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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Serdang MP apologises to Selangor ruler, dismayed over surau issue


Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching today apologised to the Selangor ruler over her surau visit in her constituency this week and expressed dismay that it has been turned into a controversy by Umno and its newspaper Utusan Malaysia.

The Malay daily yesterday published a front-page picture of the first-term MP addressing those who were praying at the Al-Huda Surau in Kajang Sentral, saying she was disrespectful to the religion.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Teo said she will send an explanation and also her apologies to Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah about the issue.

“It is unfortunate that this incident has been played up by Umno and Utusan Malaysia,” she told The Malaysian Insider earlier.

She explained that the Al-Huda Surau committee had applied for allocations for upgrading works to her office recently.

“I agreed and when the cheque was ready I called them to ask how it should be delivered,” said Teo, adding the committee extended an invitation for her to come to the surau in Kajang which she did last Sunday.

She arrived at 9.15pm and waited outside for the congregation to complete their prayers and only after that she was invited in.

“I did asked if it was okay and they assured me that it was,” said Teo.

She initially sat among the women until she was invited to says a few words.

She started by expressing her Ramadan greetings to those gathered before informing them that the state government was also giving out loans for tertiary education.

Teo said the loan was quite new which many were not aware of and she encouraged them to spread the word since October is the closing date for students to apply.

“At no time did I touch on politics and my speech was concluded after a few minutes,” she added.

She was then invited for supper outside the surau before she left the place.

“It was a very simple, low profile visit which lasted about 45 minutes,” said Teo.

She pointed out that Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia had never called her to get her side of the story before publishing the article.

Instead, Teo said the newspaper had relied on a pro-Umno blog which made baseless allegations that she had given money to PAS members during a ceramah at the surau.

She said Utusan Malaysia was acting with ill intent and in bad faith.

“They have their own agenda to demonise the DAP. They are not interested in the truth or finding out the facts,” said Teo.

Following the publication of the article yesterday, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) announced that they will send a warning letter to Teo.

Mais chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa also said they had taken over the management of the surau.

He also reportedly said that the incident had raised the ire of Selangor Ruler, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

Teo has yet to received the warning letter from Mais.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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