tv HAR Dtalk BBC News November 13, 2019 4:30am-5:00am GMT
a senior hong kong police officer has said political unrest has brought the territory to ‘the brink of total collapse‘. in the latest clashes with democracy campaigners the violence spread to a university campus, police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon. some protesters threw petrol bombs. raging bushfires have damaged properties across much of eastern australia and briefly spread to suburbs of sydney. the catastrophic day feared by forcasters has so far not materialised, but at least 70 fires are still burning uncontained in new south wales and queensland. an opposition senator in bolivia, jeanine anez, has declared herself interim president. the former leader, evo morales, was forced to resign on sunday and has fled to mexico — he's been granted political asylum. the new presidential appointment has not been formally approved by congress. now on bbc news, hardalk.
welcome to hardtalk, i'm zeinab badawi. malaysia has one of asia's most vibrant economies — the result of decades of stability and economic growth. it's also a multi—ethnic, multi—religious federation — but the majority ethnic muslim malays dominate the country politically. are racial and religious divides now threatening malaysia's stability and future prospects? there is growing concern that such tensions have been getting worse since a new government took office last year. my my guest is malaysia's minister for islamic affairs, mujahid yusof rawa.
minister mujahid yusof rawa, welcome to hardtalk. thank you very much. how serious are the current religious tensions we are seeing in malaysia? well, malaysia is a multi- with racial and multireligious country but the relationship with between all of the relationships and defined by the constitution. islam being the official religion. article three states that very clear. and in the same article it mentions that other faith are free to practise. article ii other faith are free to practise. article 11 clearly mentions about freedom of religion but with the caveat, that only the islamic religion can be promoted. 0k,
caveat, that only the islamic religion can be promoted. ok, you have set the scene with your constitution, but, for example, a year ago, you took office, your alliance of hope, and in november the last year, we took —— saw a particular nasty incidents of violence at a hindu temple. as many as 200 mast individuals entered the temple and attempted to forcibly remove the bautista agut —— mask individuals. that is just one of the exa m ples of individuals. that is just one of the examples of religious tensions. individuals. that is just one of the examples of religious tensionsm you look into the incident you mentioned a hindu temple, it was not driven by any religious factor. religious factor was used in instigating such incident. religious factor was used in instigating such incidentm happened. it was muslims and hindus. it was really about people wanting
to ta ke it was really about people wanting to take over the land next to the temple. so you are just dismissing it, it was just about land. temple. so you are just dismissing it, it was just about landlj temple. so you are just dismissing it, it wasjust about land. i am not saying there was no racial tension. there are people that exploit such attention, using religion. of course it was a very challenging moment for us it was a very challenging moment for us after being in not even one year and the government, having to face such challenges. earlier this year, there was a case of one man arrested over a facebook post saying that muslims must get their knives ready, who knows, the infidels are acting like cattle for slaughter. this man was actually in the malaysia islamic development department which comes under your jurisdiction. development department which comes under yourjurisdiction. exactly. you see, in malaysia, the freedom that people in malaysia enjoy after the new government has made the social media are free for all, to say anything they want. of course, they are guided by certain laws,
guides to any posting that could lead to any racial or religious tension. yes, exactly, what happened to this man that you mentioned, we had taken, the police, there had been reports. i asked my officer that if anyone who has ever created such tension in their personal posting, i think law should take place. we did not even agree with such a posting. but you know your colleague, the home affairs minister, he said is a couple of months ago, there have been twice as many reports filed with the authorities concerning race and religion compared to last year. this looks really bad. what is going on? who is fuelling all of this? when we took over the government, we promised to give freedom of speech. we had this law which was put
before, which was the law, and to fa ke before, which was the law, and to fake news. when we took over, we promised to take away that will and we did that twice in the parliament but at the same time, i think the new government is also committed to educate the public that you have to be responsible for the freedoms we are giving you. so i think in light of that, there are people who have no control over what they say and that in fact,... it isn't something like that but i think we are under control because there are certain laws... so you are saying that your government brought in freedom of expression and this is why people are off the leash. but the media adviser blames opposition parties.
he says what better way to hide their own sins and by resorting to race and religious issues. and of course this alliance has overturned more than 60 years of rule. course this alliance has overturned more than 60 years of rulem course this alliance has overturned more than 60 years of rule. if you wa nt to more than 60 years of rule. if you want to understand the situation, the freedom that we gave to the malaysia people especially in social media, has been used by extensive force by the opposition, using race and religion. this is exactly what had happened because the opposition has no other agenda to create dissatisfaction to the government so they only have race and they only have religion and the platform in the facebook was really the best platform for them to disseminate all of these race and religion issues. but the background also, as one prominent muslim cleric from the progressive islamic party, he said that there are muslim preachers going around in malaysia who
probably support, and maintain that your government is anti— islam and liberal. and there has been a backlash that the attorney general is non— muslim. your government rightly or wrongly stoking these tensions when you should be dampening them down? yes we are actually looking into the matter. the friday sermons happen all over the country and i must say to you that in malaysia, as a minister, i do not have control over the state matter. islamic administration comes under the state. some of the state have not taken serious measures to control all those, which they use at that sermon to attack the government by using islam as its base. attacking the government as liberals, attacking the government as not supporting islamic causes and
which is actually not right. what we do have is that in the federal territory, we have full control over the masks and i think we have already talked to all the states, that in their sermons, they should be delivering not political issues... and not hate speech. that issues... and not hate speech. that is absolutely opposition. yes. so,... then minister mujahid yusof rawa, i have to ask you why you have allowed a very controversial indian preacher who is accused of the exact words are, the criticism from a lawyer, that he is an extremely divisive figure in malaysia and pits muslims against non— muslims. this is somebody you have applauded. why? when we came in power, he was a permanent resident in malaysia. we
know that he is a preacher who engaged in... he pits muslims against non— muslims according to a director and that was the point i made to you. i have said this many times, his approach is not relevant to the malaysia contact. and i have met him, personally, i called him to my office and explained to him the situation in malaysia, that we are multiracial and he should respect the current situation we are in and the current situation we are in and the pressure that's the miller —— malaysia government is now applying... but he does talk about it in that the context of malaysia. he is indian born and he has said he isa he is indian born and he has said he is a permanent malaysia and resident and said that malaysia hindus are
more loyal to india than malaysia and has accused ethnic chinese in malaysia saying they are old guests and they should leave the country before new guests like himself. that is exactly what i am saying. all of these words and statements are not suitable in malaysia. i have said this many times. why didn't you say to him that his —— why did you say to him that his —— why did you say to him that he is an inspiration and may allah strengthen his preaching effo rts may allah strengthen his preaching efforts to guide people to recognise islam? efforts to guide people to recognise islam ? why efforts to guide people to recognise islam? why did you say that?” efforts to guide people to recognise islam? why did you say that? i also wa nt islam? why did you say that? i also want him about his position in malaysia, that he should be more alert that malaysia is a multiracial country. you also applauded him. you said he is an inspiration. that doesn't mean i agree with everything he does in malaysia. it sounds like
an —— an endorsement, to be honest with you. you can also check with my other statement about him, i want him many times that he should be concerned about the multiracial situation we are in in malaysia. you have been in london and the uk and given your view on islam, that islam does not use its teachings to hurt or oppress others, so you ought to practise what you preach. it didn't sound like you were then. no, no, that doesn't represent the whole idea about my position to him because it also relates to my position in the country, my position to protect the multiracial situation in malaysia and that doesn't go well with the situation we are in today. you know that religion in malaysia represents a major barrier to national integration, doesn't it? that has been the case...|j national integration, doesn't it? that has been the case... i wouldn't agree to say that the main
barrier... we'd today would say that religion should be the main factor for the growth and prosperity of our nation. let mejust for the growth and prosperity of our nation. let me just roughly break it down between ethnic groups in malaysia, you have ethnic muslim malays, about 60%. the chinese are 23% and the indians are about 70% —— the rest. there is quite a long point. malaysians don't have opportunities to integrate because the schools lack diversity and this is due to a combination of public policy, personal choice, language, cultural differences and political manipulation of ethnic tensions and unwholesome deficit of religious knowledge are particularly amongst muslims. therefore it is more incumbent on muslims to reach out across the religious and racial divides. this is why you see islam
position as a very important, they have a very important role to play and that is why when we come into power, we reject to be that government who uses or exploits religion for their political purposes. that is why we are now proposing or advocating islam is a very progressive role that it can play and we have come with a new narrative of islam in malaysia of what we call compassionate islam. that we would hope to trigger the national unit and i would agree that in most of the fact that you mentioned, it is a challenge for us asa mentioned, it is a challenge for us as a new government to overcome it and not to repeat the same mistakes that the previous government has made. in order to do that, you need to have a strong narrative of islam and that narrative we have proposed and that narrative we have proposed and agreed upon by the cabinet, that is the compassionate islam, as being
the main narrative of islam in malaysia. well, you want all that and yet, why are you not doing more to support the sisters in islam group? that is a very progressive islamist group, a progressive muslim group. its founder has been applauded by the united nations recently, given an award, talks out against domestic abuse in that make against women put up child marriage, that sort of thing and here we are seeing them referred to the sharia court because there was a religious decree, a fatwa, against them, saying that you promoted a liberal and deviant form of islam. they are doing good honourable work. why are you not doing more to support them? define how i am not doing more. they have been referred to the sharia court and you know what will happen to them there.
that was a case that happened in a previous government, not during our government, our tenure. previous government, not during our government, ourtenure. but back previous government, not during our government, our tenure. but back to the sisters in islam. they were the first to come and see me. i invited them, talk to them and saw how they could play a better role in advocating their role in helping the woman being oppressed. i do not think that in my position as a minister that i neglect their position. and what had happened in the sharia court, it was the previous government that had... so you are going to leave them there? you know the daughter of the prime minister has said what has happened, the fact that they have been referred to the sharia court says this is backdoor of our law because it means but was can be organised against any organisation as long as
it has muslim directors. she is unhappy. could you not do more? you said you like them, you like what they're doing, could you not do more to help them? of course i want to do more than what i can. what i said is when we come into power, just one year and when we come into power, just one yearand a when we come into power, just one year and a half, not even two years, there are other issues that we had to suckle. though i think these issues were presented to me, you know what had happened. and we will see what we can do about it. but i'm not saying that whatever happens within this one year that i have a magic wand that i can say for everything. whatever or whoever from the ngos who will contribute to me under government the compassionate is land that we are actually promoting, then we welcome that to everyone. you welcome everyone, but let me ask you this, then. september, just now, dozens of shia was limbs, because —— and shia was
limbs, because the majority in malaysia are sunni. during a major shia festival of assurer, they said the security forces used violence against us. some of us were handcuffed. they accused us of insulting is land. malaysia has a bad track record in how it deals with this, shia and minorities. this is something you should put a stop to. this is something that has happened just now. to. this is something that has happenedjust now. 0k. maybe for that viewers to understand and to see the complications of malaysia, state affairs — religious affair is under the state. so whatever had happened in south malaysia was actually under the jurisdiction of the state, not under my federal authority. that is very clear. did you speak out against it?|j authority. that is very clear. did
you speak out against it? i did, i even invited all the most is when this issue of shia was — the race, i invited all the movies to discuss and do some discussion about how can we look into a few points that are so pertinent in our country. you've got a lot of power, you are saying my hands are tired and it is a state affair. but you sit in the office of the prime minister. you must understand you are saying it isn't a federated state. you have the state and you have the federal. as far as islamic administration is concerned, it is under the sultan of each state. but as the minister for islamic affairs you have a voice. i will not interfere with the state affairs. so you allow injustice to be done in the name of mainstream islam? i didn't say that. i do have
a form to co—ordinate with other states and i do present any problem to the palace of each state. i update them on what had happened. though this is a very, i would say, tedious matter between the federal and state but that does not mean that i am, you know, i am just ignoring what had happened. but you really need to. this compassionate is lamb policy, we had already talked to the state. you have already set up. we want all moved is to sit down. usa government does make you sad as a government you would sign a covenant on political and civil rights. amnesty international says you came in on a wave of goodwill amid that hope in true progress in human rights would come, and that this would slowly reseed as a priority, you can't miss
this golden opportunity. so you are aware that there are criticisms? when are you going to sign this cove na nt ? when are you going to sign this covenant? this is notjust under my authority. i know. we talk about it in the cabinet stop do you have a for signing it? but in the cabinet stop do you have a forsigning it? but we in the cabinet stop do you have a for signing it? but we have a lot of local issues to handle in malaysia. but isn't this a pie —— priority? local issues to handle in malaysia. but isn't this a pie -- priority? as an executive we do take concern of our insect —— constituents. we cannot just our insect —— constituents. we cannotjust do things overnight. so within this priority and within the awareness. . . within this priority and within the awareness... so within this priority and within the awareness. . . so you are within this priority and within the awareness... so you are allowing injustices to occur? when you say allow you are not attending to it. but when you are attending to it, you are educating the world, then i think this is the true asked. you do
have to attend to it because there area have to attend to it because there are a lot of pressing concerns in malaysia. i cite the words of the counterterrorism chief of malaysia who, particularly within the context of terrorism says australia is —— malaysia is a transit point for terrorists following the collapse of isis. he says he's uncovered a plan to use malaysia as a safe haven. he says it's enough for them to exploit and manipulate religious tensions. you cannot afford, for security reasons, her reasons, to allow these religious tensions to bubble over. we cannot and we will not stop because you have two things here. you have the body that deals with terrorist issues. but the minister of religious affairs, islamic affairs, we deal with the longer
term of making people understand that islam is a compassionate religion and you should not listen to those who radicalise their faith. now this is a long process, it doesn't happen in just one now this is a long process, it doesn't happen injust one night. all right. you keep saying compassionate but you visited china injune compassionate but you visited china in june this year. compassionate but you visited china in june this year. yes. you visited some of the uighur muslim camps. you said isa some of the uighur muslim camps. you said is a vocational training institutions. you know so well there are many organisations, amnesty international says that these are forced political indoctrination camps where they are forced to renounce their faith. so why did you say that? they were disappointed, amnesty international, by your comments. i do not say that. that is one thing for sure. i have already made a statement that i did not say this is just made a statement that i did not say this isjust a made a statement that i did not say this is just a vocational training school. i did not even make any statement. what had happened was they brought me to visit this, the vocational camp, i did not say yes,
idid not vocational camp, i did not say yes, i did not say no. why? because my visit was not merely to go and visit there. my visit was bigger than that. but did you speak up? we don't have much time. did you speak up against their treatment? there should be a fair treatment to old people based on human rights. nothing more than that. a prominent malaysian minister, part of the ruling coalition has talked about the need for a national dialogue to ease the situation. he says if left uncheckedit ease the situation. he says if left unchecked it could cause a national tragedy. you don't want tensions to bubble over so much thatjeopardise your stability in your prosperity? definitely. that is why we need to ta ke definitely. that is why we need to take the opportunity in the new government to change the way we do things in the last government. especially on the reason religion relationship. —— race and. the important things in malaysia are
economic growth and national unity. as minister of islamic affairs, i wa nt to as minister of islamic affairs, i want to contribute to that unity so the prosperity we aspire to can be achieved. minister mujahid yusof rawa thank you very much becoming a hardtalk. thank you. -- mujahid yusof rawa, thank you very much for coming on hardtalk. hello once again. after so much wet weather in recent weeks, it looks as though wednesday for much of the british isles is going to start at least on a drier, brighter, colder note. although there's no disguising the fact there is in fact another set of fronts to bring some rain to western areas later in the day. but it's a cold, crisp start —
a frosty one for many northern parts of the british isles. a run of showers over the north sea through south—west scotland to the north—west of england. but as you see, even on into the afternoon, many central and eastern areas will end up with a dry, sunny but not overly warm day. now, temperatures down into single figures. where we will see a significant change to the afternoon is rain getting into northern ireland, wales and the south—west of england. and just be advised that in the more intense burst over the moors to the south—west, and the brecon beacons you could well end up with a covering of snow. here we are on into thursday, that same band of weather still producing an awful lot of rain over the southern counties. and as the day progresses, so this more southern future isjoined by a more northern feature and that's the concern, because the rain looks set to return
to some of the flood—affected areas. there are already met office warnings out and available on our website. from thursday on into friday, the big area of low pressure, still close by over the near continent, and it's still a north to north—easterly feed off a cold north sea that will generate an awful lot of cloud across the greater part of england, wales and maybe the southern parts scotland, too. and enough about the cloud for there to be the odd bit and piece of rain. the best of the sunshine across much of northern and western scotland, through northern ireland, the western side of wales, maybe down into the west country as well. but again it is a cold — and underneath those weather fronts — a miserable, dank sort of day. here we are at the start of the weekend. what's changed ? really, not very much at all. the low pressure ever closer toward the south—eastern quarter, still the onshore feed into the eastern side of the british isles. there's still the suggestion of enough cloud for there to be bits and pieces of rain falling from that. no great intensity but of course any rain into some areas is not very welcome at all. here we are as far ahead sunday, no signs of mild air creeping its way towards the british isles, so sunday is another dank, chilly sort of day. the best of the sunshine perhaps
behind a more westerly feature here, out into parts of northern ireland, and still that stripe of thicker cloud all the way from the north—east of england, down through wales, the midlands and on towards the south—west. and again, single figures are the order of the day. so, further rain to come, some hail and snow, often windy and a bit cold, too.
we this is the briefing — i'm sally bundock. our top story: countdown to the next crucial phase of the impeachment inquiry. washington braces for public hearings into the president's dealings with ukraine. australia escapes the worst of the bushfires — but the threat still remains in queensland and new south wales. the venice mayor declares disaster as the city is hit by its highest tide in 50 years. and we speak to actors christian bale and matt damon — who reveal the truth behind hollywood auditions. fighting for survivial on the high street —
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