By Junita Mat Rasid – November 30, 2019 @ 3:15pm
PETALING JAYA: Many Muslim nations have not achieved progress and development despite having the necessary ability, capability and strength.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said their inability to progress and become a developed country had resulted in Muslim nations being perceived as weak and Muslims continued to be suppressed, controlled and abused by other countries.
He said there was no prohibition on Muslims achieving progress and development.
Dr Mahathir said despite Muslim nations having the ability and capability to compete with other developed nations, they however had no desire to do so.
“We cannot protect Muslims and Islamic countries. Why can’t we? Because we are weak in every way.
“Our countries (Muslim nations) are sometimes given extraordinary wealth. Even then we are weak as we are ineffective in administering the nation and we have no particular advantage in equipping ourselves with the ability to defend Muslims,” he said in his speech at the opening of the 58th Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Muslim Welfare Organisation (PERKIM) here today.
The prime Minister said with a total of 52 Muslim nations in the world, none of them could be considered to be a developed nation.
“Is this because of prohibition from our religion so that we do not progress?
“Does this mean that people professing Islam do not progress, are not allowed to develop?
“I want to make it clear here that we are able to compete with the best. Our barrier is that we do not have the willpower.
“We are equal to the foreigners…in terms of ability to think but we do not utilise this blessing from Allah SWT in the proper manner…in a manner that enables us to protect the Islamic religion,” he said.
Taking South Korea as an example, Dr Mahathir said the country which was previously behind Malaysia in terms of administrative development was now far ahead with her per capita income, three times that of this country.
He said this was due to several factors including the mastery of knowledge particularly on the development industry to the extent that it became one of the most developed nations in the world.
“When I compare our country with Korea and other Islamic nations, I feel very disappointed because we are not incapable. But because of our mistake in making certain interpretations we cannot achieve the development made by Korea and other countries.
“I believe that the mistake does not lie with our religion…the religion does not prevent us from seeking wealth as long as we find it in a legalised manner, and we use our wealth to assist those who are weak,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also said that many conflicts involving Muslims such as that in Myanmar and in the Middle-East could be resolved if Muslims return to the true teaching of Islam based on the al-Quran.
“The fate of Muslims depends on us to practice the true teachings of Islam, “he said.
Speaking to reporters later, Dr Mahathir said Muslim nations should form a pact to achieve development for their respective nation and this in turn would benefit Muslims.
He said currently, member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) were unable to reach an agreement on many issues.
“We already have the OIC but we cannot agree. Which is why we may have to form small pacts comprising two, three or four states in order to make progress,” he said.