Sabtu, 29 Mac 2008

Zahid: Toe the line or quit

The Star Friday March 28, 2008

PUTRAJAYA: Officers working with Islamic agencies must support government policies or quit their jobs.

“The impression the public has of religious officers or those schooled in Islamic affairs is that they have a closed mind and are slow in implementing our policies,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“I want to do away with this negative perception,” he said.

“This is a reminder to them for the sake of our ummah (citizens). If they choose to remain here, they will have to pay a high price,” he told reporters after receiving his duties from former minister Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin at his office here yesterday.

New post: Ahmad Zaid shaking hands with Dr Abdullah after receiving his duties in Putrajaya yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid’s portfolio includes the management of religious affairs and he is in charge of agencies like Islamic Development Department (Jakim). Also at the ceremony was deputy minister Datuk Dr Mashita Ibrahim.

Ahmad Zahid said he wanted to use his professional background as an administrator to ensure that these Islamic agencies were better run.

“Together with my deputy’s scholarly background in Islam, I am sure we can work together to revamp our image,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said reports that non-Muslims had been made restless recently due to certain decisions taken by the Islamic agencies were true.

“The Prime Minister advised us to correct this image by explaining the teachings of Islam. We will fix this problem,” he promised.

However, Ahmad Zahid said he would not hold any dialogue with non-Muslim and other religious groups as this was under the purview of the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry helmed by Datuk Shafie Apdal.

“But we will be working closely with the ministry,” he said.

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