Shanmugam: I Find That Very Saddening – Kurang Ajar

I gave the following statement to Berita Harian, in response to questions from them:

I am very heartened that MUIS and Muslim leaders have come out clearly to state their position. The statements show clearly that the Muslim community strongly values our commitment to religious harmony in Singapore. This shows the spirit of multi-racial, multi-religious harmony in Singapore. It is a very heart-warming move, and majority of Singaporeans will both be reassured, and also welcome these statements.

MUIS and the office of the Mufti are important institutions, which play a critical role in contributing to the maintenance of religious harmony, as well as building inter-faith relations with other religious groups. Regrettably some people have been attacking them – both now and previously .

The Mufti himself has been attacked, in rude and unacceptable language.

Just because these people may not agree with the Mufti, or the Islamic authorities, does not mean they should use rude and abusive language against them. I find that very saddening – kurang ajar. We are keeping a close watch on people who do these things. If the conduct crosses over and becomes criminal, action will be taken.

On the matter relating to the Imam, police will investigate the case thoroughly and interview all parties involved. This includes the persons who filmed and publicised the video. Whether there is a case for further action against any of the parties, will depend on the outcome of investigations. I made this clear in Parliament.

The Government does not take sides in this issue – if anyone is found to have committed an offence, action will be taken.

I have been specifically asked whether it was alright for the video of the Imam’s preaching to have been uploaded on social media. I know today many take it as a norm to post – the more sensational, the more it’s likely to multiply its reach.

The right thing to do though, is that when a matter like this is encountered, it should be reported to the Police, and not put out on social media. That will allow police to focus their investigations on the subject of the complaint.

If instead, the matter is publicly posted, it could lead to a ground swell of feelings, in this case, both from Muslims as well as non-Muslims. It could cause confusion about religion, and increase tensions and so on. We don’t want that in Singapore.


Source: K Shanmugam Sc

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