Why close on Hari Raya Haji? asks MCA president



It would seem that MCA president Chua Soi Lek has done it again: this time by expressing surprise that shops in Kota Bharu were closed during yesterday’s Hari Raya Aidiladha celebration – the most important celebration in the Muslim calendar.

During a trip here to meet MCA members, Chua questioned whether the silence descending upon the state capital was due to a forced closure of shops by the authorities.

“Because of Hari Raya Haji all shops seem to be closed for celebration or by directive from local authority? It’s quiet in Kota Bahru,” he posted on Twitter.

Like much of the Muslim world, it is common knowledge that the Eidul Adha, which marks the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael, sometimes called Hari Raya Haji or Korban in Malaysia, has been historically celebrated on a much bigger scale in the east cost of the peninsula.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Tian Chua was taken aback when even this important Muslim celebration was made an issue by Chua.

“Hari Raya public holiday also being made an issue?” asked Tian Chua.

Chua had earlier this year courted condemnations from Muslims when he said a country in which Muslims were majority would be naturally corrupt. He also claimed that it was UMNO’s competing with PAS over Islam which had caused the country to be trapped as a “middle income” nation for more than 10 years. He later accused two online portals of “misquoting” him.

Several others who followed the former Health minister’s Twitter account have lambasted him as a bankrupt politician for his latest remarks.

Chua is widely regarded as MCA’s “comeback kid”, having resigned as cabinet member and party vice president following video recordings of him indulging in oral sex with a “female companion” in a hotel room appeared in public.