AS CAMPAIGNING for Permatang Pauh by-election entered its third day yesterday, the Quran-swearing issue remained a talking point.The Barisan Nasional camp has come out in support of Mr Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan's decision to swear on the Quran. Others on the opposing camp are calling it an unnecessary move that is politically-motivated, even un-Islamic.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was the latest to join the fray when he said that Mr Saiful's actions would convince BN supporters and fence-sitters.
He also called on Mr Anwar to give his DNA and blood samples to prove his innocence against the sodomy charge levelled at him by his former personal aide.
Though he noted these charges are a personal issue between the two, he accused Mr Anwar of manipulating it for sympathy votes, reported The Star. He urged voters: 'Your duty is to elect someone to represent and work for you, not to save Anwar.'
The Edge quoted him as saying that MrAnwar could win an Oscar for his antics over the last few years.
It quoted Mr Najib as saying: 'Everything that he has said, including that there were attempts to kill him, has been without basis or proof. He even invited himself to the Turkish embassy.
'His latest accusation is that the sodomy case against him is a political conspiracy.
'But it was he who chose a personal assistant (Mr Saiful) who was jambu (good looking), not us, it was he who interviewed and hired him, and it was Mr Saiful who accused him, not the BN. What political conspiracy is he talking about?'Others who have backed Mr Saiful's move of swearing on the Quran include PM Abdullah Badawi and Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohd outrightly called on Mr Anwar to swear his innocence on the holy book.
Utusan Malaysia quoted religious scholars and religious officials such as the Mufti of Kedah as saying that this was an Islamic move and represented the most serious form of oath. Mr Saiful's father, Mr Alan Mohd Lazim, also called on Mr Anwar to do the same.
Despite these calls, Mr Anwar said he will not do it.
He had earlier called the act a 'mockery of the holy book'. Said Mr Anwar: 'If you respect the law and the dignity of a man, do not use the Quran for political mileage.'
The medical reports, he said, have proven his innocence. Others have denounced the act as un-Islamic.
Said former Indonesia president Abdurrahman Wahid: 'There is no such thing as swearing on the Quran in Islam. Just open the books on Islam.'
He added that it was enough for both Mr Anwar and his accuser to take an oath in the Syariah court.
Meantime, Mr Anwar's accuser has denied that his move was politically-motivated.
source: It was Anwar who chose handsome assistant