Hornbill Unleashed

July 14, 2013

Bishop calls for Najib to take stand against Perkasa, Jati

Elizabeth Zachariah

Najib, seen here at a Christmas party last year, must stand up to the extreme comments from groups like Perkasa and Jati, say local Christian leaders. The Malaysian Insider pic, July 13, 2013.Christians have had enough of the bashing from the likes of Perkasa and other Malay rights groups. They expect Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to intervene and “do the right thing” by rejecting such extremism.

This was the stand of the president of the Council of Churches Malaysia, Bishop Philip Lok. He was speaking to The Malaysian Insider in the wake of the demands by Perkasa and Jati that the Vatican’s envoy Archbishop Joseph Marino withdraw his support for the local church’s campaign to use the word Allah and that he must apologise within seven days.

The vocal rights groups have demanded that the government shut down the Vatican’s embassy and banish Marino if he does not apologise.

They were reacting to the Archbishop’s comments in an interview with local media that though he recognised that the ongoing court case on the Allah issue was an internal matter, he supported the position taken by the Christian Federation of Malaysia that Allah was a word for god in the Christian religion too.

Bishop Lok said that it was time the government took action against Perkasa and Jati for trying to disrupt diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the Vatican.

“We appreciate that two years ago the Prime Minister had established ties with the Vatican. He has worked hard for that. Does he want to jeopardise the good relationship that he has fostered with them over the years?” he asked.

He urged Najib to do the “right thing and reject extremism”.

“He should put an end to this and not succumb to their demands. The people of Malaysia have had enough of this.”

Referring to the rights groups, he added: “They have been saying all sorts of things against the Christians, in particular. This is no different.

“But the Government is not seen to be taking any action against these people who have been causing religious tension in the country.”

He added that the Prime Minister must ensure that his promise of national reconciliation not just remain words.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) deputy president Jagir Singh said Marino had no reason to retract his statement as he was speaking the truth.

Referring to the calls for a retraction, Mr Singh said: “It is not fair to ask him to do that. It is his right. The Archbishop’s stand is correct.”

Catholic Bishop Paul Tan said that he was shocked at the reaction of the two Malay rights NGOs, noting that the Vatican envoy’s remarks “should not be seen as an interference in Malaysia’s internal affairs any more than the demand at some embassies in Kuala
Lumpur recently that our government reject the goings-on in Egypt and Syria constitutes interference in those nations’ affairs’’.

The head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese described Perkasa and Jati’s demands as “gimmicky sabre-rattling”.

He told Malaysiakini: “Rash talk is cheap especially on the part of those who do not have the responsibility.

“Former Plantation Industries and Commodities minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said Perkasa has gone way too far in their demand.

“To ask an ambassador to leave… that is just unbelievable.

“Groups in this country have also commented on what happens in other countries. I don’t see what’s wrong,” he added.

However, Dompok was certain that the statements by Jati and Perkasa would not affect the relationshi[p between Malaysia and the Vatican.

“I believe the ties between both sovereign countries are stronger than this,” he said.

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4 Comments »

  1. Religion is an unproductive activity.

    Comment by tigeryk — July 14, 2013 @ 10:08 PM | Reply

  2. The Christian ministers and lawmakers had been maintaining dead silence because Jati and Perkasa were mouthpieces of Umno baru..While Christians do not need any NGOs or lawmakers to defend its religion, we expect these Bn Christian lawmakers to speak out against extremism and bigots from these two organisation.

    Comment by Awaken Dayak — July 14, 2013 @ 6:35 PM | Reply

  3. YES STAND UP AGAINST UMNO BN RACIST & FASCIST RELIGIOUS NONSENSE!

    WE ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO PRACTISE WHATEVER RELIGIOUS FREELY & CHOOSE NOT BE ISLAMISED. NO ONE FORCES MALAYS TO PRACTISE OTHER RELIGIONS!

    POINT ONE of the 18/20 Points Agreements says:

    Point 1: Religion

    While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo (& Sarawak)….

    Comment: This point on religious freedom was of greatest concern to the Sabah Sarawak people and they made it the FIRST point of the Agreement with the Malayans.

    The state constitutions of Sabah and Sarawak have been illegally changed to make Islam the “state religion”. Is this not FORCING Muslims to accept Malay supremacy?

    Point 2: Language

    a. Malay should be the national language of the Federation
    b. English should continue to be used for a period of 10 years after Malaysia Day
    c. English should be an official language of North Borneo for all purposes, State or Federal, without limitation of time.[7][8]

    Point 3: Constitution

    Whilst accepting that the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya should form the basis of the Constitution of Malaysia, the Constitution of Malaysia should be a completely new document drafted and agreed in the light of a free association of states and should not be a series of amendments to a Constitution drafted and agreed by different states in totally different circumstances. A new Constitution for North Borneo was of course essential. .[7][8]

    Comment: A NEW constitution was never written. They just amended the Malayan Constitution to make it apply to Sabah and Sarawak as states of Malaya/Malaysia!

    WE DEMAND THAT THE UMNO GOV’T RESPECT THE RIGHTS & FREEDOMS OF NON-MUSLIMS TO PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION/S AS PART OF THE SOLEMN AGREEMENTS AND PROMISES FOR THE FORMATION OF MALAYSIA.

    THIS IS ONE REASON WHY MANY SABAHANS AND SARAWAKIANS WANT TO TAKE THEIR COUNTRIES OUT OF MALAYSIA!

    Comment by Malays Christian — July 14, 2013 @ 2:22 PM | Reply

  4. religion or to be exact sensitive issue is getting worse when it is being politicised. someone needs to act base on the truth but not on the voice of majority. this burden is what the leader have to carry no matter what the impact upon himself.

    Comment by constantine5781 — July 14, 2013 @ 12:08 PM | Reply


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