Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad said MCA's hardline stance against hudud law was merely aimed at "scaring" the Chinese community. 

Speaking to reporters after a function in Kuala Lumpur today, Mahathir said MCA's message was not aimed at the Malays or Muslims. 

NONE"Their purpose is to frighten the Chinese, not the Malays or Muslims... MCA wants to scare the Chinese so they will shun DAP.

"In the past, MCA never objected when we declared this country to be an Islamic state and that we will practice Islamic values," he said.

Mahathir was speaking to reporters after speaking at a Universiti Malaya symposium titled 'Inter-civilisation dialogue towards peace, harmonious coexistence and sustainability'.

He was asked to comment on the MCA annual general meeting over the weekend, which saw repeated condemnation over PAS' Islamic state ambitions, and accusations that DAP were their proxy.

'Politicising hudud' 

Among other issues, Chua claimed that most countries which implemented hudud law are backwards and that Malaysia's non-Muslim community stand to suffer.

Commenting further, Mahathir said that anyone who is trying to turn hudud into a political issue were not respectful of Islam.

"Hudud is a question of religion, not politics. I disagree if they make this a political issue to show their Islamic credentials or their opposition if they are non-Muslims.

"In truth, they are (making an issue of hudud) because they don't respect Islam's teachings," he said, without specifically mentioning any party.

He added that Malaysia was an Islamic state based on the recognition given by the Islamic world.

"The federal constitution does not state if this country is secular or Islamic. But based on our definition, Malaysia is a Muslim country because the Islamic world recognise us as such," he said.

Mahathir was commenting on de facto Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz's statement to the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, in which he stated that Malaysia was not a secular country.