Penang Chief Minister defends Muslim countries, calls MCA President ignorant

From The Malaysian Insider:

Lim Guan Eng today said he differed strongly with Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s portrayal of Muslim countries as backward and corrupt nations, pointing out that the MCA president should educate himself on Islamic civilisation.

The Penang chief minister said Dr Chua should educate himself in history that the civilisation of Islam was filled not just with global empires, but also with glory in art, learning, algebra and astronomy.

The relevant part of the speech is presented as follows.

A paragon of leadership by example and good governance is undeniably the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz. He had introduced a number of reforms; administrative, fiscal and educational. So inspiring was his honesty and integrity and so far-reaching his reforms during his short two years reign that they resonate down the centuries with few parallels in the history of mankind. Imagine how honest the person, until he turn off the light of a lamp if he was conducting private matters. We cannot be wrong if we follow his legacy in promoting good governance in our administration.

Most profound was Umar Abdul Aziz’s advice to his subordinates on why he refused to approve money spent on building walls of bricks because it is a waste. Instead he said they should be building walls of justice where no opposing force can break. For this reason, I differ strongly with the comment by MCA President Dr Chua Soi Lek portraying Muslim countries negatively as non-progressive, corrupt, poor and backward. Dr Chua should educate himself in history that the civilization of Islam was filled not just with global empires but also with glory in art, learning, introducing numbers, algebra and astronomy.

Muslim countries are suffering from the same problems suffered by India and China previously. Only when India and China were free, independent and not dominated by imperialistic powers, were they able to realize their potential and take their place in the world stage as an economic power. I believe that Muslim nations can also recapture their past glories were they allowed to be similarly unshackled like China and India. And if there is good governance just as Islam was a center of learning, justice and excellence under the rule of Umar Abdul Aziz. The choice is whether we follow the Umar Abdul Aziz’s governing model of integrity and good governance or the alternative model of corruption and dictatorship.

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