The Star, Monday May 19, 2008
By SIM LEOI LEOI
PUTRAJAYA: Religious teachers should leave their political differences outside the school compound and not sully the minds of their students with elements of politicking.
Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that while Muslims were allowed to differ on certain issues, religion should be a platform of unity, not division.
“We notice that there have been some activities in religious schools or kindergartens, which were planned with an inclination towards certain political parties.
“This should not be the case. Leave your differences outside the school gate.
“Differences among ourselves will only make us look weaker to third parties, who then take the opportunity to dispute the institution of the Malay sultanate and their jurisdiction over Islamic matters in the states,” he told reporters after launching a Teachers’ Day celebration for religious teachers here on Saturday.
Ahmad Zahid said as it was, there were already attempts in some Opposition-led states to replace certain imams in mosque and surau committees due to political differences.
“However, this should not be the case,” he said, referring to the transfer of Datuk Jamry Sury from the Perak Religious Department in particular after Pakatan Rakyat took over the state.