14 August 2017

News Story: Malaysia no longer moderate, says US-based academic

Expert on Southeast Asia politics and security, says minister Shahidan Kassim's comment on atheists reflects growing intolerance within Malay community over religious matters.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is not the moderate state that it used to be, an academic based in Washington, the United States, told Channel NewsAsia.

The comment from Professor Zachary Abuza, who specialises in Southeast Asia politics and security at Washington’s National War College, followed remarks by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim that atheists in Malaysia should be “hunted down”.

“Unfortunately the minister’s comments reflect a steadily growing intolerance within the Malay community over religious matters.

“This is a reflection that many see Malaysia’s ethnic and religious minorities as a roadblock to the full implementation of shariah law (in the country),” Abuza was quoted as saying by the Singapore-based regional news network.

He added that minority groups should be very concerned over the profound societal changes that had taken place.

“Malaysia isn’t the moderate state that it used to be.”

Read the full story at Free Malaysia Today