In Parliament yesterday, Water Resource Minister Masagos Zulkifli slammed WP MP Faisal Manap’s habit of raising divisive issues within the Malay Muslim community in Parliament. Masagos claims that in doing so, Mr Faisal Manap was raising the temperatures and making the complex issues much harder to solve due to his high profile championing of such issues. Masagos criticized the WP MP after Manap called for Muslim nurses and uniformed officers to be allowed to wear the headscarf or tudung to the secular workplace. He asked when Singapore would do so when other nations like Australia and Britain had already done so.
PAP’s Masagos elaborated that he felt Mr Manap’s strategy of gaining political point could end up injuring or hurting the community rather than inspire them and has on many occasions in Parliament raises such sensitive and not easily solvable issues in Parliament, such as the need for halal kitchens in navy ships and the perceived discrimination against malays in the SAF. He accused WP MP Manap of frequently and subtly needling the Malay-Muslim community’s sensitive spots which he believes one day will explode if this lingering feeling of unsolved and unsolvable remains due to his incessant prodding.
Masagos said that he too wanted to see progress in the tudung issue and other religious issue but felt that there was a right place and time to discuss such issues and the discussion of such matters are better done behind closed doors to make progress gradually and quietly to build mutual trust among all Singaporeans before moving forward step by step.
By doing what WP MP Faisal Manap does would only raise temperatures and make such sensitive issues much harder to solve.