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Guan Eng: Ooi should retract JIM statement

PENANG, 6 Aug 2009: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will advise the Member of Parliament for Jelutong, Jeff Ooi, to retract his statement labelling Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) as an “extremist religious organisation”.

Lim, who is also the DAP secretary-general, said as far as the state government was concerned, JIM was not an extremist organisation. 

“If Ooi had said that JIM is an extremist organisation, I think he should withdraw his statement,” he told reporters here today.

Ooi, who is the chief minister’s chief of staff, was reported as saying that Penang municipal councillor Mohd Razali Abdullah was a “religious extremist” on the grounds that he was linked to JIM.

Ooi also said the state was setting a dangerous precedent by allowing an alleged religious extremist to infiltrate the local government.

However, Lim said he would leave it to Ooi, who is currently overseas, to handle the issue.

“Ooi is not around, and I would like to leave it to him to settle the issue when he returns to Penang,” he said.

Earlier, Penang Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth Wing representative Khairil Anuar Kamarudin had sent a memorandum to Lim urging Ooi to apologise.  

“We may lodge a police report or take legal action against Ooi if he refuses to apologise,” he said.

Khairil Anuar said the PKR Youth Wing would only disclose its subsequent action after 48 hours if Ooi failed to retract his statement.

Yesterday, the Penang Islamic Forum for Muslims also called on Ooi to apologise to Muslims and resign as the chief minister’s chief of staff for allegedly ridiculing Islam. — Bernama

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