KUALA LUMPUR: The Saudi Arabian embassy sent a diplomatic note to the Foreign Ministry following Bersih rallies in Mecca and Medina on April 26, Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk A Kohilan Pillay said the Mecca rally organised by PAS youth chief Nasrudin Hassan and Medina rally organised by Mokhtar Senik involving students and Malaysians were regrettable and marred the country's image.
"What they did is against the law of Saudi Arabia. It is up to the Saudi Arabian government to act against them," he said in reply to Datuk Juslie Ajirol (BN-Libaran) who asked what action can the Malaysian embassy take against Malaysians who distorted facts and gave a wrong perception of the country.
Kohilan said the government hopes that the Bersih organisers are not too obsessed with political ideology so as to mar the sanctity of holy cities Mecca and Medina.
Khalid Samad (PKR-Shah Alam) then stood up and chided Kohilan whom he claimed did not understand the true meaning of the word 'umrah.'
"Umrah is also a rally," said Khalid who then sparked a war of words with government backbenchers especially Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading). Mohamad Aziz got up and slammed Khalid for using religion as tool for his political agenda.
"Don't say umrah is also a rally. Umrah and haj are religious duties. Don't talk about Islam if you don't know," he said.
Kohilan then surprised MPs when he said "Surah Al-Baqarah ayat 197 called on Muslims to perform the haj in an orderly manner and to avoid disagreement. -- BERNAMA