6 June 2017
No Zionist agenda, say organisers of Jerusalem Jubilee
PETALING JAYA: There is no promotion of Zionism nor celebration of any Jewish agenda in the Jerusalem Jubilee event scheduled to be held in Melaka from June 15 to 18, say the organisers.
Denying all such allegations, the All Malaysian-Golden Gate Revival Convocation (AMGGRC) said the event was simply about a group of Christians coming together for a prayer gathering.
“AMGGRC has no intention to provoke and challenge the sensitivities of Malays and Muslims in Malaysia.
“It definitely does not carry any political connotations, implications or whatsoever meaning related to it now or in the future. It is deeply regretted that what was started with a good intention to pray for the peace and prosperity of Malaysia has caused much confusion and misunderstanding among certain groups,” a spokesman for the group told The Malaysian Insight.
The organisers also announced that they would heed police advice and cancel the event. Later yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that he had ordered the Jerusalem Jubilee event be banned.
Yesterday, Melaka PAS had warned the organisers of what it claimed was an event to promote “Zionist Christianity” and “Jewish culture” that the party will call a mass protest unless the event is cancelled.
DAP MP denies involvement in ‘Jerusalem Jubilee’ bash, files report
DAP lawmaker Teresa Kok has denied involvement in the Jerusalem Jubilee celebration, which was slated to take place in Malacca.
This morning, the Seputeh MP filed a report with the Sri Petaling police station over claims on social media linking her to the event.
“I have no clue about this programme. I wish to stress that I am not involved in organising this programme, nor do I have any intention of attending it,” she said in a media statement.
Kok believes that the fake news regarding her involvement in the celebration is aimed at tarnishing the image of DAP and her reputation.
“It is sad that certain quarters are deliberately spreading lies and fake news about me in the month of Ramadan.
“This is not the first time that I have been slandered during the month of Ramadan,” she said, citing similar campaigns against her in 2008 and 2013.
Kok urged the police and Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to investigate the matter.
5 June 2017
Church cancels Jerusalem’s Jubilee gathering on police advice
MELAKA, June 5 — The organisers of Jerusalem’s Jubilee, on the advice of the police, have called off their intention to hold the gathering from June 15 to 18. Melaka Police chief Datuk Abd Jalil Hassan said today the organisers arrived at the decision following a discussion with the police.
The Calvary Life Assembly (Chinese) had proposed to hold the gathering, reportedly to celebrate the Jewish recapture of Jerusalem in 1967, in Cheng.
Abd Jalil said the police had called the organisers for a discussion and they decided after that to call off the gathering.
“The police gave their advice to the organisers and they decided to cancel the programme,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
Abd Jalil said the police had received 32 reports from around the state against the gathering.
Ahmad Zahid orders ‘Jerusalem Jubilee’ rally to be banned
IPOH, June 5 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi ordered the police to ban the Jerusalem Jubilee gathering scheduled to be held in Melaka from June 15 to 18.
Ahmad Zahid who is also the Home Minister pointed out that the rally will only hurt the Muslims if it was allowed to be held.
“When the sentiments of Muslims are affected and their feelings offended ..I as Home Minister order the police to ban the meeting. This is a message that is loud and clear.
“Whoever is organising the Jerusalem Jubilee, your permit has been cancelled under my official directive,” he said in his speech at the Perak state level ‘Instilling of Moral Values during the Month of Ramadan’ programme, here, today.
YAHOO! NEWS MALAYSIA
Unity council probes into claim that students used to propagate Islam in schools
The contentious issue of conversions has been given a new twist by allegations being investigated by Putrajaya’s unity council that Muslim students are being used to propagate subtly Islam to their non-Muslim peers in secondary schools.
Sources in the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) said the claims were raised by a non-Muslim religious head at a dialogue with the council last month and were being investigated.
“We are verifying the claim,” the source told The Malaysian Insider.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source, who is a member of the NUCC, said the council would have to first determine if there was a basis to the claim.
“This is a serious allegation and we have to do some checking,” the source said.
He said if the allegations were found to have basis, the NUCC would address the issue in its interim report to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
6:22PM May 7, 2014
UiTM seminar was ‘hate speech’, says CFM
The seminar on Christianity held at a public university yesterday was “hate speech” veiled as academic freedom, the Christian Federation of Malaysia said.
CFM chairperson Eu Hong Seng (right) said this is because there was no attempt for intellectual discussion involving the Christians themselves.
“If there is to be sincere and genuine academic freedom, then let us have an intellectual exchange with integrity instead of a one-sided presentation with arguably inaccurate information being disseminated as fact.
“Otherwise, yesterday’s seminar at UiTM would be nothing more than hate speech and sectarian religious propaganda thinly disguised as academic freedom…
“(This) causes a great diminution of scholastic integrity, greater disservice to intellectual honesty, and greatest discredit to the reputation of the public institution,” he said in a statement today.
Eu added that academic freedom does not entail presenting things as facts and not allowing interested parties room for rebuttal.
By doing so, he said UiTM had clearly “abused trust and stewardship” as a public institution of higher learning.
4:00PM May 6, 2014
NGO warns of Christian Malays posing as Muslims
An NGO has warned the Malay community that their brethren who may live and pray like a Muslim could really be Christian.
Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia secretary-general Abd Karim Omar described this as an “insider movement” where Malay Christians hide their true belief to remain within the Malay community.
He warned that if this trend continues, Malaysia’s Christian population, which currently stands at only 9.2 percent, could grow up to 40 percent to match the Muslim population.
He gave an example where Nigeria’s Christian population grew from 21.4 percent in 1953 to 49.3 percent, exceeding the Muslim population which only grew from 45.3 percent to 48.8 percent.
“Could this happen to Malaysia?” he asked some 1,000 participants at a seminar entitled “The word ‘Allah’ and Christology in the Malay Archipelago”, which mostly comprise varsity and secondary school students.
However, Karim did not provide any concrete data for his projection on Malaysia’s Christian population.
To prove his point on the alleged Malay Christian “insider movement”, Karim quoted a 2012 research paper entitled ‘The socio-religious identity and life of the Malay Christians of Malaysia’.
“These Malay Christians do not have a cross in their hopes… Sometimes they even go to mosques so that people will not know they have converted,” he said.
He said the existence of this community is a result of Christian evangelist use of “contextualisation”, a strategy to evangelise people of other religions but integrating elements of their religion and culture to Christianity.
“For Muslims who need to recite two Syahada, the evangelists said all they need is to recite a third one for Isa (Jesus), that is enough, this is like Shiism,” he said.
Undercover Christian priests here as football coaches, Muslim NGO tells forum
BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
May 06, 2014
A Muslim non-governmental organisation has warned of undercover Christian priests who have been sent to Malaysia under different guises to proselytise and convert Muslims.
Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia (Muafakat) president Abdul Karim Omar said these “undercover priests” worked with Muslim children as football coaches and others.
“I know of one priest who was sent to Malaysia, who is now a football coach in Subang Jaya.
“What is scary is that there are many Muslim parents who send their children there,” he said at a seminar on the use of the word “Allah” and Christology at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) today.
“What happens is that these kids are then brought over to Brazil under the guise of attending football training, but are instead brought to churches there.”
Karim claimed he learnt of this “Christianisation strategy” from a Brazilian website which listed the names of Christian priests sent all over the world to proselytise.
”And there are a few in Malaysia and I have tracked them down.”
He went on to reveal that young graduates from the United States were also used to proselytise to Muslims here.
“These young graduates work for the church in the US and under the campus ministry, they come here.
“They make friends with Muslim students and under the pretence of wanting to know more about Islam, they proselytise. Some naive Muslims have even brought these Americans home for Hari Raya,” he told the 1,000 crowd, consisting mainly of students.
WITH THE POLICE PREPARED FOR TROUBLE IN PENANG, TROUBLE-MAKERS TAKE A NEW TACK: ISOLATED, LONELY CHRISTIAN GRAVEYARD!
Wednesday January 29, 2014 MYT 6:05:06 PM
Eight gravestones in Kuantan Christian cemetery vandalised
KUANTAN: At least eight gravestones at a Christian cemetery in Tanjung Api near here were damaged by vandals.
Most have its structures broken including crosses using a heavy tool. Several others had its flowerpots as well as other stone markers damaged, removed and smashed into pieces.
Christian cemetery targeted in Kuantan, eight gravestones damaged
Latest Update: January 29, 2014 09:37 pm
As religious tensions run high in the country, eight gravestones at a Christian cemetery in Tanjung Api, near Kuantan, were found damaged.
The Star Online reported that most of the gravestones had its structures broken, including crosses, possibly with the use of a heavy tool. Several others had its flowerpots as well as other stone markers damaged, removed and smashed into pieces.
Kuantan Tanjung Api Christian Cemetery Committee chairperson Datuk Jack How said a grass cutter who was engaged to clean the cemetery monthly spotted the damaged and alerted him today.
How, who is also the Indera Mahkota MCA division chief, said the cemetery was located on a piece of state land measuring 1.5 acres. He said it was shared by 36 churches in Kuantan since 1997.
“The area is accessible via a small gate at any time of the day.
Free Malaysia Today
Heavy police presence at churches and mosques
Penang CPO says his men will not rest until the culprits are nabbed.
GEORGE TOWN: Close to 300 policemen have started patrol duty outside churches and mosques after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a church in Lebuh Farquhar here on Monday.
Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi told FMT that the patrol duty would start at about 11pm until early morning to ensure no recurrence of such incidents.
“We are going all out to ensure the safety of the public, especially to ensure no recurrence of such incidents in places of worship,” he added.
He explained that police would aso work closely with the public to keep a close watch over churches and mosques and policemen from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) have been placed at undisclosed locations.
I can’t reveal the locations and not all officers and policemen would be in uniform,” he added.
A check by FMT at a few locations around town, namely Lebuh Farquhar, Pulau Tikus and Jalan Macalister showed that many police vehicles were already on standby.
More cops from Ipoh to patrol Penang churches, mosque
250 more cops from Ipoh to patrol Penang churches, mosques
An extra 250 policemen from Ipoh will now join increased patrols at churches and mosques in Penang after this morning’s Molotov cocktail attack at the Church of the Assumption in George Town.
The Catholic church was attacked after a controversial banner with the words “Allah” was found outside it before Sunday Mass, police had said. Only one exploded after the other fell on the grass.
Police are looking for two men who were believed to be behind this morning’s attack. – January 27, 2014.
In recent days, someone has been busy trying to provoke Christians.
We will not bow to religious extremists, says Guan Eng over Molotov cocktail attack at church
BY LOOI SUE-CHERN
January 27, 2014
The Penang government will not bow to religious extremists and racial bigots, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng following this morning’s attack on a church in Lebuh Farquhar.
He said the state government will instead use the “weapons of social justice and sustainable development” to defeat the acts of violence and hatred in Penang.
“In this critical hour with shadowy extremists and racist forces conducting sustained aggression to destabilise the Penang state government, the 1.6 million Penangites must reaffirm the commitment for the past 200 years to protect, preserve and promote respect for cultural diversity, racial and religious harmony by rejecting both violence and hatred,” he said in a statement today.
Free Malaysia Today
Petrol bomb attack on Church in Penang
Police urged to swiftly put an end to threat to racial and religious harmony in the country.
GEORGE TOWN: A City Parish church supervisor has called on the police to speed up their investigations and put an end on the current spate of attacks on churches in Penang.
John David said the Molotov cocktail attack on the Church of Assumption in Lebuh Farquahar here early today was a threat to racial and religious harmony in the country.
The other three are St Francis Xavier’s Church, Lady of Sorrow Church and St John Britto Catholic Church.
The 228-year-old Church of Assumption was attacked about 1.30am when the church guard heard an explosion and saw a fire near the St Virgin Mary shrine, which sits at the church front.
John said the guard saw a man fleeing from the scene on foot along the main road.
“The guard could not recognise the person because the street light was yellowish and not bright enough. There was also no CCTV nearby to identify the person,” said John.
27 January 2014| last updated at 01:54PM
Molotov cocktails thrown into church compound in Penang
GEORGE TOWN: A caretaker of a church in Lebuh Farquhar here was awakened by an explosion of Molotov cocktails at the compound in the wee hours of the morning here earlier today.
Click on this link for the photo:
Free Malaysia Today
KEPALA BATAS: Penang police have dismissed the involvement of churches in the state in relation to three banners depicting Jesus as the son of Allah which have sparked outrage amongst Muslims and Malay NGOs including Umno here.
State police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi said the police believe provocation was the motive of the placing of the banners by certain quarters here.
6:00PM Jan 26, 2014
Churches find ‘Jesus, son of Allah’ banners
Banners with the words “Allah is Great”, Jesus is the Son of Allah”, have been found in at least five churches in Penang today, raising tension up a notch in this multi-ethnic state.
The churches are – Immaculate Conception, Pulau Tikus, St John Britto Church, Sungai Pinang, Assumption Church, Farquhar Street, Victoria Lutheran Church, Island Glades and Church of the Navity in Butterworth.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng tweeted that some church leaders are upset with the banner.
“Spoken to Penang CPO who said will increase patrols around churches. The banners clearly intended to increase tensions between Muslims and Christians,” said one of Lim’s tweets.
An earlier one read: “A few Penang churches upset at unknown parties for hanging up banners outside their churches. One of the churches have lodged a police report”.
Due to the tense incidents, Lim had since called for an emergency meeting to address security matters on Friday, saying the state viewed the situation seriously.
Meanwhile, Penang Umno liason chief Zainal Abidin Osman said that since the churches had lodged police reports of the incident (the hanging of the banners), Penang Umno wishes not to comment further on the matter.
Stop baseless accusations over use of “Allah” – The Christian Federation of Malaysia
As the hearing date of 10 September 2013 for the appeal by the Government of Malaysia against the decision of the High Court of Malaya to allow The Herald newspaper to use the word “Allah” fast approaches, the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) notes with grave concern the calls by various groups to “defend” Islam from being insulted and threatened.
In particular, we refer to a television programme in which untrue and unsubstantiated accusations were made about so-called Christian plots to convert Muslims, and to the official Friday sermon (khutbah) written by JAKIM (the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia or Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia) and delivered on 6 September 2013, which called for “action” (“tindakan”) in defence of Islam by Muslims over the use of the word “Allah” for God by Christians, and that such defence was a “holy struggle” (“perjuangan suci”).
The issue then is whether such calls would become the catalyst and the incitement of reactions which may result in public disorder. Even a cursory examination of these accusations and statements will clearly show that they are emotional and without factual basis. However, the call for “action” by some Muslims is incendiary and alarming to ordinary Malaysians.
Worst of all, there appears to be no action or statement whatsoever from any governmental authority in our nation, calling for calm or even ordering a stop to such stoking of anger and heightening of feelings.
Putrajaya’s silence on calls to defend Islam from “threats and insults” is worrying, say Christians
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) is concerned over Putrajaya’s inaction in cooling rising temperatures on the “Allah” issue, ahead of the case which will be heard at the Court of Appeal tomorrow.
Its chairman Rev Dr Eu Hong Seng said there had been calls by various groups to defend Islam from being insulted and threatened.
“The call for ‘action’ by some Muslims is incendiary and alarming to ordinary Malaysians.
“Worst of all, there appears to be no action or statement from any government authority calling for calm or even ordering a stop to such actions, which is clearly stoking anger,” Dr Eu said in a statement.
Tomorrow, the court will hear the government’s appeal against a 2009 High Court ruling that allows the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in the Herald, a weekly Catholic newspaper.
ARE CHRISTIANS IN FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF BASHING?
Muslims in appearance, Christians at heart? They exist, says Umno paper
A new conspiracy theory has emerged regarding Malays who have been allegedly converted to Christianity but continue living as Muslims, a process called contextualisation, reported Umno mouthpiece Mingguan Malaysia.
The newspaper quoted Islamic non-government organisation Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Malaysia (Muafakat) as saying the theory had been explained clearly in a doctoral thesis written by an American priest who had interviewed 20 Malay Christians.
Muafakat secretary-general A. Karim Omar claimed that some of the apostates admitted they still followed their fathers to the mosque, fasted during Ramadhan and continued praying at homes, just like any other Muslim.
Malays are converted into Christianity through a “devious” strategy called “contextualisation”, whereby Malays who have converted continue the facade of living as Muslims, an Islamic NGO said.
Mingguan Malaysia reported that Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Malaysia (Muafakat) said this strategy was detailed out in a doctoral thesis by an American priest, who interviewed 20 Malay Christians.
“Some of the apostates admit to still following their fathers to the mosque, fasting and even praying at home like Muslims,” Muafakat secretary general A Karim Omar was quoted as saying.
He reportedly presented a working paper on this at a forum to discuss the Christian agenda, organised by NGOs Pertubuhan-pertubuhan Pembela Islam and Majlis Amal Islami Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Mingguan quoted A Karim as saying that the “contextualistaion” strategy helps the Malay Christians to get used to their “new position as apostates” and to avoid ostracisation by their own community.
“It’s like in Indonesia where a church changes their mass prayers from Sunday to Friday to be closer to Islamic practice,” he said.
He also claims that some 400,000 people worldwide are using this “contextualisation” strategy, but does not know the numbers for Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Berita Harian reported that A Karim also alleged that a church in Subang, Selangor is cooperating with overseas missions to bring preachers meant to convert Muslims in Malaysia.
“Two of them are often seen moving between Central Market and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, dressed neatly and wearing a tag which says ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,” he was quoted as saying.
Separately, Berita Harian also reported that a Bible and video compact disc and leaflets about Christianity was placed at a bus stop in Jeli, Kelantan by two men “believed to be in an effort to deviate Muslims”.
Group claims new ploy used to convert Muslims
A High Court had in 2009 ruled that the Catholic Church had the right to publish the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its newspaper, Herald, as the Arabic word was not exclusive to Islam, contrary to the belief of many Muslim Malaysians.
Issues concerning religion and race in this country of 28 million, where 60 per cent are constitutionally defined as Malay and Muslim, touch a nerve and have sparked violence in the past, leading to attacks on several places of worship nationwide in 2010 following the landmark judgment.
The Home Ministry is appealing High Court judgment and the Court of Appeal is currently hearing an appeal by several state Islamic councils to intervene in the case as well.
Hearing for intervention is set to resume on May 23.
Muslim lawyers see red over Christian ‘Allah’ prayer poster on Facebook
KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — An evangelical church group’s Facebook message calling Christians to pray for “Allah’s blessings” on the country has riled up a group of Muslim lawyers who are demanding state Islamic bodies act against what they have branded a “criminal” offence against their creed.
The Muslim Lawyers Society of Malaysia (PPPMM) today accused the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship of Malaysia (NECF) of committing “criminal” blasphemy against Islam by misappropriating the name of the Islamic god for their purposes, even as the dispute is being heard in the Court of Appeal.
“It is an offence for any party to deliberately and continuously use Allah and a few other words with roots from Islam in the context of a non-Islamic religious for any purpose.
“The NECF poster that has clearly misused the sacred name of Allah is obviously a criminal action and breaches the Schedule of (Section 9) Part I of the Enactment that forbids the use of the name of Allah as well as other Islamic terms by non-Muslims,” PPPMM president Datuk Zainul Rija Abu Bakar said in a statement.
Claiming to have received numerous complaints from various non-governmental Islamic organisations, Zainul urged the respective state Islamic departments and councils to file police reports to pressure the government to act against the church.
In its Facebook page, the umbrella body representing the country’s evangelical churches urged, in the national language, all churches and Christians to “embrace, love and bless the country with Allah’s presence and power”.
The same message was also carried in English and Chinese.
Under a project it called “Malaysia My Home”, the NECF urged believers in the faith to put prayer and action together for God’s blessing to institute “real and lasting change for our communities”.
The message also called on Christians to “get to know the people around you” and to “extend help to those in need”.
The message was posted on May 9 — four days after Malaysia’s hotly contested 13th general election and in which the results have fractured society.
Penang Muslim Network takes to the streets over ‘Allah’ issue
GEORGE TOWN, Dec 28 — Penang Muslim Network (JMPP) members marched 500 metres from a mosque in Macalister Road to Komtar after Friday prayers today to demand an apology from DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng over his call for the federal government to allow the use of the word “Allah” in Malay-language bibles.
The group comprising about 50 members, led by JMPP coordinator Mohd Hafiz Mohd Nordin, carried banners demanding that “Father Joseph Lim Guan Eng” apologise and retract his statement as they started the march at about 2pm.
Two Federal Reserve Unit trucks and several police patrol units were already waiting for the demonstrators at the Komtar underpass where the demonstrators stopped and shouted through loud hailers.
Earlier, a scuffle almost broke out when the police tried to stop the demonstrators from marching to Komtar after they gathered in front of the mosque.
However, after a brief negotiation between the members of the group and the police, they were allowed to march through the busy Penang Road, effectively closing off the whole road and bringing traffic to a standstill.
At the Komtar underpass, the group recited a prayer and shouted for Lim, who is also Penang chief minister, to retract his statement and also for Muslims in Penang not to trust Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
“Even in delivering a Christmas message, he had to include such religious sentiments against the Muslims, this showed how insensitive and discriminatory the PR and DAP are,” claimed Mohd Hafiz.
He also said Lim’s statement is not only an insult to all Muslims in the country but also an insult to the King.
Stop demanding religious equality, says ex-Fatwa Council chief
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 ― Non-Muslims should drop their demand to use “Allah” for their gods as the Arabic word is fundamental to Islamic belief and therefore exclusive to Muslims, National Fatwa Council former chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim was reported saying in a Malay daily.
Ismail was weighing in on the latest debate over the Arabic word for god, in a row between Islamist opposition party PAS and its secular ally, DAP, which appears to be a hot-button topic in the run-up to national polls due soon.
“Enough is enough, enough with all the other policies, including the ones enshrined in the Constitution that has been claimed for equality, to be granted equal rights… therefore the right to recognise the concept of the divinity in this religion, don’t grab, challenge and manipulate so. The name ‘Allah’ is still something basic and fundamental to Islam.
Without naming anyone, he urged the parties against looking for petty reasons to justify the usage of “Allah” for the Christian god.
An urgent meeting among the heads of Pakatan Rakyat parties will be called to discuss the recurring contradiction of views on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims.
Saying this at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said this is despite the issue having been resolved before.
“This issue was resolved. We not only had a meeting but elaborated in discussions on the subject, and referred to texts, including Quranic texts.
“Now it has resurfaced, it would require an urgent meeting,” he told reporters today.
The thorny matter raised its head again when DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, in his Christmas message, called on Putrajaya to allow Christians to use the term ‘Allah’ in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible.
DAP later clarified that the call was only for the term to be allowed for use in Sabah and Sarawak.
In response, PAS secretary general Mustafa Ali and Information Chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said that term ‘Allah’ should not be used in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible as the correct translation for God should be ‘Tuhan’.
BEING CHRISTIAN: AT THE MERCY OF THE POLITICIANS
Both UMNO and PAS agree that Allah should not be used by Christians.
DAP, PAS send mixed messages on ‘Allah’ issue
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 — In a fresh debate over the word “Allah”, PAS says that Christians should not use it to describe their god in the Bible, while its political ally DAP insists that Christians in East Malaysia should be allowed to use the Arabic word.
PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said today the use of the word “Allah” in the Alkitab, the Malay-language translation of the Bible, would not reflect the original text’s meaning.
“PAS’ stand is that the Bahasa Melayu Bible should replace the ‘God’ term with ‘Tuhan’ and not ‘Allah’ to mirror the actual meaning of the original text,” he said in a press statement.
Tuan Ibrahim said both Christians and Muslims could be confused when the word “Allah” is used in the Alkitab.
He said “Allah” was a sacred name for the Muslims and should be used appropriately.
On Monday, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had raised the controversial “Allah” issue in his Christmas message.
“…..DAP urges the BN Federal government to allow the use of the word ‘Allah’ on the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible as has been allowed in Sabah and Sarawak for the last 50 years and practised in the Middle East for more than a thousand years,” Lim wrote in a statement on December 24 in English and Mandarin.
Zairil Khir Johari, DAP’s assistant publicity secretary, said today that Lim’s words have been “twisted”, saying that the Penang chief minister had only asked Putrajaya not to deny the rights of Christians in East Malaysia to use the word “Allah”.
|3:04PM Dec 26, 2012|
PAS today stated its stance that the Malay version of Bible should replace the word ‘God’ with ‘Tuhan’ and not ‘Allah’ to embody the true meaning of the Bible’s original text.
“As the Malay version of Bible is the direct translation of the English version, thus the word ‘God’ does not mean ‘Allah’ because the precise translation would be ‘Tuhan,” said PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man in a statement today.
The same stance has been stated by the party’s secretary-general Mustafa Ali in a report in Malay daily Sinar Harian today.
|1:49PM Dec 26, 2012|
DAP has today clarified that its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s earlier call for the government to allow Christians to use the word ‘Allah’ only referred to the Malay version Bible in Sabah and Sarawak.
“This allegation (that the call referred to Christians in peninsula) is not true, and DAP is disappointed that the secretary-general’s statement has been twisted to form a different meaning,” said DAP assistant national publicity secretary Zairil Khir Johari in a statement today.
|12:27PM Dec 26, 2012|
Responding to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s repeated call for Christians to use the word ‘Allah’, a National Fatwa Council member has reminded all parties not to challenge the council’s decision that ‘Allah’ can only be used by the Muslims in the country.
According to Malay daily Sinar Harian, Penang mufti Hassan Ahmad stated that the matter has been clearly explained by the council and it should not be polemicised any further.
“The decision to ban the usage of the word ‘Allah’ in the Bible must be respected by all races,” he was quoted as saying.
|11:55AM Dec 24, 2012|
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has urged the BN-led federal government to allow Christians to use the word ‘Allah’ in their Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible.
Lim, in his Christmas message today said in the spirit of the holiday that signifies peace, “A people-centric government can also bring peace and prosperity based on the principles of truth, freedom, justice, democracy and integrity.
“For this reason, DAP urges the BN federal government to allow the use of the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible as has been allowed in Sabah and Sarawak for the last 50 years and practised in the Middle East for more than a thousand years.”
Lim’s Christmas message
NAJIB LIFTS RESTRICTIONS ON VISIT TO THE HOLY LAND….to win the votes of Christians?
Putrajaya lifts curbs on Christian pilgrims to Israel
Assistant News Editor
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — The Najib administration has rescinded its quotas, age floor and other travel limits imposed last year on Christian Malaysians wishing to make their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, say church leaders and a tour agent.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s move, ahead of Christmas and national polls, is seen as a bid to win back dwindling support from the minority community that barely make up 10 per cent of the country’s 28 million-strong population but is regarded as a swing vote group in urban areas and crucial to the battle to reclaim the middle ground.
Court suspends government’s bid to acquire Kuantan church land
Assistant News Editor
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — The Catholic Church today won the right to challenge the Education Ministry and Pahang state’s move to acquire a piece of prime land in the state capital Kuantan where the St Thomas Church is located, in the latest legal dispute pitting non-Muslims against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
The Kuantan High Court also suspended the government’s bid to acquire the 0.7-hectare piece of land in Jalan Gambut, which also houses the SM St Thomas Catholic mission school, pending the outcome of the challenge that will be next argued in court next January 11.
“The court held that the church’s application is not frivolous,” church lawyer Benedict Wong told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.
“The court granted a stay of acquisition pending the full hearing of the judicial review against the Ministry of Education,” he said, adding the stay order was unchallenged by the senior federal counsel acting for the government.
Kuantan court to hear church argument against land acquisition
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 ― The Roman Catholic Church will argue tomorrow that the Pahang state education department’s move to acquire half of the property where the St Thomas Church is located for a school is against the constitutional guarantee of worship, in the latest issue to pit non-Muslims against the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
The matter comes even as the Church awaits a court date for the Home Ministry appeal against a High Court decision on December 31, 2009 allowing the former to publish the word “Allah”, its weekly paper The Herald.
The Malaysian Insider understands that the Kuantan High Court will hear the application for leave for a judicial review tomorrow morning.
The Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur has named the Pahang Land and Mines Department director and the Education Ministry as respondents in its application last September 5 for leave from the High Court for a judicial review on the decision.
“We need the land for our own use and expansion as we have a growing Catholic community and we are conducting our Sunday School classes in the classrooms,” St Thomas Church parish priest Reverend Father Mitchel Anthony had said in a media statement obtained by The Malaysian Insider.
“Furthermore, the express condition in our land title is stated as ‘Tanah ini hendaklah digunakan untuk Tapak Gereja sahaja’, meaning the land is meant for church use only,” he added.
He also urged the government to stop the acquisition process and “to protect our right to our land as well as our freedom of religion as enshrined in our Federal Constitution”.
“Our Archbishop has written to the honourable prime minister asking him to intervene in this acquisition matter,” the parish priest added.
Coincidentally, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s home state is Pahang where the St Thomas Church is located.
Some 20 representatives from CFM were present at the meeting with Pakatan leaders among whom were Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and Mujahid Yusof Rawa (both from PAS), Tian Chua, Chua Jui Meng, Dr Tan Tee Kwong and R Sivarasa (all PKR), and Ngeh Koo Ham and Teresa Kok (both DAP).
Amid uneasiness over another round of Christian bashing in the guise of attacks on Anwar Ibrahim for consorting with Christian leaders, sections of the Pakatan Rakyat leadership cohort held a closed-door briefing for members of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) earlier this week in Kuala Lumpur.
According to CFM sources who attended the meeting, its purpose was to reassure Christian leaders that Pakatan’s quest for an egalitarian Malaysia would be firmly on track the minute they take hold of Putrajaya, a goal that seems increasingly attainable judging from rousing receptions to the coalition’s ceramah nationwide.
“The aim of the Pakatan leaders who met up with us was to reassure us that no matter what slant the attacks on Pakatan or its principal leaders take, the coalition would be unswerving in its quest for political and economic reform,” said an attendee who spoke to Malaysiakini.
“That was music to our ears because we feel that only with major political and economic reform, the spate of Christian bashing we have seen in recent years would be a thing of the past,” he elaborated.
Mysterious leaflets alleging PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is a believer of religious pluralism, with a close relationship with Christian leaders, were distributed around Slim River this morning, a day before the opposition leader’s ceramah there.
According to PKR Wanita exco member Chua Yee Ling, the leaflets, written in Malay, were mostly found at food courts and marketplaces. Some shop owners claimed that they received the leaflets in their mail boxes.
“Our members received the leaflets defaming Anwar everywhere in Slim River town centre… they don’t know who distributed them,” she said when contacted.
The most striking among them was a full colour eight page booklet ‘Anwar Ibrahim & Pluralisme Agama’ (Anwar Ibrahim & Religious Pluralism).
Religious pluralism is a belief that all religions should be treated as the same.
The booklet contained photographs of Anwar attending events hosted by the Christian community and interacting with prominent Christian leaders and priests who were circled in red for clarity.
Descriptions of the pictures were accompanied by captions of the events and the text passages constantly highlighted the fact that Anwar allowed the word ‘Allah’ to be used by the Christians.
There was also a photograph of Anwar paying his respects at the late Selangor state government aide Teoh Beng Hock’s funeral with a caption underneath stating, “As a follower of pluralism, practicing the religious ceremonies of other religions is a norm.”
Pembela wants ‘Christian conspiracy’ claims probed
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Muslim pressure group Pembela today urged the authorities to probe the validity of renewed claims of a conspiracy between DAP leaders and clergymen here to turn Malaysia into a Christian state.
In a statement here, the conservative group pointed out that since the allegations first hit media headlines last year, a police report has been lodged and several lawmakers have also come forward claiming to have knowledge of the matter.
“To determine the validity of the accusation, which was preceded by a police report last May 13, Pembela urges the authorities, particularly the police and the state religious councils, to conduct thorough probes.
“Action should be taken to ensure this matter is handled appropriately within the scope of the law and the Federal Constitution,” Pembela chairman Aminuddin Yahaya said.
He also urged for appropriate action from the National Unity and Integration Department in the Prime Minister’s Department, saying it was necessary to ensure that all religious leaders in the country receive “intensive explanation” on the “implications of the privileges of Islam in the Federal Constitution as well as the position of other religions”.
“Pembela [also] urges all Islamic NGOs and Muslims not to act outside the confines of the law when faced with matters like these, and should instead stand united to solve it,” he said.
Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing has expressed “huge relief that there is now at least one Muslim leader willing to treat with the derision it deserves the notion that Christians in the country want to make Malaysia a Christian state”.
Tan, who heads the Malacca-Johor diocese of the Catholic Church and is concurrently president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, was referring to remarks made by Mujahid Yusof Rawa of PAS at a public forum in Penang yesterday.
Mujahid, who is the MP for Parit Buntar, derided the notion that certain Christian groups are behaving like fifth columnists in Muslim-dominant Malaysia.
“I don’t suppose that the praise of a Christian leader would do a power of good to the career of a Muslim politician on the make within his fold.
“But I will not allow that consideration to restrain my gratitude for voices such as his that oppose nonsense with sense, mathematical in this instance,” the Jesuit-trained prelate remarked wryly in an immediate reaction to Mujahid’s comments at the forum.
PAS central committee member Mujahid Yusof Rawa has dismissed the possibility of Christians setting up a Christian state as their believers consist of only a fraction of the country’s population.
Mujahid pointed out that the latest statistics showed that the Christian population in Malaysia was only about 9.2 percent (or about 2.6 million people).
He added that based on the same statistics, there are more Buddhists in the country than Christians.
“They should be saying that Buddhists want to create a Buddhist state as they constitute about 16 percent of the country’s population,” said Mujahid, the Parit Buntar MP.
“How can only 9.2 percent of the population, a minority group, set up a Christian state? Tell me how in the world this could happen?” he queried.
“There are about 67 percent of Muslims in Malaysia. It is not possible for 9.2 percent of the population to create such a state,” he stressed at the Forum on ‘Masih Relevankah Ketuanan Melayu?’ organised by the Islamic Renaissance Front and Liberty Centre Penang yesterday.
He refused to release the photographs to the media, but denied that it was because he was afraid to be sued by the DAP.
Ex-Pakatan man revives ‘Christian Malaysia’ report, shows ‘proof’ in Parliament
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — An independent federal lawmaker today sought to revive last year’s “Christian Malaysia” allegations against the DAP, revealing in Parliament what he claimed was photographic evidence of an alleged plot by party leaders and foreign clergymen to turn the country into a Christian state.
Zulkifli Noordin (IND-Kulim Bandar Baharu) urged Putrajaya to investigate the matter, saying the Malay community, as the country’s dominant ethnic group, have compromised too much over the years.
The former PKR lawmaker said he was in possession of photographic proof of a thanksgiving held in Penang last year on May 5, shortly after the Sarawak state election on April 16, where DAP leaders and a group of local and foreign clergymen had prayed to install a Christian Prime Minister and turn the country into a Christian state.
Listing those in attendance, which he said included priests and pastors from United Kingdom and South Africa, Zulkifli said it was also admitted during the dinner that foreign churches were willing to channel funds to help the opposition’s political struggle here.
“The priest from South Africa said he was invited to observe the Sarawak polls, and that he was disappointed in how the Christians have been sidelined in Malaysia, especially on the AlKitab Malay language bibles issue.
“He requested that something is done to help spread Christianity here and said that money is not a problem and that the churches in Africa are ready to help.”
Nasharuddin is regarded as a PAS renegade due to his overly cozy ties with Umno but he has yet to be officially censured by the party.
He was once photographed sitting next to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak at the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) assembly in Saudi Arabia early last month.
PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub and central working committee member Khalid Samad said today the statement made by former party deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa has nothing to do with PAS.
At a press conference to respond to Nasharuddin’s statement that DAP wants to form a Christian state, Khalid said Nasharuddin’s acts raised suspicions that he was following the instructions of “those outside of PAS”.
“To me, his actions have been planned by those outside of PAS, like Umno, to cause trouble in Pakatan Rakyat and PAS.
“PAS has a syura council and the council will speak up against any move by the party that is against Islam. Nasharuddin’s statement is a personal view, and not the council’s view,” Khalid said.
Labelling it “cheap politics”, Khalid said Nasharuddin (right, in photo), who is a syura council member, had never raised the matter before, either at the council or in the central committee meetings.
This was despite Nasharuddin claiming that the prayers for the formation of the Christian state had taken place soon after the Sarawak election in April.
He added that if Nasharuddin’s statement was true, the syura council would have spoken up against it much earlier.
Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing has described the latest resurgence of the bogey of Christianisation of Malaysia, raised by PAS dissident Nasharuddin Mat Isa, as yet “another dispiriting demonstration of Goebbels’ dictum that a lie incessantly repeated will, finally, savour the truth.”
The head of the Catholic Church in the Melaka-Johor diocese, who is concurrently president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, was commenting on Nasharuddin’s remarks made at a seminar of the National Islamic Missionary Movement in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Nasharuddin is reported to have said: “I want to say, to encourage (fellow Muslims) to unite, face the strategy that is being planned by Allah’s enemies, particularly in Malaysia.”
Nasharuddin was purportedly referring to alleged attempts by Christian groups to proselytise Muslims, a claim that has waxed in recent years on the back of divisions among Malays over their political allegiance which, formerly, was monolithically for Umno and, latterly, fragmented to include PKR and PAS.
Bishop Tan said that just when one stoker – he was referring to sacked PAS state executive councilor Hasan Ali – of the bogey of Christianisation “has seemingly piped down, another emerges to fan the embers.”
Sarawak DAP has refuted allegations by a PAS leader that the party held prayers seeking the formation of a Christian state during its thanksgiving dinner after the 2011 Sarawak state elections.
“The allegations are untrue, malicious and irresponsible,” the party’s Sarawak chairperson Wong Ho Leng hit out during a press conference in the Parliament lobby today.
Wong stressed that the dinner, which was for election volunteers, and which he himself attended, was simply to express thanks and to honour the volunteers, and that no prayer session was conducted.
He related that the dinner was attended not only by volunteers but also state PKR and PAS leaders who came in “substantial numbers” and those who attended like himself will know that there was no prayer session whatsoever.
During the Sarawak state election, DAP won 12 out of 15 seats contested, double the amount of seats won in 2007. The party now has the second largest number of seats in the Sarawak state assembly.
Former PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa has alleged that a group had prayed for the establishment of a Christian nation during a thanksgiving event after the Sarawak state election last year.
“I want to say, to encourage (fellow Muslims) to unite, face the strategy that is being planned by Allah’s enemies, particularly in Malaysia.
“After the election, to celebrate their victory, for example DAP, held a thanksgiving event. During this event, among the things that was mentioned and prayed for was for Malaysia to be a Christian state.
“Because they have won big, so they prayed for Malaysia to be a Christian state. Some denials were made and there was also support. The reality is, a lot of them won,” he said.
Nasharuddin said this in his working paper that was read out during a National Islamic Missionary Movement Seminar at Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur today.
It was not sure what he meant by “denials” and “support”.
“My friends from PAS, from the top to the bottom ranks of the party, treat me as equal,” said Melvin, a resident of Selangor who decided to return to his home state to help PAS with pre-election works.
|Harakahdaily,||08 October 2012|
Oct 8: A Christian pastor is among several activists who have been helping PAS to gain a foothold in a town in Sabah in time for the next general election.
THE PITAS FOUR … (Clockwise from top left) Francis, Melvin, Dausieh and Ondon.
Francis Singoron is mobilising support to ensure victory for the Islamic party which is expected to field its candidate in Pitas, a state constituency and a town in Kudat on the northern part of Sabah.
Francis is helped by fellow Christians, Ondon Mangajil and Rakilin Mahuda @ Melvin, two of his comrades in PAS Supporters’ Wing, the party’s non-Muslim wing.
Some 60 percent of the voters in Pitas are Muslim, while the remaining are made up of the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut communities, who are largely Christian.
For Francis, he decided to throw his support behind PAS after being convinced that the party never sidelined the non-Muslims and embraced a policy of peaceful co-existence among adherents of various religions.
Church leaders back CM
Meanwhile, at a joint press conference with Lim in Penang, the group of pastors who attended Thursday’s dialogue denied that the chief minister had dragged the church into politics.
National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) northern represenyative Sam Surendran clarified that the dialogue was held at the Masyarakat Penyanyang complex and not inside a church compound as reported.
Echoing Lim, he said that there were no political speeches at the function, and that it was simply an annual dialogue between the church leaders and state government.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today said that Utusan Malaysia has yet again “twisted” facts to discredit him.
Only this time, he said, the Umno-owned daily had done so by putting words into the mouths of men of the cloth.
“(Former Council of Churches Malaysia president) Thomas Philips called me to say that he never said such things, and my people called up the other reverend, who also denied saying anything about me or Penang,” he said when contacted.
“Utusan must have asked them general questions about talking about politics in a church and they used that to juxtapose it with the dialogue I held with church leaders in Penang. It’s shameless.
“How can they put this on their front page? Utusan is really gunning for me. They love me to death.”
Lutheran Evangelical Church bishop Soloman Rajah was reported in Utusan’s Sunday version Mingguan Malaysia as censuring Lim for politicising the church.
Both the church leaders were quoted as saying that the church is no place for politicking or vote-fishing.
Lim added that the dialogue he had with Penang church leaders was an annual affair held at a community hall.
Malaysiakini reported that Lim at the dialogue last Thursday called upon church leaders to speak out against injustices.
Addressing about 300 church leaders yesterday, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that Christians must not remain quiet even if they think they are “innocent, pure and not involved in wrongful acts”.
Lim, the DAP secretary-general, said although believers are answerable to God, it is important to speak out on “Justice for All” – a slogan which had been Pakatan Rakyat’s clarion call.
“The church can play a role in this (speaking out against injustice) in order to create a stronger community,” he added, at the dialogue attended by state executive councillors Abdul Malik Abdul Kassim, Wong Hon Wai and the Christian Federation of Malaysia Penang chairperson Bishop Emeritus Antony Selvanayagam.
Others who attended the dialogue included Penang Ministers Fellowship chairperson Pastor Samuel and National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) northern representative Pastor Sam Surendran
Christians and the church have been accused of may things. We have been prosecuted.
1 There is the ban on the usage of the Arabic term Allah, which led to the firebombing of several churches.
2 There was the accusation of a Christian plot to seize control of the nation in order to undermine the position of Islam, an allegation put forth by Umno’s mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia.
3 There was the charge of an attempt to proselytise Muslims. Remember Damansara Utama Methodist Church?
4 We have again been accused of bringing in tourists to preach to Muslims. (See Penang on the hunt for ‘Christian proselytisers’ )
Jalur Tiga (Jati) president Hasan Ali has claimed that his exposes on the proselytisation of Muslims have silenced a group of Christian missionaries who are allegedly engaged in the act.
He said this includes the decision to show video footage of someone who claimed to have been approached by missionaries, and a nationwide roadshow on the issue.
“After the video, the bishop (Paul Tan) and reverend have backed down. They no longer speak of it (preaching to Muslims),” he said.
Speaking at a breaking of fast event yesterday in Kuala Lumpur with 100 Muslims who allegedly almost fell victim to proselytisation, Hasan (right) said society has realised the dangers and no longer criticises Jati.
Hasan, the former Selangor PAS commissioner and state exco, also announced the setting up of an ‘anti-apostasy foundation’.
Named Yayasan Murni Akidah (Pure Faith Foundation), this is currently in the process of registration.
It is spin-off from the Unit Selamatkan Akidah (Faith Restorers Unit) formed when he was the Selangor exco in charge of Islamic affairs.
“Through this foundation, we will present proposals to the authorities which will include policies and its implementations (on the Islamic faith),” he said.
Hasan said that Jati will also recruit Muslim preachers who are resilient and competitive, to go head to head with Christian preachers who are now spreading their faith in the interior of the country.
Free Malaysia Today
The Christian threat! Really?
Our columnist responds in his satirical manner to Ridhuan Tee’s warning.
Malaysia, like Indonesia, is in danger of being Christianised. We’re grateful to Ridhuan Tee Abdullah for the revelation and the warning.
Ridhuan Tee, who has long styled himself a champion of Islam, noted that Muslim Indonesians converted to Christianity due to a variety of factors, including the high poverty rate there and the lack of laws to protect Muslims against Christian proselytisation.
He warned that the Christianisation movement was on the upswing in this country.
Now it would be embarrassing to find out that after all our efforts to proselytise among the non-Malays, the number of Muslims in this country is actually declining.
If what Ridhuan Tee says is true, then there is really a cause for concern and we need to stem the tide. No wonder our concerned government decided to ban Malay Bibles and to prohibit non-Muslims from mentioning God’s name.
And with so many Malays still living below the poverty line, the danger is ever present, especially when one considers the fact that the Indonesians are converting in order to get out of poverty.
But how come so many Malays in Malaysia are still poor? Why hasn’t Umno done its job of lifting the Malays out of poverty?
Perhaps Ridhuan Tee will answer these questions in a later article. Continuing with our review of his latest article, Ridhuan Tee cited a passage from the Quran to suggest that Muslims should treat Christians as their enemies.
The writer, who is a tour guide, trained pilot and naturalist, hopes readers will see through the satire in this article
Ideas expressed at the Forum:
1 No evangelization for 5 years by both Islam and Christianity.
2 Evaluate PKR due to PAS.
3 Reflect on the life of Christ: Christ was not a political activist.“He rebelled against the Roman empire by riding on donkeys and protesting just like (electoral reform watchdog) Bersih did.”
Free Malaysia Today
Forum mulls moratorium on conversions
Catholic Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general-secretary Hermen Shastri also says Christians must evaluate Pakatan Rakyat.
PETALING JAYA: Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) general-secretary Hermen Shastri has suggested that there be a moratorium on conversions on two major faiths – Islam and Christianity.
“The most ideal situation is for us to have a moratorium for a period of five years,” said the Methodist Christian priest at a forum entitled “Jesus in the Changing Malaysia” organised by the Community Action Network and co-hosted by Christian Renewal Society and Friends in Conversation.
He also cautioned the audience of 40-odd people about a vote for Pakatan Rakyat.
This is because co-panelist rights and church activist Paul Sinappan had in his speech earlier said that the Indian communities he worked with are all in support for PKR.
“The estate workers know that the Barisan Nasional government doesn’t have a clear policy for workers. They are supportive of PKR and are aware that change cannot be brought about immediately,” he said.
Taking this point forward Shastri said the Christian community needs to evaluate Pakatan.
“If we are PKR friendly we may have problems with PAS,” said Shastri in relations to the Islamic party’s agenda of an Islamist state.
He further stated that the Christian voice was strongest in Sabah and Sarawak, citing the case of the Malay bible last year.
In that case, the federal government allowed Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to use Malay Bibles but did not allow Peninsular Malaysia based Christians to do so.
Shastri was earlier asked which political alliance would Christ support if he was a registered voter in Malaysia.
“Christ was not a political activist.
“He rebelled against the Roman empire by riding on donkeys and protesting just like (electoral reform watchdog) Bersih did,” he said.
He advised Christians to reflect on the life of Christ and their convictions before casting their votes.
What would Jesus be doing in Malaysia today?: A Community Action Network Event
July 25, 2012
The Community Action Network is organizing the following event which I think is interesting in light of the upcoming GE. I strongly encouraged anyone who can make it to go as the topic is thought provoking and extremely relevant for us in Malaysia.
What would Jesus be doing in Malaysia today?
As the winds of change blow in this most exciting times of political change in Malaysia, the only obstacle that is preventing the change from actually taking place are the Malaysian “Fence Sitters” who for the last 54 years have been afraid to make that choice for change. Many amongst this also reside in our Churches and sit glued to benches and pews during Sunday service without fail, listening fervently to what Jesus may be saying to them. There is a growing awakening amongst all Malaysians on the need for real change-a reform of the political landscape for Malaysians. Yet there seem to be a disjoint of the faith growth within the churches and the growth without amongst all Malaysians.This seemingly 2 worlds of faith and politics are challenge to all Christians. Is there 2 lives or only 1 life we live according to the will of God? What would Jesus be doing in Malaysia today?
This questions is at the heart of the forum on Biblical thought andaction. Our resource speakers will take us through the Bible to study the political implications/experiences of being a Christian. This is to help us enter into present day reality of the Malaysian political context, and answer the perennial thought what would Jesus do in Malaysia Today?
Moderator: Mr.Jerald Joseph (Community Action Network)
Rev. Dr.Hermen Shastri is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church and currently serves as General Secretary of theCouncil of Churches of Malaysia .He also served as the Executive Secretary of the Christian Federation of Malaysia for 11 years. An authority on ecumenism in Asia, he has attended various local and international conferences, presenting papers and contributing articles.
Mr Paul Sinnappan is a lay theologian and social activist who is actively promoting liberation theology among Christians and people of other faiths especially those working on social justice and among marginalized and struggling groups.
Jerald Joseph is an international human rights activist and trainer who had his humble beginnings with the Catholic student movement and is currently the executive director of Dignity International, an international NGO with consultative status with the U.N.
Date : 7th August , 2012, Tuesday Time : 7.00 pm -10.00 pm Venue : Dignity International, A-2-7 Pusat Perdagangan Seksyen 8,Jalan Sg Jernih 8/1,Petaling Jaya, Selangor,46050,Malaysia [map as attached] Please confirm attendance ( as seats are limited) by sending your name and contact number to Ms Faribel (0123113269) –“email@example.com” no later than 5th August 2012Rev. Dr.Hermen Shastri is an ordained minister … Mr Paul Sinnappan is a lay … 00 pm -10.00 pm Venue : Dignity International, A-2-7 Pusat Perdagangan Seksyen 8 …
cacoescrib.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/what-would-jesus-be… – Cached
Free Malaysia Today
GE 13: What would Jesus do?
With the GE drawing close and the Christian electorate said to be seething, a public forum will address the winds of political change.
PETALING JAYA: The relationship between the Churches and the federal government has been nothing short of tensed as numerous contentious issues have placed both at loggerheads.
Though unspoken, it is an open secret that the faithfuls of the various Christian denominations and their leaders are seething in silent anger.
The grapevine claims that while these shepherds appear to be apolitical in public for obvious reasons, they however whisperotherwise in the ears of their respective flocks behind closed doors.
With the 13th and Najib’s first general election as head of state drawing closer, a public forum will be held this evening with regard to the upcoming contest from a Christian perspective.
And the topic of discussion: What will Jesus be doing in Malaysia today?
The speakers at the 7pm forum which will be held at Dignity International, A-2-7 Pusat Perdagangan Section 8 here are Rev Dr Hermen Shastri and Paul Sinnappan.
Shastri is the general-secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia and former executive secretary of the Christian Federation of Malaysia for 11 years whereas Sinnappan is a lay theologian, social worker in the Church and social activist working with plantation workers since the 1970s.
The speakers, read the statement, will take the audience through the Bible to study the political implications and experiences of being a Christian.
“This is to help us enter into present-day reality of the Malaysian political context, and answer the perennial thought: what would Jesus do in Malaysia Today?” it added.
The political awakening of Christian M’sians
|10:33AM Aug 2, 2012|
For the 21st Middle Malaysia podcast, media consultant Oon Yeoh speaks to Sivin Kit, a politically active Christian pastor who is currently in Norway doing his PhD on new media and politics.
Sivin explains why he thinks Christians in Malaysia have become increasingly politically aware and even politically active, and this includes church leaders like pastors, priests and nuns.
He also talks philosophically about the notion of disobeying unjust laws and whether that’s a Christian thing to do.
Sivin also addresses the issue of whether church leaders should be telling their flock how to vote. He gives a very candid reply about this highly sensitive issue.
Lastly, Sivin shares what he would tell Prime Minister Najib Razak if he wants to convince Christians that he does care about their views.
Listen to Sivin in this 12-minute podcast.
- The political awakening of Christian M’sians
10:33AM Aug 2, 2012 | 3
- PODCAST Pastor Sivin Kit explains why Christians in the country have become increasingly politically aware and even politically
Gov’t dept broke its promise
The plaintiffs, who are of Orang Asli Laut descent and members of the Orang Asli Christian congregation, were originally residents of Kampung Orang Asli Stulang Laut.
They received a directive to move to Kampung Orang Asli Kuala Masai from the Johor Bahru City Council in 1993 on the grounds that their original land was to be developed.
According to Khalip and Kelah, the JHEOA director general had given them an assurance that they could build a place of worship at the new settlement, and had done so upon relocation in 2003.
When the demolition occurred, the state failed to show any court order or proof that the chapel was sitting on state land.
Eight out of the 20 families living in Kampung Orang Asli Kual Masai are of the Christian faith.
The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya has struck out an appeal by the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) over the demolition of an Orang Asli chapel, describing the application as an abuse of the court process.
The three-member bench headed by Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad, along with Abdul Wahab Patail and Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim, was unanimous in the decision.
The court also ordered MBJB to pay RM10,000 in costs.
In September 2010, the Johor Bahru High Court had ordered the MBJB to pay damages to Khalip Bachik, Kelah Lah and 49 others of Kuala Masai, Johor, following the demolition of their chapel.
Khalip had filed the civil suit in December 2008 against the MBJB, Johor Land and Mines Department and the Orang Asli Affairs Department (JHEOA).
The MBJB failed to file affidavits in defence despite reminders being sent, and then failed to enter an appearance when the hearing dates were fixed. As a result, the council was ordered to pay damages.
It appeared alone in its appeal today. The other two appellants will have their application heard next week.
The council had claimed that the suit had been filed under the ‘Johor Bahru Town Council’ and not ‘Majlis Bandaran Johor Bahru’. Hence, it was not bound by the order imposed by the Johor Bahru High Court.
Khalip’s lawyers argued to strike out the application, saying the appeal proper was incompetent and that the memorandum of appeal was defective. This made the appeal frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.
The Orang Asli were represented by Steven Thiru and Aron Matthews, while Roger Tan and CP Lee appeared for the appellants.
In a significant decision against the government, the Orang Asli Laut of Kuala Masai, Johor were awarded damages yesterday for the unlawful demolition of their chapel by authorities in 2005.
Ruling in favour of plaintiffs Orang Asli residents Khalip Bachik and Kelah bin Lah, High Court Judge Zakiah Kassim said the defendants trespassed onto the land and had no right to tear down the chapel (pictured before demolition).
The Orang Asli had levelled their challenge against the Johor Lands and Mines director, the Johor Bahru City Council and the Orang Asli affairs department (JHEOA)
Zakiah also found that the fact that the land was not gazetted as Orang Asli land, even though this was decided upon in the year 2000, did not absolve the defendants.
The JHEOA and Johor Bahru Land Administrator had previously rejected the community’s application to build a chapel, stating that they had no right to do so as the land belonged to the government.
The court also heard of the “high handed conduct” of the state authority and city council in demolishing the chapel (right), on Dec 15, ten days before the celebration of Christmas.
The plaintiffs submitted that this was reminiscent of the Sagong Tasi case, where the Court of Appeal found against the appellant who were proven to have forcibly demolished the Orang Asli homes.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Steven N Thiru, said it is still uncertain whether the defendants will appeal the decision.
The amount of damages awarded are still to be assessed. The chapel had took three months to build and cost RM40,000.
www.malaysiakini.com/news/143404 – Cached
Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:26
Be “conscious” of your political rights, Christians told to vote for a BETTER M’SIA
Written by Ng Moon Hing
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) therefore invites and encourages all Christians to be conscious of their political rights – to vote, and to use the power of the vote to elect a government that will ensure justice with equity and the well-being of our nation. The CFM is not politically motivated nor is it endorsing any one political party.
It is of fundamental importance in a democracy, that citizens actually exercise their right to vote. Having the right to vote without utilising it is of little use. Voting ensures that every Malaysian citizen participates in bringing about a more just and equitable Malaysia for succeeding generations to come.
Therefore, it is important that as Christians, we undertake our duty as citizens and exercise our right to vote and express our preference for a political coalition that will best achieve our vision of a better Malaysia.
In terms of our vision for a better Malaysia, CFM encourages Malaysian Christians to think about the following priorities:
1. A nation guided by the ethics of respect for human dignity. This means a nation where its citizens are engaged fairly as equals, and their rights respected in accordance with the provisions as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Such a nation treats its citizens with understanding, honesty and mutual respect.
2. A nation where extremism of all kinds is rejected and quickly curtailed. Racial and religious bigotry, manipulation and lies that have now come to define the social sphere, the print media and political posturing must end immediately.
3. A nation free of corruption, putting in place strengthened state and public institutions whose members conduct themselves with integrity, transparency and accountability.
4. A nation that works towards the fair and equitable distribution of wealth and ensuring well-being for all, regardless of citizenship status, ethnicity or creed. Every citizen and every community should be empowered and enabled to pursue economic activity and achieve advancement duly and fairly supported by the government where needed and necessary without favour or discrimination and without being overly or unfairly supported by the state.
5. A nation where care for the environment is privileged over self-seeking capitalism and where its political leaders weigh all decisions with ecological interest and sustainability as an essential aspect of development.
6. A nation where language and education are de-linked from political expedience.
7. A nation where elitism and inequality is not rampant and people are recognised and respected as human beings and not discriminated against due to social position, educational attainment, political beliefs, gender, race or religion.
8. A nation where religious freedom to profess, practice and propagate one’s religion is allowed to flourish without undue curtailment from the law, restrictions or even prohibition.
Churches have a responsibility to help guide their congregations to use their wisdom in the exercise of their right to vote in order to bring about a nation where all Malaysians, and those who choose to make their living in this country, can live in harmony and prosperity, peace and justice.
May the grace and the peace of God be with you.
Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing
Chairman and the Executive Committee
The Christian Federation of Malaysia
Christians upset by Putrajaya curbs on Jerusalem pilgrimage
KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Christian Malaysians are unhappy with Putrajaya’s latest move to impose quotas, limit travel time and lengthen immigration approval for their pilgrimages to Jerusalem, an act they see as further erosion of their religious freedom under the constitution, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported.
Until 2009, Christians in this Muslim-majority country have been freely performing pilgrimages to the holy city of the world’s three major faiths — Christianity, Judaism and Islam — despite Malaysia having no diplomatic ties with Israel.
Despite lifting a two year ban on Christian Malaysian pilgrims last year, which was ostensibly imposed due to heightened security risks posed by the long-running Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Putrajaya has tightened the rules for their travel, according to an article published yesterday titled, “Malaysian Christians Complain About Israel Travel Rules”.
The international business paper reported that immigration authorities allow each church to send only up to 20 Christian Malaysians into Jerusalem in one year, halved from before 2009, and have in recent months cancelled at least one church group’s trip after it exceeded the quota.
Citing unnamed sources, WSJ reported Wisma Putra later reversed its decision and approved the trip, but did not disclose the reason.
www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/print/christians… – Cached
Gov’t making Christian pilgrimage harder’
|1:17PM Jul 6, 2012|
Malaysian Christians are complaining that government regulations are making it harder than ever to for them to make their pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal website, Christians used to have little problems visiting the holy city in Israel via travel agencies for the purpose of pilgrimage.
However, since lifting a 2009 freeze on travel to Israel in 2011, various restrictions were put in place that hinder travellers.
The report details complaints of how travellers to Israel now have to apply through their respective churches, where each is only allowed a quota of 20 pilgrims.
Prior to 2009 there were no quotas and involvement of the churches in making a travel application.
www.malaysiakini.com/news/202863 – Cached
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
Published on: Friday, June 22, 2012
Kota Kinabalu: Christians in Malaysia are grateful to the Government for having cleared the Allah controversy, in so far as allowing Bibles containing the description for God to be used by the fraternity in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.
“Now that they (Christians) don’t have to worry about restrictions, the focus is on how to bring the people to maturity in terms of educating them in the use of the Bible.
“It is how to apply the knowledge in their lives, so it’s more on engagement with the Word of God and applying that in their daily activities.
That’s more important,” said Dr Daud Soesilo, Global Translation Advisor to the United Bible Societies (UBS).
Dr Soesilo, who is of Indonesian descent and based in Australia, was in Sabah recently to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bahasa Melayu Alkitab. UBS is a united body, a fellowship of all the national Bible Societies around the world.
Although a court decision on the matter is still pending, the Government decided to make a special allowance for the Christian community in the Bornean states during the run-up to the Sarawak State election recently, a move that was praised by its Chief Minister, Tun Pattingi Haji Taib Mahmud.
This was due to the Christian communities in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan (which was formerly part of Sabah) using Bibles containing the word long before the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
The Government, thus, released the shipment of 5,000 copies of the Alkitab last year that had been impounded at the Klang and Kuching ports. Dr Daud paid tribute to Albert Corneliszn Ruyl for having completed a monumental work in translating Matthew’s Gospel into Malay in 1612.
From Jeyasingam Veluppillai
In 628 CE, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to Prophet Muhammad and requested his protection.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”
The promise is eternal and universal. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment. The charter imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties.
The document is not a modern human rights treaty but, even though it was penned in 628 AD, it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person.
If someone wants to validate, please visit http://www.sinaimonastery.com/en/index.php?lid=68
Christians can expect PERSECUTION which comes in the form of PROSECUTION by the government of the day…
Catholic priest prefers jail than pay fine if guilty of illegal assembly
Assistant News Editor
KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Rev Father Paulino Miranda could be jailed a year and fined up to RM10,000 for taking part in a candlelight vigil four years ago in Petaling Jaya near here despite a new law allowing public assemblies in Malaysia.
But the Malaysian Catholic priest has said he would rather be locked up than spend a single sen on the fine.
“I would rather go to jail than pay a fine but only if they find me guilty,” Miranda told The Malaysian Insider.
“Paying the fine would be conceding that what I did was wrong,” he added when contacted yesterday.
Miranda is among 21 people on trial for taking part in an illegal assembly in Petaling Jaya on October 9, 2008 and refusing a police order to disperse, under section 27(5)(a) and section 27(4) of the Police Act 1967 which have since been amended and replaced with a new law allowing peaceful public rallies.
Despite the change in law, the charge remains.
Read the rest in: Catholic priest prefers jail than pay fine if guilty of illegal assembly
Catholic priest prefers jail than pay fine if guilty of …
my.news.yahoo.com/catholic–priest–prefers–jail–than–pay… – Cached
A message for Christians and God-fearing people — Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko
JUNE 5 — To serve God is to speak out about evil as a sickness which should be brought to light so it can be cured. To serve God is to condemn evil in all its manifestations.
Government means service. The first love of the authorities should be for those whom they govern. And if this is really were the case, if this basic Christian truth became part of real life, if the authorities were moral, if Christian ethics dominated the principles of government, how different our lives would be…
The whole activity of Jesus Christ was aimed at making people realise that they were created for the freedom of children of God. Let us be strong through love, praying for our brothers who have been misled, without condemning anybody but condemning and unmasking evil.
* Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko was a Polish priest who preached against communism and who was murdered by agents of the Polish Communist internal intelligence agency.
A Malaysian Insider reader sent this piece in, believing that it may provide moral clarity for God-fearing Malaysians.
www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/a–message… – Cache
Man arrested for setting fire to Betong Sion Baptist Church at Saka, Jalan Lidong, Betong, SARAWAK.
Police say he is mentally ill. Not suspected of a religious motive.
- 30 May 2012
- The Star Sarawak
Man detained for suspected arson on church
BETONG: The suspected arson on a church near Betong last Sunday had nothing to do with religion, declared Betong police chief, DSP Sarifuddin Mustaffa.
He told reporters that a suspect in his 30s had been arrested following the suspicious fire incident, which took place at the Betong Sion Baptist Church at Saka, Jalan Lidong.
If those who turn away from BN are ‘Judas’, is BN ‘Jesus Christ’?
Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing has urged Christian candidates in the upcoming general election to desist from appropriating revered personages of biblical history for their campaign purposes.
www.malaysiakini.com/news/199079 – Cached
May 12, 2012
‘Judas’ label: Bian slams BN’s ‘blasphemy’
Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
State PKR chairman Baru Bian said BN’s branding of the opposition supporters as ‘Judas’ and waging politics of fear among voters was ‘extremely disturbing’.
Bian was responding to remarks made by Lawas MP Henry Sum Agong, who demanded that his constituents in Lun Bawang and neighbouring Lawas, state their stand on Barisan Nasional.
Sum Agong had reportedly told the Lun Bawang community “not to act as Judas” of BN which had contributed to their wellbeing.
His words drew ire from deeply religious Bian who said: “Branding opposition supporters, as ‘Judas’ is extremely insulting and most unbecoming of an incumbent politician.
“In doing so, he (Sum Agong) has implied that the BN has been like a saviour to the Lun Bawang, in the sense that Jesus was, to the Christians.
… not to act as Judas” of BN which had contributed to their … vote for bn. after all, the priests gets their … and well being over the last 48 years of their …hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/30182 – Cached
Penghulu Davis, meanwhile, said the community was counting on the incumbent to continue shouldering their hopes and dreams, saying that a successor might be disastrous to the unity and harmony of the various communities in the constituency, such as the Lun Bawang, Tagal, Kelabit, Brunei Malay, Kedayan, Bisaya, Iban and Chinese, which Henry had close relationship with.
In response to the call, Henry said he was prepared for any eventuality as he placed the interest of the constituents above self-interest.
He, however, said that the Lun Bawang must uphold their integrity and not act as ‘Judas’ of BN which had contributed much to their well-being,
“We must not be a race that is ungrateful and easily exploited by others with vested interest or else we will disappear from the BN list.
Lun Bawang asked to state their stand with BN – BorneoPost ..He, however, said that the Lun Bawang must uphold their integrity and not act as ‘Judas’ of BN which had contributed much to their well–being, “We must not be a race …
www.theborneopost.com/2012/05/09/lun-bawang-asked-to… – Cached