KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — There is no need for Selangor state executive councillor Datuk Teng Chang Khim to resign over controversial guidelines restricting new non-Muslim places of worship, the DAP said today.
DAP Selangor chief Tony Pua said that that it is “only human” to commit mistakes and the issue of resigning does not arise as Teng had not committed any crime.
Teng earlier today reportedly offered to resign after admitting an oversight in his part that led to the section pertaining non-Muslim places of worship to be included in the final version of the guideline approved by the state executive council.
“The (DAP) State Committee found that the question of Teng resigning from his government office does not even arise as he has committed no crime,” Pua said.
“He has neither stolen money from the state government coffers, nor abused his powers to benefit vested interest parties like developers,” he added.
He also praised Teng for taking full responsibility over the mistake.
“Instead, DAP Selangor would like to commend Teng for stepping forward to take full responsibility over the unintended error and omission, despite the fact that the guidelines manual was approved by the Selangor State Planning Committee,” he said.
Teng in a statement said that he had asked for amendments to the guidelines on the issue and several other state issues during a meeting with the state planning committee.
But he had not checked the guideline thoroughly before it was presented to the state executive council, assuming that requested amendments pertaining non-Muslim places of worship restrictions were also made.
The new manual, which is the third edition of the guideline, includes a recommendation that non-Muslim places of worship should not be built within 50m of a home owned by Muslims and that planned new non-Muslim places of worship in areas with a multi-racial make up require the consent of residents within a 200m radius.
There are also height restrictions and also restrictions that non-Muslim places of worship cannot be built near commercial areas.
Teng has said that he would propose the next state executive council meeting that the guidelines be suspended until proper engagement with non-Muslim religious organisations.
Pua also said that the state DAP has formed a special sub-committee to assist Teng on this matter.
“This will ensure that no stones are left unturned in the revision process. The sub-committee will be led by Vice-Chairperson, Hannah Yeoh and four other members, Rajiv Rishyakaran, Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, Yeo Bee Yin and Ng Sze Han,” he said.