Dr Koh, who is unity affairs minister in the Prime Minister’s department, accused the Perkasa president of being “uncouth” in his outburst, saying Ibrahim had clearly violated the government’s 1 Malaysia concept and call for moderation among the various communities.
“I feel disgusted that he should beat his chest this way, trying to be a hero, especially after the Prime Minister has just met Muslim and non-Muslim leaders separately, calling for calm, understanding and mutual respect,” Dr Dr Koh said in a statement today.
Dr Koh reminded Ibrahim that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, together with Christian leaders, had met last week to discuss the row over allegations by Utusan Malaysia of Christian conspiracy, and had decided to put the matter to rest.
Christian leaders, Dr Koh pointed out, had strongly denied any involvement in such a conspiracy, and had given their commitment towards respecting and upholding the spirit of the Federal Constitution and the status of Islam as the religion of the federation.
“The Christian leaders have also reiterated their stand that they will work with the government to sustain peace and harmony, while seeking for amicable solutions to various outstanding issues.
“So how could Ibrahim Ali keep talking about the Christian ‘agenda to usurp Islam?’,” he asked.
Dr Koh also chastised Ibrahim for proclaiming himself a defender of the dignity of Islam and for declaring that the Muslim community “placed peace and harmony above everything”, arguing that the Pasir Mas MP, in waging a “jihad” last night, had failed to stand by his own words.
“If so, he should not have uttered such words and behaved this way,” Dr Koh said.
Dr Koh added that in multi-racial Malaysia, local leaders should work to promote moderation and become mediators to manage divergent views instead of being provocative.
He said the police should swiftly investigate Ibrahim’s speeches over the past two days for elements of racial and religious incitement.
“I appeal to Malaysians to stay calm and not to fall into his trap to divide and push the people of Malaysia to take extreme stands and not to fall prey to emotions and sentiments,” Dr Koh said.
He was referring to the fiery speech Ibrahim made last night to about 200 people in Kampung Changkat, in Gombak, where Ibrahim challenged Christians to a holy war should they proceed with their agenda to usurp Islam.
He also declared that he was willing to take the fall for his statement for the sake of defending the dignity of Islam.
Despite complaining of fatigue from his nine ceramah stops from Kelantan to Kampung Changkat since Friday night, the Pasir Mas MP also said his blood was boiling with rage and “hairs standing on end” following recent reports of a Christian conspiracy between religious leaders and opposition party politicians.
“In Kelantan earlier, I declared before the police, I told the security forces present that if they want to send my messages to Bukit Aman (police), please go ahead,” he said.
“Please record my words — if there is any party in Penang, especially the Christian priests who are being backed by the Penang DAP, should continue with their agenda which we already know, I would like to offer that if they want to hold a crusade, we can.
“This is in the spirit of Sultan Saladin Ayubi . . . if they want to fight a crusade, we can.”
Saladin was a Kurdish Muslim who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and led the Muslim forces during the Crusades — a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns taken by the Christians to recover the Holy Land from the Mohammedans.
Ibrahim also warned non-Muslims not to take the silence Muslims to mean they were complacent. He said it was because Muslims placed peace and harmony above everything.
“But we are ready. Silence does not mean fear; we have been silent because we prioritise peace and harmony.
“But these people, if they feel the peace that they have enjoyed all these years is insufficient, or the stability and progress of this nation is not enough and they want to do something that has never once crossed our minds, go ahead . . . we will be ready,” he said.
Ibrahim was referring to the row over Utusan Malaysia’s “Kristian Agama Rasmi?” (Christianity the official religion?) report. The report alleged that DAP leaders and Christian priests were conspiring to take over Putrajaya, abolish Islam as the religion of the federation, and install a Christian prime minister.
Christian leaders and members of DAP have denied the reports, and Najib has hosted separate meetings with religious leaders to resolve the issue.
Ibrahim last night insisted that allegations in the Utusan report were true.
He pointed out that a Muslim member of the DAP had on Friday lodged a report claiming to know the truth of what transpired at the meeting at a hotel in Penang.
Police are investigating Utusan Malaysia’s report of a Christian conspiracy.
DAP Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi, among those implicated in the controversy, said eight pastors and 13 DAP members and people who attended the event have been called to give their statements to the police.