The Star Wednesday October 29, 2008
By HAH FOONG LIAN
IPOH: The religious obligation of performing the haj is not a political agenda and should not be politicised.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this while announcing the approval for Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s 22-man entourage to perform the haj.
“I am not using a political approach when approving his application. When it comes to religion, I adopt an open attitude,” he told reporters here yesterday after attending a Hari Raya celebration organised by the Perak Fede-ral Action Council.
Although they were from different political parties, Zahid said, he had given his approval for the sake of religion.
Zahid pointed out that there had been rumblings from certain quarters that only selected groups were allowed to perform the haj.
“Applications are approved on a first-come, first-serve basis because of the high demand but due to certain considerations, I have approved the application of Nizar,” he added.
Zahid said that this year the first group of Muslims would leave for the haj on Oct 30, adding that the waiting list for those who had applied to perform the haj stood at some 348,000 while approval was given to only 2,019 Muslims this year.
Zahid, who is also Perak Federal Action Council chairman, said he hoped the Pakatan Rakyat state government would forge a close and professional cooperation with the Federal Government when it came to implementing projects beneficial to the people.
Perak, he said, had an annual allocation of over RM1bil for development projects.
“We hope the state will take the same approach and not differentiate if a particular allocation was sourced from the federal or state government,” he added.
KOMEN: Kau yang mula nak mempolitikkan orang pergi haji. Dah salah maklumat, nak beri amaran. Hantarlah gangster kamu, Zahid.