Gerakan vice-president Dominic Lau has retracted and apologised for his statement on religious schools, which had riled certain quarters.
This is over his remark earlier reported by Free Malaysia Today (FMT), in which Lau urged the government to review funding of religious schools
Lau last night apologised, saying he had not meant to attack religious schools.
“In the best interest of peace and stability, I retract my remarks and apologise if any offence was caused, and hope there will no longer be any more issue regarding this matter.
“My main concern, which I wished to highlight during the press conference, was to call on the government to consider heightened measures on the possibility of penetration of extremist ideas and views from external influences into religious schools,” he said in a statement yesterday.
The Gerakan leader said he had based his concerns on Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s comments last July, where the latter had said the Home Ministry will be monitoring religious institutions to ensure they have not been infiltrated by IS activities.
On Thursday Lau was reported saying, “From our analysis, we find although not every student has extremist views, however the tendency towards such thinking is there”.
He therefore called upon the country to return to its vision as a secular country and that religion and politics do not mix.
Lau in the FMT report was defending vernacular schools, and said religious schools were a greater threat to national unity than the Chinese schools.
He said the report had “misquoted” him, and that his actual statement was, “Religious schools and vernacular schools are not a hindrance to national unity.”
The comment annoyed certain political leaders and NGOs, and rights lobbyist Perkasa yesterday lodged a police report against Lau, alleging his statements were seditious.