Malaysia religious leader stirs curry powder controversy

Malaysia religious leader stirs curry powder controversy

KUALA LUMPUR - A controversy is brewing over a video clip of a PAS religious leader mocking Hindus over curry powder and about "sexy" Hindu idols.

Sahul Hamid Seeni Muhammad, said to be an ustaz (male religious teacher), was filmed during a closed-door event questioning why Muslims were buying curry powder from non-Muslim manufacturers like Baba's and Alagappas, rather than Adabi.

He also made fun of a dishti bomma, a squarish metal plate with the face of a "fearsome demon" on it placed at the entrance of the Alagappa Flour Mills near Permatang Pauh.

He was also seen poking fun at the snake temple in Penang.

The video, said to be filmed five years ago and uploaded in May, has now gone viral on social media, sparking criticism from Hindus and Muslims alike.

MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan called for police action to be taken against Sahul Hamid for what he termed as seditious remarks.

"These statements are the opinions of a rude individual.

"I hope that the Home Ministry and the Government will act against this man," he said, adding that PAS should also act against Sahul Hamid.

MIC Youth chief C. Sivarraajh said he would organise a protest outside Sahul Hamid's house if no action was taken against the latter within a week.

Jihad for Justice chairman Datuk Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim said he was ashamed of the way a fellow Muslim has acted.

Former Penang PAS commissioner Datuk Mohd Salleh Man confirmed that Sahul Hamid was a PAS member and that the controversial video was filmed five years ago.

"It is up to the state PAS committee to decide on any action," he said.

MIC and a Muslim non-government organisation (NGO) held a peaceful protest at Dataran Brickfields yesterday, demanding action be taken against the PAS member, while the Penang MIC and several Hindu NGOs based in the state also lodged police reports.

Following the uproar, Sahul Hamid uploaded a video apology: "The individual who recorded and uploaded it did it without my knowledge or consent with possible malicious intentions.

"What I said then was based on trusted knowledge.''

Bukit Aman spokesman Asst Comm Datin Asmawati Ahmad said Sahul Hamid could face up to five years imprisonment if he was convicted under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act.

"We would like to advise the public to be careful and practice humility when presenting information, and not manipulate with the intent of jeopardising racial harmony," she added.

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