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Deputy Minister Sounds Off At The Star For ‘I Want To Touch A Dog’ Event

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KUALA LUMPUR: A deputy minister has lashed out at two of The Star’s columnists for their views on the “I Want To Touch A Dog” event.

Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) hit out at human rights activist Marina Mahathir and The Star chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat, Thursday.

“He (Wong) is trying to be wise by teaching Muslims about what they can do, and asks why make an issue of Muslims touching dogs when it is a caring event.

“Non-Muslims, please don’t teach Muslims how to be kind to dogs, only the Muslims know how they should be kind to dogs,” he said.

Tajuddin, who is also an Umno supreme council member, criticised Marina Mahathir for being “too liberal” for a Muslim, and questioned her religious understanding on the matter.

“She hit out at the Government and religious authorities for reprimanding the organiser, saying he is a good boy, does charity work and helps other people.

“Let me say this, it does not mean that if you are charitable, you can do haram things. Haram is haram!” he added.

In her column Musings in The Star on Oct 23, Marina had defended organiser Syed Azmi Alhabshi by saying he had not intended to insult anyone with the event.

The “I Want To Touch A Dog” event in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya last month attracted over 800 people.

It, however, drew criticism from Islamic religious authorities after some Muslim visitors to the event, including children, were pictured touching and petting the dogs at the event.

Wong, when contacted, expressed surprise at Tajuddin’s outburst as he had never commented nor written any article on the “I Want To Touch A Dog” event.

“The Star in any of its editorials has also not taken sides on the issue except to provide coverage,” said Wong.

“For the record, The Star has carried the views of Muslim scholars and ordinary Muslims who have voice their unhappiness with the event,’ he added.-The Star

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