Malaysia

Umno Youth denies provocative religious Facebook post, to file police report

August 20, 2012
Latest Update: August 27, 2012 02:11 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin will lodge a police report today over a controversial posting on a Facebook page purportedly owned by the political wing that has sparked a public uproar over its provocative religious message in the run-up to national polls.

The Rembau MP took to Twitter to distance the wing from the controversy after it was reported by The Malaysian Insider yesterday, the start of the Muslim holiday Aidilfitri.

“Yes, not our FB page,” he said in a reply to a follower on his Twitter account ‏@Khairykj.

“Update: We have narrowed down the admin of the unsanctioned Pemuda UMNO FB page w/ offensive post. We will lodge a police report tomorrow,” Khairy (picture) added.

He did not disclose the identity of the administrator or any further information.

Lokman Noor Adam, an Umno Youth executive council member, also denied knowledge of the controversial posting or that the wing had a Facebook page.

“Pemuda Umno does not have a FB page. We only have an official website,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted today, referring to the popular social network by its initials.

“This is the first time I am hearing such a thing,” he said, adding that he was unaware of any picture being uploaded on the Facebook account bearing the Malay party’s name and logo.

Lokman also said that he had not been told of any police complaint being filed over the provocative posting and attempted to play down the controversy.

“I don’t think anyone cares about the picture and what it says,” he said.

The controversial posting was first posted on the eve of Aidilfitri, and had read: “Jika anda setuju untuk jadikan KRISTIAN sebagai agama rasmi persekutuan Malaysia, teruskan sokongan anda kepada Pakatan Rakyat. (If you agree to make CHRISTIANITY the official religion of the federation of Malaysia, continue supporting Pakatan Rakyat.) ‘God bless you my son’.”

The Facebook post appeared to suggest that a vote for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will catapult Christianity into Islam’s unquestioned position as Malaysia’s religion, showing that faith is still being used to scare off the crucial Malay-Muslim vote in the run-up to national polls.

The picture is a reminder of Malay daily Utusan Malaysia, which last year placed on its front page an unsubstantiated report suggesting that the DAP was conspiring with the Church to install a Christian as prime minister and create a Christian Malaysian state.

It triggered an uproar on the popular social network with some cyber citizens, supporting the statement and others condemning Umno Youth for attempting to fan emotions and religious sentiments between Christians and Muslims on the eve of Aidilfitri, one of the biggest holidays in multicultural Malaysia’s calendar.

PR opposition leaders have also slammed Umno Youth for the incendiary message and demanded that party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak take action to rein in the wing.

The provocative posting was taken down about 6.30pm last Saturday, after drawing nearly 300 comments on the Facebook page.