KOTA BARU, 28 Jan — The PAS state government of Kelantan made history today when leaders of the five major religious communities were hosted to lunch with Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.
Nik Aziz said that it was his government’s intention to strengthen ties and mutual understand through the meeting which was themed ‘Mahabbah Kerajaan Kelantan Bersama Ketua-Ketua Agama’, a reference to a government expressing ‘God’s love.’
He said it was imperative that his government, based on the principle of ‘Developing together with Islam’, to put this into practice especially in the current volatile political situation.
‘This has been the practice for PAS since it was established. I am so happy with the positive reception this meeting has received,’ he said.
He said that it was proof that Kelantan had never created obstacles for members of a multi-religious society.
‘Kelantan has always validated religious and cultural diversity,’ he added at the conclusion of the meeting. The meeting was organised by the state government.
Attending the meeting were leaders from across the country representing Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs as well as 300 of their believers.
At the start of the meeting the state chairman of the Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhsim, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST), JP Kamalanathan garlanded Nik Aziz as a gesture of respect.
Anglican Bishop of West Malaysia, Ng Moon Hing, and the head monk of Kelantan, Chau Kun Ngiat, were also present.
The meeting began as a courtesy call to the Menteri Besar, by religious leaders attending the national Christian conference being held in the state.
This meeting comes amid an ongoing row over the use of the word ‘‘Allah’’ by non-Muslims.
PAS has taken the position that Islam does not prevent Christians from using the word ‘Allah’ but it should not be used to confuse Muslims.
Today the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) together with the Attorney-General’s office also organised a special session in Putrajaya to explain its position on the use of the term.
In a recent interview given to Harakahdaily, Nik Aziz said that he hoped that today’s meeting would bring calm and comfort to the people of the country.
Nik Aziz also took to task those responsible for throwing wild boar heads into mosques in the Klang Valley yesterday.
“This is a violation. It seems intended to stir-up hatred.” “Not only Muslims but people of all faiths condemn these acts,” he said.
[Source: The Malaysian Insider]