Politicians should speak out against extremism like the royals: Cenbet

PETALING JAYA: Politicians and top government officials have been urged to speak out against extremism by pro-moderation group Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) today.

They should take the cue from the Malaysian royalty and step up to the plate in curbing extremism in the country, Cenbet co-president Gan Ping Sieu said in a statement.

The royal institution recently displayed wisdom and courage in condemning actions that threatened the country's multiethnic, multireligious social fabric, he said.

"Political leaders and top government officials should take the cue from the Malaysian royalty which had stepped up to the plate in curbing rising extremism in the country,"Gan said.

"Such unconventional candour on the part of the royalty also underlies the leadership vacuum that had allowed radicalism to breed in the first place. For a long time, those in power have chosen to tip-toe around touchy subjects than to do and say the right thing."

He appreciated the rulers for stepping in for a job that he said should have been done by politicians in the first place.

Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar was the first to publicly condemn a Muslim-only launderette operating in his state. He ordered it to change its policy or face closure.

The rebuke by Sultan Ibrahim came after a Jakim officer Zamihan Mat Zin had allegedly criticised the ruler over the issue involving a Muslim-only laundry in Muar.

A video which has since gone viral shows Zamihan rebuking a "Sultan" for his statement on the Muslim-friendly laundrette which, according to him, had only made the issue bigger.

The video, which had been republished by several media organisations, had also shown Zamihan taking a hit at the Chinese community, deeming them dirty as they do not wash up after urinating or defecating.

Zamihan, who is also the president of Sunni Organisation Malaysia, has since apologised to the Johor Ruler after his remarks landed him in hot water.