and hate speech charges, has been living in Malaysia since 2016 where he is a permanent resident.

He has been a divisive figure in Malaysia where he is hugely popular among conservative Muslims while the minorities, especially the ethnic Indian and Chinese, want him out of the country following his repeated remarks against their beliefs.

While Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said the government will not send him back to India despite an extradition request as Dr Zakir risks being killed, Singapore daily The Straits Times today reported the Cabinet has decided the preacher must go.