DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today said he had retracted a recent statement referring to “Allah’s government” which sparked a strong backlash online, adding that he had issued the statement based on a news portal’s interpretation of remarks by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
Lim, who is Iskandar Puteri MP, said he had read a report published on the Free Malaysia Today portal yesterday titled “Covid is a test from God, only Allah’s govt can overcome it, says Hadi” and had issued a statement in response.
“I was under the assumption that ‘Allah’s government’ in the report, attributed to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, referred to ‘Kerajaan Islam’, which includes the Perikatan Nasional government.
“It is no secret that Perikatan Nasional and PAS had always claimed that the PN government is a ‘Malay-Muslim government’,” he said.
He said he issued the statement questioning Hadi’s reported comment with the understanding that the PAS leader was saying only a “Kerajaan Islam” such as the PN government could deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I had no intention of questioning any belief, including Islam, only of responding to what Hadi said as reported.”
In his statement, Hadi had said that only a kingdom of Allah or God would be able to eradicate the pandemic at any given time.
The portal had amended its headline twice as of press time. The initial headline read: “Covid is test from God, only an Islamic govt can overcome it, says Hadi”. This was later amended to the headline referred to by Lim.
Lim said he was told after issuing his statement that Hadi had not referred to any earthly government nor to any “Kerajaan Islam”.
“With this realisation, I retracted my statement and apologise for the statement which was based on my mistaken understanding of what Hadi said.”