Wednesday, October 16, 2013

All not so quiet on the eastern front

In reacting angrily to the Court of Appeal ruling against the use of 'Allah', Sarawakians have crossed political and spiritual lines to display rare unity in the defence of religious freedom.
Hundreds of comments have appeared in newspapers, news portals and blogs, and on Facebook and Twitter .

Some expressed regret that Sarawak had been betrayed into joining Malaya, Sabah and Singapore into forming the Federation of Malaysia, while others called for a ban on leaders of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia, Perkasa other religious fanatics from entering the state.

Yet others told Christian Dayaks and Malaysian Chinese to quit the BN as a mark of protest. Christians account for more than 70 percent of the population of 2.6 million in the state.

Other comments include:

Jeffrey Kitingan, State Reform Party chairperson
It is not the Court of Appeal ruling but the non-action and continued policies of the Umno/BN ruling regime that will cause the ultimate demise and break-up of Malaysia unless (the prime minister) and Umno/BN show a genuine and sincere all-encompassing transformation of government and politics of inclusiveness and reconciliation.

The PM and his federal government need to be reminded that the issue started with the then home minister in banning the reference to 'Allah', arising from discretionary powers under the Printing

Presses and Publications Act 1984. It was an unequivocal act of the ruling (federal) government.
From there, the downward spiral of race relations quickened with Umno's political strategy to play the 'race and religion' card to regain its Malay heartlands. It shook the very foundation of the official 'Malaysia - Truly Asia' and the PM's own '1Malaysia' rhetoric and hollow slogans.

There is no other possibility, other than a most probable break-up of Malaysia if the race and religion division is allowed to continue.

The federal government has forgotten that it is the government for all Malaysians and not only the Malays or only in the peninsula.

It has forgotten that it is not the Federation of Malaya that they are ruling but the Federation of Malaysia where the founding fathers of Sabah and Sarawak were promised religious freedom.

Religious freedom is so important that the natives in the interiors of Sabah erected a Stone Monument, known today as the Batu Sumpah, in Keningau, to etch into perpetuity such freedom.
If not for these promises, there is no Malaysia today.

The use of 'Allah' in the Borneo states, or even in neighbouring countries, pre-date the formation of the Federation of Malaya and the Federation of Malaysia. There has been no turmoil or any threat of racial disruption.

On the contrary, in Sabah and Sarawak, there has been tranquillity of racial and religious harmony without the rhetoric of '1Malaysia'.

There is no need for a Muslim-Malay NGO to declare that 'Christians are our brothers and sisters' because in true life in Sabah and Sarawak, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives are Christians and Muslims and of other religions ...

... Lest it be forgotten, no Christian Malaysian is questioning or challenging that Islam is the official religion of the federation. It is the treatment of the minority faiths and the actions and policies of the ruling government that is the root cause of marginalisation and disenfranchisement.

If the PM accepts the reasoning of the Muslim NGO, it is time to start disengagement talks and allow Sabah and Sarawak to depart Malaysia and the peninsula can revert back to Persekutuan Tanah Melayu by itself.

There is no point in retaining Sabah and Sarawak within the federation when the ultra-Malays in Malaya keep trying to break it up and without any appropriate response or with the silent acquiescence from the federal government.

James Masing, Parti Rakyat Sarawak president
The judges of the Court of Appeal have made two faulty judgments based on ignorance of Sarawak and Sabah socio-religious conditions - the Bisi Jinggot native customary rights land case and the ban on the use of 'Allah' in the space of two months.

We cannot afford to have members of the judiciary, the interpreters of our legal system, to be ignorant of aspects of the case in which they are tasked to make judgments. Political masters must take this matter seriously.

John Brian Anthony, DAP central committee member
There is no more religious freedom in Malaysia and our forefathers' concerns over religious freedom during the formation of Malaysia 50 years ago have now come true.

Ultra Muslims think this land is entirely theirs, and as such they do not respect the rights of Christians to practise their religion.

All Dayak political leaders who are Christians should resign from the BN in order to send a clear message that to the ultra Muslims that this country does not only belong to them.

It is sad day for Malaysia when the prime minister is so weak that he cannot hold Malaysia together after this.

Daron Tan, Sarawak Ministers' Fellowship chairperson
The court decision was erroneous and in breach of the constitutional guarantee of freedom to bumiputera Christians to practise, preach and propagate faith in accordance with the biblical mandate.
They will be deemed to be law breakers, and the offence they would be committing by merely addressing God in their own language, a practice they had have adhered to for hundreds of years.

Rev Eu Hong Seng, Christian Federation of Malaysia
This is yet another erosion and infringement of the constitutional protection to the freedom of religious communities to profess and practise their faith and to manage their own affairs.
The decision might encourage and fuel further misunderstanding and mistrust between the Muslim and Christian communities which will further undermine the unity of Malaysians.

Assistant Bishop Aeries Sumping Jingan, Kuching Anglican diocese
Our Muslim brothers here have no problem at all with using the word 'Allah' in our worship and prayers. (We have been doing so) freely for the last 165 years and suddenly we are told that we can't use it in case we might confuse our Muslim friends.

If this is not an infringement of the constitutional rights of the Christians, I don't know what is.

Archbishop Bolly Lapok, Association of Churches Sarawak chairperson
For an outsider to say that the use of 'Allah' is not integral to the Christian faith is excessive, utterly irresponsible and grossly demeaning, to say the least.

The Church does not need an apologist from outside to decree what is integral or not regarding Her faith.

[Source: Mkini]

1 comment:

  1. I think it is a wake up call for all Christian bumiputras in Sabah and Sarawak. all of them have been living in a fantasy world and fallacy that they are equal to Muslim bumiputras! The Christians must make sure they don't ever vote for BN ever again. Lets not make the same mistake as you people did in the 2013 GE. Make a change for Christ's sake!!