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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Zaid: There’s more to the world than Malays and Islam

Former minister says criticising business plans has nothing to do with race or religion but more to do with differing viewpoints on economics, science and business.
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PETALING JAYA: Criticising the business models of the pro-Malay Mara Digital Mall and the Syariah-compliant Rayani Air does not make one a Malay- and Islam-basher, said former law minister Zaid Ibrahim.
Saying that the world did not revolve around the Malays and their symbols of Islam, Zaid explained that he was critical of the pro-Malay Mara Digital Mall only because it was a “silly idea” and that Rayani Air was using Islam to make money.
“I wish them all good luck in the new enterprise but I am neither racist nor specifically a Malay hater,” he said in his latest blog posting.
He was referring to comments made by Utusan Malaysia editors Awang Selamat that those who had criticised both business concepts were either racists or envious of its potential success.
He said he was critical of the Mara Digital Mall because it was a “silly idea” based on the belief that offering Malay traders free rental to sell smartphones was “good business.”
“My criticism is a normal reaction from anyone who wants to see a business succeed, Malay or otherwise.”
He was especially opposed to Rayani Air for commercialising Islam, a move he said he “detested” and would therefore never fly with them.
“I would have felt better if the idea of turning everything ‘Islamic’ revolved around things that mattered and not just gimmickry,” he said, suggesting that if the airline’s planes used Muslim-made engines and components, he would be more willing to support their business.
He argued there was more to flying than reciting prayers before takeoff and flight attendants whose uniforms covered their aurat.
Zaid also said fate and destiny was something a good Muslim should believe in and that praying to Allah to change His will was “not a very smart thing to do” and caused him more fear than comfort.
To editors Awang Selamat, he simply said, “The world is more than just about Malays and your symbols for Islam.”

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