Christian charity conversion report a ‘conspiracy’, say PAS MP, priest

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 06, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — Calling it yet another conspiracy plot, a PAS MP and a Catholic priest both spoke out today against the latest news linking church charity groups to covert conversions as a ploy to pit Muslims against Christians.

Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad suggested it was it was a political move calculated to claw back the support of Malay-Muslim voters ahead of the 13th general election, expected to be called by year-end.

Dzulkefly said it was a political move to win back the support of Malay-Muslim voters. — File pic“You see it now, they are full of plots,” the PAS central working committee (CWC) member told The Malaysian Insider in an immediate reaction to the allegations following a Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) in Petaling Jaya last Wednesday night.

Earlier today, Umno-owned Berita Harian and its sister newspaper Harian Metro had accused certain Christian groups of buying over Muslims in an attempt to swell their ranks by offering cash, free food and housing to poverty-stricken Malays.

Rev Father Michael Chua dismissed the allegations as old news, saying the stories about mass conversions of Muslims as well as the entry of large numbers of “priests” or “pastors” brought in intentionally for this purpose have repeatedly surfaced within the Muslim community.

“Past allegations have never been substantiated by any proof or evidence. I believe that such rumours are often used to frighten Muslims and to create hostility against Christians,” said the Catholic Church’s ecclesiastical assistant in charge of ecumenical and inter-religious affairs in the Kuala Lumpur area.

“[But] This is the first time I’m hearing of a ‘priest’ training programme involving former Muslims as alleged by the two persons interviewed in the Malay dailies,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Chua urged the relevant authorities to investigate the claims made by both Malay dailies which cited from witnesses nabbed by Jais and the police during the DUMC raid.

According to witness accounts as reported by the two newspapers, they embraced Christianity after attending talks by Christian evangelists from east Malaysia and Indonesia and being given copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia besides listening to Christian religious tapes.

“Given the sensitive nature of this issue, I believe the matter should not be left to ‘trial by media’ as the sensationalising of this issue would only result in reinforcing lies, half truths and prejudices,” the Catholic priest said.

In the latest census results released a few months ago by the Statistics Department, Malays, who are constitutionally Muslim, make up the biggest race and religious group nationwide at 61.3 per cent. In comparison, Christians form only 9.2 per cent of Malaysia’s 28.3 million population.

The reports by Berita Harian and Harian Metro come three months after another Umno-owned daily, Utusan Malaysia, frontpaged a report headlined “Kristian agama rasmi?” (“Christianity the official religion?”) based entirely on the words of a handful of pro-Umno bloggers claiming a secret pact to install a Christian instead of a Muslim as prime minister and oust Islam as the religion of the federation.

Putrajaya’s severe actions in limiting the import of the Alkitab, the Malay-language version of the Bible, from Indonesia plus delays in moving forward the legal tussle over the use of the word “Allah” to also refer to the Christian god has stirred anger among the community, especially in east Malaysia, long considered the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s vote bank.

The allegations by BN-controlled media that depict Christians as working hand-in-glove with communist insurgents and opposition politicians to topple the government of the day and supplant it with a Christian prime minister have stirred a storm of protests that saw thousands take to the streets in a public rally organised by electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 on July 9.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Sunday, 7 August 2011 - 10:20 am

    Did d conspiracy involve PAS’s H Ali n Jais?
    When UmnoB/BN win back S’gor in d next GE, will HA b d next MB?

  2. #2 by monsterball on Sunday, 7 August 2011 - 10:46 am

    Sick of race and religion dirty politics.
    Where is that “1Malaysia” PM?
    When you need him to prove he is the PM for all Malaysians…as he said he is…he is no where to be seen or heard.
    Big mouth..hollow words and promises all the time.
    He love a disunited Malaysia for promote his kind of “1Malaysia” …totally bunkum nonsense.

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Sunday, 7 August 2011 - 11:03 am

    NR n RM might say no need 2 worry abt us n UmnoB/BN 1, U rakyat better worry abt HAli, Jais, PAS/PR/DAP/PKR, they r narrow minded n religious fanatic, we OK 1, met d Pope what

    Lagi HAli ready 2b sacked as a S’gor executive councillor 4 d sake of defending Islam

  4. #4 by bruno on Sunday, 7 August 2011 - 12:48 pm

    Like Dr Zul said its all of a conspiracy plot ahead of GE 13th.Why about Hasan Ali.Is he part of this plot too.If not then why should he publicly defend Jais.Shouldn’t Hasan Ali be sacked from PAS if he is a cohort or mole of Umno.

  5. #5 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 7 August 2011 - 4:01 pm

    We all know the scheme but why do “we’ allow them to have the “choice “?

You must be logged in to post a comment.