The DAP Selangor State Committee met in an emergency meeting this afternoon to discuss the public concerns over the guidelines and planning restrictions over non-Muslim places of worship.
The DAP Selangor State Committee unanimously agreed that the recommendation that non-Muslim places of worship should not be built within 50m of a home owned by Muslims, as well as several other guidelines are not appropriate for a multi-racial, multi-religious society which encourages mutual respect and tolerance.
It should be noted that such guidelines are the status quo for other BN-led states like Johor and Negeri Sembilan.
The State Committee heard the explanation provided by Selangor Vice-Chairman and Senior State Executive Councillor, Teng Chang Khim, that despite having requested state government officials to make the necessary changes, the changes were not incorporated into the final version of the guidelines.
As reported during his press conference in the morning, Teng has apologised for the unintended error and even offered to resign from his position.
The State Committee found that the question of Teng resigning from his government office does not even arise as he has committed no crime. He has neither stolen money from the state government coffers, nor abused his powers to benefit vested interest parties like developers.
Instead, DAP Selangor would like to commend Teng for stepping forward to take full responsibility over the unintended error and omission, despite the fact that the guidelines manual was approved by the Selangor State Planning Committee.
To err is certainly human, but what is most important is the fact that immediate steps are being taken to ensure that these errors are corrected upon discovery. No one has yet suffered or been penalised by the guidelines for new non-Muslims places of worship.
Hence, DAP Selangor state committee supports Teng’s decision to seek the State Executive Council’s (Exco) approval on Wednesday for immediate suspension of the guidelines implementation pending revision.
At the same time, in the light of the gravity and sensitivity of the matter, the Selangor State Committee also resolved to set up a special sub-committee to assist Teng. This will ensure that no stones are left unturned in the revision process. The sub-committee will be led by Vice-Chairperson, Hannah Yeoh and four other members, Rajiv Rishyakaran, Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, Yeo Bee Yin and Ng Sze Han.
DAP Selangor would like to reiterate that the constitutional provisions providing for Islam as the religion of the Federation and guaranteeing the freedom of religion would be defended at all cost. We firmly believe that such provisions can only be achieved with tolerance, respect and acceptance of such freedoms by all Malaysians.