PENANG, 26 Feb 2009: The Penang government is ready to explain to and discuss with the federal government the setting up of the Council for Religious Goodwill in the state, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said the state government welcomed the willingness of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to meet him to find out the truth about the issue.
“I have no problem [with seeing] him to explain the real thing and our stance regarding the issue because we have never insulted Islam as reported by Utusan Malaysia newspaper,” he told reporters after attending the Merdeka Charity Programme at a private hospital here today.
Zahid told reporters yesterday he would meet Lim and Penang Islamic Religious Council president Shabudin Yahaya next week to hear what they have to say.
Shabudin was reported to have said that he had proof on the formation of an interfaith council, which he considered as disrespectful to Islam but Lim had denied it.
Lim announced the proposal to set up the Council for Religious Goodwill on 8 April 2008 and the names of its members on 11 Feb 2009.
Meanwhile, reacting to the announcement by Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed today that toll rates for five highways would be increased by 0.68 sen to 50 sen effective 1 March, Lim said: “Now is not the time to raise toll rates. The government should have waited until the economy stabilises or in a year or two to increase it.” — Bernama