Archive for December 25th, 2007

Tsu Koon puts foot in his mouth once again

Just left the Christmas High Tea Reception hosted by the Christian Federation of Malaysia at Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur when I received an irate call from Penang.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who attended the Christmas Reception with his wife and a retinue of MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers (unlike last year, when he sent the Deputy Finance Minister, Ng Yen Yen instead – causing great annoyance all-round) had left and guests could leave.

I was in DAP MP for Seputeh, Teresa Kok’s car when I got the call. It was 5.06 pm.

At first I could not make head or tail why the caller was so indignant – something about what the new Gerakan No. 1 and Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon had said in his Christmas message and which appeared in New Straits Times.

I had read the Christmas messages of the Prime Minister (and blogged about it) and those of Ong Ka Ting, Samy Vellu and Lim Keng Yaik but missed Tsu Koon’s message.

The caller, a leading Penang NGO activist, poured out his fury and asked how Tsu Koon could say in his Christmas message that Malaysians, while celebrating Christmas, must respect Islam as the country’s official religion.

He said he was calling from a Christmas party and all who attended were very angry with Tsu Koon’s Christmas message, as what has celebration of Christmas got to do with Islam as the official religion.

I tended to agree but I said I had not read Tsu Koon’s Christmas message and it would not be fair for me to comment until I have read his Christmas message in its entirety. He asked me to check with New Straits Times. Read the rest of this entry »


Losing battle for Pak Lah’s soul

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave an excellent Christmas message when he called on Malaysians to move forward and put the country’s interest before any “narrowly-defined demands” as “over the past few months, narrow-mindedness and intolerance propounded by a small group has served to test our faith in each other”.

Ask the over two million Christians in Malaysia celebrating Christmas today whether they agree with the Prime Minister’s sentiments and I have no doubt that there will be a thumping unanimous “Yes”.

Ask them to cite a recent example of “narrow-mindedness and intolerance propounded by a small group” which had undermined the national interest with their “narrowly-defined demands”, I also have no doubt of a thumping unanimity of response by the Christians in the country – the narrow-minded decision by the Deputy Internal Security Minister,. Datuk Johari Baharum to disallow the renewal of the Bahasa section of the HERALD, the Catholic weekly and to ban the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslim Malaysians and non-Muslim faiths.

Abdullah’s Christmas message this year has served to illustrate in a most vivid fashion the losing battle for the soul of the Prime Minister to convince him to walk the talk to project Malaysia as a world model for inter-faith understanding, goodwill and harmony. Read the rest of this entry »