Religious bigotry on the rise again under Najib’s 1 Malaysia policy

By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP life advisor

The seizure of 30,000 Christian Bibles printed in Malay and imported into Malaysia is a serious breach of religious freedom. This is a glaring example of the failure of Najib’s promise of a better Malaysia for all, irrespective of race, culture and religion.

Reliable sources say that the Bibles do not contain any philosophy or teachings which are any different from the Bibles used in the country for centuries, since Christianity came into the country whether in the Peninsula or in Sarawak and Sabah.

It would appear that the Bibles were seized because the authorities consider the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the bibles was prohibited and therefore seditious. This is religious bigotry on the part of some fanatics in the muslim community.

ALLAH is the name of the God of the Christians and Muslims in Arab countries for centuries. They invoke the name Allah when they pray and, freely when they greet each other.

In Malaysia the Christian natives praise Allah when they pray and when saluting each other in every day life. To them Allah is part and parcel of their religion, culture and lifestyle. In the Peninsula there are also thousands of Christian workers from Sabah and Sarawak who go regularly to churches and pray to Allah regularly.

It is hard to understand why local Muslims are so conservative on the issue. It is time for Malaysian Muslims to move on, and embrace reforms like their Muslim brothers in the Arab countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and others.

INTERFAITH COUNCIL. This is an important issue which should be taken up by the interfaith council, and arrange for a dialogue of all the faiths to reach a common understanding.

Why 1 Malaysia has failed to promote religious understanding. It is because PM Najib announced that his 1 Malaysia does not subscribe to PLURALISM in the country. Does he imply that Islam is the big brother, and the other religions are on a lower plane.

If pluralism is not accepted, the whole concept of unity in a multiracial, multireligious society would be undermined. A united multireligious society means that the religions are equal and live together with perfect harmony and understanding.

Mr Prime Minister, please take note if you are sincere in promoting equality and unity for a better and prosperous Malaysia.

  1. #1 by Loh on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 4:28 pm

    Mamakthir’s words

    By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on March 10, 2011 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBacks (0)

    ///1. Someone asked what about the “Orang Asli” literally the “Original People”. Weren’t they in the peninsular before the Malays?

    2. They could be. So are the Red Indians, the Maoris, the aborigines of Australia, the many tribal people in many countries of the world.

    3. If we consider that the Orang Asli have more rights to claim Malaysia as their own then we should acknowledge and respect the rights of the Red Indians, the Maoris, the Australian aborigines and all the other aborigines to be given back the land we now call America, Australia, New Zealand etc.///– Mamakthir

    What is done outside the country is not of immediate concern of Malaysians. The British colonized Malaysia in the past. Malaysia has every right to colonize the United Kingdom. Do it rather than ask some among the Malaysians to pay for the sins of the Europeans. Najib suggested that Malays suffered for four hundred years, and so his government wants to take revenge. Do it. But he chose the wrong persons as his target.

    ///4. Perhaps in recognition of their rights, they are now not so ill-treated and killed as they were when the Europeans seized their lands. But this is not the same as declaring that the countries belong to the people originally found there.

    5. In Latin America there were native, indigenous or Orang Asli governments when the Europeans arrived. The Aztecs, the Mayas, the Incas had recognisable states. But the Spaniards and the Portuguese conquered their lands and set up new States and Governments. The world have recognised these states.///— Mamakthir

    Mamakthir implies that the world should be thankful that UMNO government did not carry out killing Orang Asli now or that the forefathers of Malays, (not including his) were kind to Orang Asli for not killing them off.

    ///6. In Malaysia the Orang Asli are as much citizens of the country as are the people of other races. They had never set up their own states and governments.///–Mamakthir

    The argument now seems to say that when a government has been set up, and when they are united like a secret society, then they have the right to rob, and take over properties of the original owners, including the land. So now after independence, UMNO controlled everything, and Orang Asli should consider themselves lucky to be now recognized as citizens of the land.

    When the constitution of Malaya was enacted, the leaders of Alliance party and British were negligent for having missed out Orang Asli when they recognized the position of Malays as being backward compared to the other races. Some celup-Malays now are calling non-Malays pendatang as if they were not. The persons who deserve the status and recognition as non-Pendatang are Orang Asli. If the Celup-Malays consider that Malays were placed in the special position category because they were not pendatang, then they should first ask Ornag Asli whether they were allowed to be included among Orang Asli rank.

    ///7. When the Europeans came, the governments and the states they had to deal with were Malay. All treaties were made with the Malay Governments. Even the Japanese recognised the existence of these Malay States when they drove the British out of the peninsular.///–Mamakthir

    Japanese were the hated invaders of Malaya. Whether Japanese recognized anybody was her choice. What Japanese did as invaders can certainly not be a role model for civilized people as if they were right. For argument sake, Japanese militarists knew who they could buy over to be their obedient slaves.

    ///8. Of course when the British came back, they had to gain the assent of the Malay rulers in order to set up the Malayan Union. All subsequent agreements were with Malay rulers and Malay political leaders.///–Mamakthir

    British returned after the Japanese were defeated. The British chose the convenient agents to implement her divide and rule policy.

    All agreement signed with the British by the Malays political leaders before independence were as subject of the British. Malays political leaders together with other non-Malay leaders of the Alliance party signed agreements for the independence of Malaya.

    Mamakthir would one day write that because Obama is half African, USA should belong to Africa.

    ///9. It is important to note that the Malay rulers only recognised Malays as their natural “rakyat”. They also recognised “Orang Asli” and non-Malays who had been assimilated as “rakyat”. However, non-Malays who continued to identify themselves with their countries of origin were not regarded as rakyat.///–Mamakthir

    Mamakthir can’t claim to speak for the Rulers. The rulers would have loved to have as large a population as possible to recognize them as ruler to lord over the population. Mamakthir tries to lay the ground to exclude those who would have voting rights under a new arrangement. The rulers did not bother about who were included. The politicians wanted only to have a large Malay population to ensure that the win election to be in power when ‘democratic government’ is introduced in the future

    ///10. It was only after the Malayan Union was formed that the concept of citizenship was created. Still those recognised as rakyat of the rulers were acknowledged through what came to be regarded as special positions.///–Mamakthir

    The Malayan Union was created at the time when USA urged British, after the Second World War, to allow independence for her colonies. The term special position for Malays was only coined and included in the Federation of Malaya constitution when the British agreed to the Merdeka proposal. Citizens are the stakeholders of the new nation, and thus the politicians were careful to specify the memberships. They erred, however, in defining Malays under article 160.

    ///11. This was enshrined in the constitution. But the constitution also made it clear that the non-Malay citizens also have special position. Thus they may retain their original identity, use their own home language (mother tongue?) and perpetuate their own culture. They also have the right to teach in their own languages in Government supported primary schools and can set up their own private secondary schools.

    12. The setting up of schools which teach in their own languages is not to be confused with schools for teaching other languages.///–Mamakthir

    The teaching of mother tongue and perpetuating the practice of the culture of the citizens were accepted as though there were provided under the common law, rather than the constitution. That was what had been in practice before independence, and the leaders then were happy to have the status quo continued, without a question asked. It is only now that Mamakthir inserted all these as though it was part of the bargain by the leaders of the Alliance party.

    Mamakthir argued elsewhere that citizenship given to non-Malays was a trade off for article 153 to be included. That was not true. The report on the creation of the constitution of Malaya stated clearly that article 153 was to be for 15 years and subject to review. The late Tun Dr Ismail had said that he was surprised that non-Malays willing to accept article 153 without protest, (and hence not a result of any bargain), and he said that Malays would willingly give up article 153 when they no longer require them, out of pride. Mamakthir is rewriting history arguing about non-Malays having special position. Mamakthir should quote the relevant articles in the constitution to support his claim.

    The right to learning mother tongue is an integral part of human rights as provided under the United Nations Huamn Rights convention, and Malaysia is a member.

    ///13. We would like to see the end of all special privileges so that we can all be together. We should all be just Malaysians speaking and teaching in one national language, practitioners of one national culture, and owing loyalty only to this beloved country, Malaysia. ///–Mamakthir

    The two sentences set a new condition for Malaysia to be fair and equal for all races. The Constitution of Malaya of 1957 and of Malaysia 1963 specifies that Malaysians are all equal without any special privilege. The article 153 states that Malays were placed in the special position {because of needs}, and it was initially for 15 years and subject to review (whether there was need to continue having that article, and if so for how long) The original provision of a review after 15 years had been removed by Tun Razak when he made constitutional amendment to this article in 1972.

    Tun Razak must have agreed with Tunku that article 153 was subject to review after 15 years. He negated on this with the constitutional amendment when he was PM. Tun Razak promised to end NEP in 20 years, by 1990. Mamakthir negated this in 1990. Mamakthir now adds new condition. He is not PM, but he is giving ideas to Perkasa to cause trouble so that Najib has an excuse that his 1Malaysia concept needs to cross one more hurdle.

  2. #2 by Ray on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 4:40 pm

    By seizing the Holy Bible>>Holy Words of ALLAH meaning that Umno rejects human dignity and rights….
    BTW Is this what Islam Ideology teaches??
    Good grief … Umno Humanity terribly riunned and their party principle/honor completely gone…
    Rakyat pls alert and stay vigilant amongst ourselves we should NOT easily get this inhumane evil Brainwashing .
    Stop It altogother by voting PR into Putrajaya.

  3. #3 by yangturk on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 5:17 pm

    ?”The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its will against all others.” [Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf” Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

    First, they want us to be more patriotic and use Bahasa, then when the holy book is in Bahasa, they ban it. Make up your mind !

    Second, it is not so much the use of the word God, but more they want to deprive their own kind a choice in religion !

    “What good fortune for governments that the people do not think” – Adolf Hitler

  4. #4 by monsterball on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 5:40 pm

    First attack the so call protect the Muslims.
    Second …attack the religion and focus on Christianity…to protect Islam.
    Yes Muslims and Islamic faith are protected at all cost…as if Malaysia is suddenly attacked by
    ghosts…goblins and aliens.
    The government love it.
    It’s purpose to govern forever seems to work..for if loosing the 13th GE. materialised…all these attacks will come out in full force..for an excuse to have Emergency Rule…to protect the rouges and thieves.
    Opposition poiticians are fully aware of the signs and actions.
    They have the art to expose all by talking….and hope all can only be saved…by voters in huge majority to vote against the Govt.

  5. #5 by undertaker888 on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 5:41 pm

    the same God that punished the Babylonian king in ancient time will do the same to these umno goons.

  6. #7 by drngsc on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 6:57 pm

    Dr Chen, you cannot reason with Bigots. They are bigots.
    We can only hope and pray that the large middle class of moderate muslims will stand up and speak up, to moderate the bigots, which are giving them a bad name.
    The government, they only play politics with everything, making things worse.
    We have to change the tenant in Putrajaya

  7. #8 by Loh on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 7:24 pm

    Religion is not the issue though UMNO wants to show that they are the defenders of the Islamic religion. The issue is votes. UMNO does not want to have Muslims, the basic classification for Malays, converted to become non-Muslims of whatever faith, and thus are not Malays. UMNO reckons that though PAS members are Malays, it hopes that by its racist policies, UMNO would be able to fool Malays to support UMNO in elections. So racism is the war front, and religion is the weapon.

  8. #9 by sheriff singh on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 8:36 pm

    The Alkitab has been available on line in its entirety for a very long time thanks to modern technology.

    Google and you will find more links.

    So what’s the big deal?

  9. #10 by Thor on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 8:55 pm

    He thinks that he’s the god of all god!
    He removed the cross during his visit to one church and prevented the singing of hymn as well.
    He erected the mighty “statue” of him in front of Lord Murugan’s statue in Batu caves and he even made the Chinese god of wealth jobless by throwing out goodies and money in each buy election.
    This pink lipped fella is sinful and he’s the most tainted PM of all times.
    Anyway, he and his gang will no longer be around after next year ‘cos not only will we people get rid of him but every god as well.

  10. #11 by yhsiew on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 9:15 pm

    Why can’t political leaders stop playing with the religion card?

  11. #12 by tak tahan on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 9:31 pm

    It’s because thet can’t play poker card.
    The chaptcha is getting interesting especially after few drinks la.

  12. #13 by ReformMalaysia on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 10:45 pm

    sheriff singh :
    The Alkitab has been available on line in its entirety for a very long time thanks to modern technology.

    ….Now everyone can read bible and Al-kitab…. :-)

  13. #14 by ReformMalaysia on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 11:29 pm

    1Malaysia? what is Najib talking about? Actions speak louder than words!

    Let 1Malaysia reject Barisan Nasional!

  14. #15 by monsterball on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 2:14 am

    What a bloody hypocrite and a liar….Najib is…trying to fool all with slogans…declaring he is PM for all…tempting voters …”you help me. I help you”…offering bribes and tempting all with goodies.
    All cannot work…back to old style..applying race and religion dirty politics to the extreme…creating fear and provocations the delight of extremists.
    Where is the MCA big mouth President?

  15. #16 by boh-liao on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 2:31 am

    How 2 b an instant multimillionaire in 1M’sia? Easy indeed – get yourself elected as a PR MP or ADUN, then abandon ship n jump, voila, money will rain on U, instant nouveau riche

  16. #17 by boh-liao on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 3:01 am

    We r governed by liars, d 1st Man n FLOM at first claimed no know d man ful of sai
    Yet d IO took statements fr NR n RM, Y? Obviously they involved in sodomee 2
    Hey Jude don’t be afraid …….. Hey Jude don’t let me down …… Da da da da da

  17. #18 by k1980 on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 5:31 am

    According to a study conducted by the Human Resources Ministry in 2009 on the National Employment Return, 33.8 percent of the 1.3 million workers covered in the study earned less than RM700 per month. This places them below the poverty line of RM720 per month.

  18. #19 by k1980 on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 7:17 am

    The 11th Commandment (from the Gospel according to Jib)–


    The 12th Commandment (from the Gospel according to Jib)–


  19. #20 by limkamput on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 8:56 am

    ///For too long, the Christians, including the pastors and church leaders, have been basking in their comfort zone within the four walls of their churches, with nary a concern about their rights being eroded or tramped on.///

    No, it is more than that. For too long the church leadership want to ensure that the so-called sensitive issues (which are essentially the fundamental rights of every citizen in the country) are kept in the closet. Members of their congregation may not even be allowed to pray for divine intervention for fear of reprisal from the authorities. So much for their faith in God and their responsibility in leading the flock. The government is smart, they just go after the hierarchy and the whole population will be subdued. They used threats or enticement depending on who the leaders are. If you have chequered past, please don’t be a leader. In no time they will blackmail you. If you love money more than principle, they will soon corrupt you with money, titles, positions and connections. They do this to hapless BN political parties, the religious bodies and good for nothing NGOs. The fastest growing industry in Malaysia today is setting up NGOs and getting financial grants or supports from the government. Hello wise up you nincompoop Malaysians, if you get money from the government, you can’t be NGOs, that is oxymoron.

  20. #21 by limkamput on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 8:57 am

    sorry posting above should be in another thread.

  21. #22 by Loh on Saturday, 12 March 2011 - 10:59 pm

    ///It would appear that the Bibles were seized because the authorities consider the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the bibles was prohibited and therefore seditious. This is religious bigotry on the part of some fanatics in the muslim community.///–Dr Chen

    The last we heard about the issue was High Court decided that it was unconstitutional for the government to ban the use of the word Allah by Christians. The government decided to appeal the decision. What happen?

    If the word Allah cannot be seen in print, Malaysia is moving backward socially. It shows also that the government has expended too much resources bothering the population.

    Article 11 of the federal constitution provides in (1) Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion, and subject to clause (4) to propagate it. Having the word Allah in the Bible does not equal to propagating Christians’ religion. Propagation involves action of a person making another person believing in a particular religion. Clause (4) relates to human beings, not the reading material. Thus the ban on the Bible infringes on the right of the persons who practices Christian religion to access to Bible. If Christians choose to believe Allah is their God, what right has the government to stop them believing in it even if the government does not? It is only in Malaysia that the government chooses to politicize religion in making Allah and God worshiped by Christian as different entities. Elsewhere in the world the two are the same in different languages. Imposing the government belief on the citizens to influence their thought is infringing on the right to religion as guaranteed by Article 11 of the constitution.

    UMNO government does not believe in rule of law but in the power it has over the institutions to serve its political interest. It is no different from a secret society serving its members at the expense of the society.

  22. #23 by best4rakyat on Sunday, 13 March 2011 - 1:23 pm

    ///13. We would like to see the end of all special privileges so that we can all be together. We should all be just Malaysians speaking and teaching in one national language, practitioners of one national culture, and owing loyalty only to this beloved country, Malaysia. ///–Mamakthir

    Some among many see this #13 is fairy written but please read again more carefully mere to place it with ‘UMNOs’ or Malays for the word ‘We’ as refer to by Mahathir.

    Have you got that and that is exactly what was and is always not any change towards Malaysian’s Malaysia and hidden agenda of such leader and their successor for after calling our nation Malaysia!

  23. #24 by Evenmind on Sunday, 13 March 2011 - 5:47 pm

    All this religious and racial bigotry would continue the brain drain of the most talented people we would ever have. No plans devised by this stupid govt. is going to stem this.
    Read this interesting article about another splendid brain that UMNO has drained ; Prof. Swee tan has been gaining a lot of fame in NZ.

    I read recently about a New Zealand surgeon named Professor Swee Tan, whose team at Hutt Hospital have developed an effective way of shrinking and removing strawberry birthmarks. These are marks at birth which grow from almost nothing into tumours that can cover a large part of a child’s face. Professor Tan has discovered the cells that cause strawberry birthmarks and the genes that make them grow and diminish. Perhaps most excitingly, his discoveries and treatment for strawberry birthmarks could lead to new ways of treating cancer and other diseases.
    While I was interested in Professor Tan’s medical discoveries and treatments, I was most intrigued by his personality and profile. He manages to be a compassionate medical practitioner as well as a hugely intelligent and exciting researcher. Furthermore, he keeps his eye on the big picture and has worked for many years to set up a research institute at Hutt Hospital.
    All this and he’s working in his second language! Professor Tan was born in a small Malaysian village in a family of fourteen children. As a child he worked in the coconut, coffee and palm oil plantations. He always dreamed of being a doctor and knew he would have to learn English to gain access to a university in a western country. After attending a Chinese school in Malaysia he went to a college in Kuala Lumpur for nine months and learned English. He says he learned English by reading the newspaper from the first page to the last page everyday. He started at Melbourne Medical School in 1980.
    Professor Tan’s desire to be a doctor gave him a powerful motivation to learn English. But I most admire the way he decided on the strategy of reading the entire newspaper each day and stuck with it. When I try to read magazines and newspapers in French I come across many idioms that I don’t understand and it’s easy to give up after 20 minutes or so. I like the way Professor Tan used what he had and also looked beyond what he had, at where he wanted to be.
    I read this story entitled Introducing cells to suicide by Jane Tolerton in the New Zealand Listener July 10-16 2010, pp. 18-23. You can also read it on the following website:

  24. #25 by Evenmind on Sunday, 13 March 2011 - 6:01 pm

    All this would continue to lead to more brain drains now and in the future as its has been happening in the past. Other Countries wopuld emerge victorious. Pls rtead about this aricle abour a Malaysian born dactors who has been making waves in Nz and the world. I am talking about Dr Swee Tan

    A breakthrough strawberry-birthmark treatment discovered by a New Zealand surgeon and his team points the way to treatments for other tumours.
    Swee Tan is a master of the rhetorical question. Outlining how his research into strawberry birthmarks could lead to a new way of treating cancer, he asks: “Would that be a good thing?” Suggest he could be making big money in cosmetic surgery overseas, and he asks, ‘Would I be a happy man?”

    Hutt Hospital’s director of surgery should be happy enough – because what began as his research into disfiguring strawberry birthmarks has just won his four-strong research team a major international science prize. The implications for cancer treatment and regenerative medicine are so valuable that news of the award has been under wraps for a couple of months while the intellectual property involved has been registered internationally.

    But the prize Professor Tan really has his eye on is a national research institute he plans at Hutt Hospital, being named after the two great pioneers of plastic surgery, New Zealanders Sir Harold Gillies and Sir Archibald McIndoe. That Tan and his team have done their breakthrough research without such facilities and with little funding is testimony to their dedication – and their willingness to spend huge amounts of time working for free.

    Strawberry birthmarks grow from nothing into tumours that often cover much of the face within a year – and then shrink over about a decade. The usual strategy then, in the absence of an easy, effective treatment, was “just sit and wait”.

    In one in 10 cases doctors had to intervene as a birthmark moved to cover an eye or obstruct the windpipe, threatening death by asphyxiation. High-dose steroids were the first line of attack. “This is a terrible thing to do to young children,” Tan says. “It’s like using a machine gun – and it doesn’t necessarily work. In 30% of cases the birthmark shrinks dramatically, and in 40% it stops growing – but in 30% it just keeps growing. When we got desperate, we used to use daily injections of interferon – with the side effect, in one in four children, of spastic in the legs. Because of that, people moved to chemotherapy. Treating a birthmark with chemotherapy – you have to be pretty desperate.”

    That moment in April when Tan’s team won the John Mulliken Prize for the best science paper at the conference of the International Society for the study of vascular anomalies amazed their international colleagues. But Tan must be getting used to being considered amazing. Vicki Lee, the CEO of Cure Kids (formerly the Child Health Research Foundation), calls him “a cross between a genius and a saint”. The Museum of Wellington has made him a Living Treasure. Nicholas, a patient who blogged about his operation and recovery declared, “Swee Tan is part Chinese, part New Zealand and part Jedi.”

    Tan has a gentle charisma. But within the velvet glove of charm, the iron fist of determination is clearly evident. His wife, Sanchia, says people once told him he could never be a surgeon with his hands, roughened by hard physical work as a child.

    One of 14, he was born in a little village in Malaysia. “As children, we worked in the plantations – coconut, coffee, palm oil. Life was always a struggle, but I wanted to rise above that and have a professional life, and being a doctor was my dream.”

    His father had only primary-school education, his mother none. They sent Tan to a Chinese school – “which means you can’t go anywhere, not even to the local university. It was madness, but they believed they should keep the heritage. In order to go to a Western country, I had to learn English. So after high school, I went to a college run by Australians in Kuala Lumpur for nine months. The way I learnt English was to read the newspaper from page one to the last page every day. But if you want to go somewhere, that’s what you’ve got to do. You can feel sorry for yourself and do nothing or get up and do something useful – and look beyond what you’ve got.”

    Australia was offering free tuition to a limited number of students from developing countries, and having gained a place Tan started at the University of Melbourne’s Medical School in 1980. He got up at 5.00am three times a week to clean a supermarket. “In my final year the surgical registrar took me aside and said, ‘I don’t think it’s good for you to be half an hour late every morning’, and I had to tell him. He said, ‘Why don’t you take out a loan, and I’ll be the guarantor.’ He took that risk with me and gave me a hand. This is something I never forget and I do for the next generation – because it is the right thing to do.”

    By then he had already experienced life across the Tasman. In their fifth year students could do an elective anywhere in the world, “so I came to New Zealand – and fell in love with this country. People here are so friendly, just so accepting, interested in you, not pretentious – and they are colour-blind.”

    In 1987, having worked for a year in Melbourne Hospital, where he met Sanchia, then training as a nurse, he had to leave Australia under the terms of his scholarship. He took a job at Waikato Hospital, and Sanchia joined him after graduating.


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