Archive for category Religion

Cabinet on Wednesday should congratulate Cardinal Fernandez as the first Malaysian to be appointed as a Roman Catholic cardinal

The Cabinet on Wednesday should congratulate Cardinal Fernandez as the first Malaysian to be appointed as a Roman Catholic cardinal.

As a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation which is the site for the confluence of the great civilizations in the world, Malaysians should celebrate whenever a Malaysian regardless of race, religion or culture scaled new heights or achieved new accomplishments.

At the “Red Hat” ceremony in the Basilica of St. Peter’s at the Vatican on November 19 last year where Cardinal Fernandez was one the 17 new Cardinals who received the red hat (biretta), Pope Francis underlined the different cultural traditions of the new Cardinals.

He said: “We come from distant lands; we have different traditions, skin colour, languages and social backgrounds; we think differently and we celebrate our faith in a variety of rites. None of this makes us enemies; instead it is one of our greatest riches…”

The Pope lamented the modern world in which “polarization” and “exclusion” are burgeoning and considered the only way to resolve conflicts.

Malaysians share similar concerns at the rise of polarization and exclusion not only on the global stage but also in Malaysian politics and life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Have Liow Tiong Lai, Mah Siew Keong and S. Subramaniam secretly agreed with UMNO to support BN government take-over of Hadi’s private member’s bill that MCA, Gerakan and MIC cannot respond positively to the Pensiangan Formula to deal with Hadi’s private member’s bill?

I have been puzzled as to why the MCA President, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, the Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong, the MIC President, Datuk S. Subramian is so lukewarm to my proposal of a Pensiangan Formula to address the political and constitutional stalemate created by UMNO’s support for PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Awang Hadi’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355).

The Pensiangan Formula came to me when I was visiting Pensiangan on Thursday, 29th December after Tenom and Keningau in the interior in Sabah, where the overwhelming majority are Christians and non-Muslims – and after the inspiring and eloquent Christmas Message of the President of the Sabah Council of Churches, Rev Jerry Dusing, calling for the truth to be told on national issues concerning the people, whether 1MDB or Hadi’s private member’s bill.

Pensiangan is the parliamentary constituency of the Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of national unity.

But Kurup had failed in his Ministerial duty, as the country had never been faced with greater threat to national unity arising from the triple woes of racial and religious polarisation and the failure of Putrajaya to honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 to give equitable and fair treatment to Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Federation.

As a result, Kurup was not in much of a “national unity” mindset when he warned in May this year that Sabahans and Sarawakians may demand to split from peninsular Malaysia if Hadi’s private member’s bill is passed in Parliament.

If this should come to pass, it would be the greatest tragedy for the Malaysian Federation. Read the rest of this entry »



by Rev. Datuk Jerry Dusing
Borneo Today
December 25, 2016


As we bring 2016 to a close, we thank God for His love, blessings and protection on us throughout the year. We thank God for the strengthened unity amongst the Church and the people of Sabah of various beliefs.

In the midst of the political and economic challenges of our nation, this Christmas season reminds us that there is hope in God for Sabah and Malaysia. We are a Malaysian family and what we truly desire is for peace within us and amongst us.

The underlying chord that keeps us united as a family is our innate moral sense of love for one another, compassion, respect, honour, fairness, truthfulness and integrity endowed upon us by the Almighty.

These are the qualities of our nation’s moral soil that will allow us to dynamically progress as a pluralistic nation. We should continue to nurture our soil towards a stable political and economic structure now and for our children’s generation. Read the rest of this entry »

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The 13 other BN component parties should not walk into the trap prepared by some UMNO leaders and propose instead that the March Parliament set up an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee to strengthen inter-religious relations in Malaysia based on Malaysian Constitution, MA63 and Rukunegara

The Sabah Council of Churches spoke for Malaysians and not just Sabahans when during Christmas, it prayed for truth to prevail in Malaysia, especially among those in power.

In his Christmas Day message, Council president Rev Jerry Dusing said, among others, truth must be established on the issues concerning 1MDB and the “hudud bill”.

He asked: “What is the truth of 1MDB? As Malaysians are left in the dark, we find ourselves frustratingly waiting for foreign nations to expose the truth about this mystery.”

He said lack of truth on the matter compromises the willingness of the public and businesses to respond to public policies and contribute to economic recovery.

I am very disappointed that the Cabinet, at its last meeting of the year yesterday, had not heard Dusing’s Christmas Message and started the new year 2017 with a new commitment to tell Malaysians about the truth, whether it be on 1MDB or PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355).

There are six Ministers from Sabah in the Najib Cabinet, three of whom are Christians, one of whom is responsible for national unity as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

It is the height of disappointment that none of the Sabah Ministers had raised Dusing’s Christmas Message at the last Cabinet of the year for the Cabinet and Government to start telling the truth to Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Poor Liow Tiong Lai, he does not know he is making a fool of himself claiming that Christmas messages should be meaningless “sweet nothings” – a reflection of his political naivette and the political party he represents

Poor MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. He does not know he is making a fool of himself claiming that Christmas messages should be meaningless “sweet nothings” –a reflection of his political naivette and the political party he represents.

Is Liow aware what is topmost in the minds of Malaysian Christians this Christmas?

Pay attention to the Sabah Council of Churches which prayed this Christmas for truth to prevail in Malaysia, especially among those in power.

Council president Rev Jerry Dusing said truth must be established on the issues concerning 1MDB and the “hudud bill”.

He said: “What is the truth of 1MDB? As Malaysians are left in the dark, we find ourselves frustratingly waiting for foreign nations to expose the truth about this mystery”.

Dusing also asked for the truth about PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, which UMNO Ministers have announced will be taken over by the government although there is pin-drop silence from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties of Barisan Nasional.

Is there consensus by all the 14 Barisan Nasional parties for the BN government take-over of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion, or is UMNO hegemony so fully established in Barisan Nasional that what UMNO wants, UMNO gets?

The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Julian Leow Beng Kim, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, fully endorsed Dusing and the Sabah Council of Churches in their concerns for the truth to prevail. Read the rest of this entry »


Final tranche of questions for Salleh after the Communications and Multimedia Minister admitted he is unable to answer the 35 questions directed at him

This is the final tranche of five questions for the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak as he had admitted he is unable to answer the 35 questions directed at him in the past seven days.

This means however that Salleh is unable to reinstate his right to ask questions and to demand answers from others – having doubly forfeited such right when firstly, as Minister responsible for the portfolio of information, he failed to answer numerous questions about government scandals and failings; and secondly, failing to acquit himself when given a second chance to redeem himself when I put 35 questions to him.

Out of the 34 questions I have put to Salleh, 14 were about the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal and Malaysia’s international infamy and ignominy of having ascended to the exclusive club of “global kleptocracy”; three questions about Malaysia’s second international infamy and ignominy for being excluded from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, regarded as the world’s school report, for data and sample bungling; four questions on the perfidy in UMNO and Barisan Nasional over Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355); three questions about the abuses of power and repression against critics and the civil society and seven questions about UMNO’s exploitation of the extremist politics of race, religion, “Big Lies” and hatred to hang on to power in the forthcoming 14th General Election.

It speaks volumes that Salleh is unable to answer any of these important national questions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Malaysians to return to the Rukunegara principles to unite as a people, regardless of race and religion, to fulfill Malaysia’s dream of greatness

I wish all Christians in Malaysia Merry Christmas.

Although I am not a Christian, I have been wishing Christians “Merry Christmas” for over six decades from my student days in Batu Pahat High School, just as I have wished “Selamat Hari Raya” to Muslims and “Happy Deepavali” to Hindus in Malaysia.

Was I wrong and had I any intention to subvert the faith of the Christians, Muslims or Hindus to their religions in making such felicitations to them on their festive days?

Of course not. Such an idea was unthinkable and even anathema, as it never entered into my remotest thoughts to subvert the faith of Christians, Muslims or Hindus by wishing them felicitations on the occasion of their religion’s holy days.

This is why I read with joy and appreciation the latest writing of the Johore Sultanah who said that “Going to church did not make me less of a Muslim when I was a young girl, and neither does saying ‘Merry Christmas’ make me less of a Muslim now”. Read the rest of this entry »

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A paradox, but two by-election victories make UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for general election victory and there will be greater demonization campaign against the opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam or even anti-Chinese

This is a paradox – but the two by-election victories in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar have made UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for victory in the 14th General Election and I expect a greater demonization campaign against the Opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and even as anti-Chinese.

I will give three examples post twin by-elections:

Firstly, I would place in such a category the statement by the former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s support of opposition parties DAP and Amanah in the recent by-elections were “detrimental to Malays”.

He said that the former prime minister could try and oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from within Umno, but should steer clear of lobbying for support within the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance as the chances of Malays retaining power once they have lost it is “very slim”.

Could the former Chief Justice answer the two questions which had been posed by the National Laureate Pak Samad:

“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?

“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?”

Whatever happens in the 14th General Election, whether Najib is toppled as Prime Minister or UMNO loses the Federal Government, the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in Malaysia as there is no way they will lose their political power. Read the rest of this entry »


Rise of Malaysia’s ‘racist’ strain of Islam

By Lim Teck Ghee
9 Jun 2016, AM 10:05 (Updated 9 Jun 2016, AM 10:08)

COMMENT A recent article comparing the treatment accorded by the government and the larger Islamic community to two recent Muslim visitors notes that the question as to why preacher Zakir Naik and scholar Abdullahi An-Na’im and their messages are resounding differently with the Malay Muslim community is a crucial one for Malaysians to ask.

The contrast in the themes articulated by these two visitors in their lectures and public engagements cannot be more different.

That of the scholar is a vision of a more humanistic and intellectually more rational and defensible Islam. The other by the preacher stems from a conservative and extremist position. Based on advocacy of Islam as a superior religion, Zakir offers simplistic but popular – with the Muslim masses – opinions on topics such as dealing with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenders (LGBT) people and other non-Islamic minorities, apostasy, the treatment of other faiths in Islamic states, the evils of secularism, etc.

Similar questions have been asked by others as to why Islam in this country has taken a hard line position and turned its back on its traditionally moderate roots and associated Hindu-Buddhist values and mores. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t have to invent the wheel, just have the political will to do what is right and just to implement the Cabinet decision of April 22, 2009 or resign as Ministers

All eyes are on the Cabinet meeting today – will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his 36 Ministers in the jumbo Cabinet end one of the greatest injustices of the seven-year Najib premiership – the Indira Gandhi injustice where a mother had been forcibly separated from her 11-month old baby daughter not for one or two years but for seven long years!

For seven long years, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Parliament and the Judiciary have all failed Indira Gandhi and her daughter, and the Constitution, the laws, the courts and the system of governance have been manipulated to deny Indira and her daughter their fundamental rights as a mother and a child to be to see, hold and touch each other!

There is no need for the Cabinet today to invent the wheel. Just have the political will to do what is right and just to implement the Cabinet decision of April 22, 2009 that there should be no unilateral conversion of children and that the children of parents where one parent chooses to convert to Islam must continue to be raised in the common religion at the time of the marriage. Or resign as Ministers!

Furthermore, the Minister should demonstrate that it is not only a Cabinet of compassion and humanity, but of justice and competence by directing the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and all relevant agencies to ensure that within 48 hours, Indira Gandhi should be able to re-unite with her daughter whom she had not seen for seven long years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our freedom to celebrate diversity

The Malaysian Insider
24 December 2015

Today is Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday and Malaysia is one of the rare Muslim countries to celebrate the occasion with a public holiday thrown in. Not many celebrate it, let alone gazette a holiday for it.

Unlike Christmas, which is celebrated worldwide except in two countries this year and forever – Brunei and Somalia. It would appear that public celebrations of Christmas and in the case of Somalia, New Year, is inimical to their beliefs.

That is their excuse. And the limit to their citizens’ freedom and rights.

But we in Malaysia are a lot more fortunate. We have the freedom to celebrate diversity, celebrating Christmas and New Year despite the views of a narrow section of public that wishing Merry Christmas is not quite kosher. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let Nik Aziz and Karpal be the example for all Malaysians to promote harmony, goodwill and tolerance across race, religion and culture so that Malaysia can be a model of peaceful multi-religious diversity for the world

2015 Christmas Message in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 24th December 2015

Christmas Day tomorrow in 2015 is especially significant as today is the birthday of Prophet Muhammad on Maulid-ar-Rasul, an overlapping which underlines religious diversity both in Malaysia and the world.

I am reminded of two events, the first the Monday incident in Mandera in northeast Kenya where Muslims protected Christians in a bus attack by Somali Islamist terrorists, telling the terrorists, “You’ll have to kill us all” and other, the January 2013 Thaipusam visit by the then PAS Mursyidul Am and Kelantan Mentri Besar, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat to the DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh in the latter’s Penang home where Nik Aziz’s 82nd birthday was also celebrated.

Let Malaysians regardless of race, religion and region be inspired by both these events, in particular the example of the two great Malaysian leaders, Nik Aziz and Karpal Singh, to promote harmony, goodwill, tolerance across race, religion and culture so that Malaysia can be a model of peaceful multi-religious diversity for the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Christmas wish

Lyana Khairuddin
The Malaysian Insider
23 December 2015

It is really easy to get caught in the hype and commercialisation of Christmas.

Let’s be realistic here, Christmas no longer represents merely a religious holiday that marks the birth of Jesus, but rather an occasion for merrymaking with friends over food, that great unifier of mankind.

Of course, in Malaysia, our turkeys are halal-certified and our merrymaking involves being served orange juice in wine glasses. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry

Azrul Mohd Khalib
The Malay Mail Online
December 18, 2015

DECEMBER 18 ― When I first heard of last week’s seminar “Ancaman gerakan pemurtadan Kristianisasi” (Threat of the Christianisation movement), my first reaction wasn’t to sigh in exasperation at the wanton abuse by the administrators of the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Lendu campus of the trust and mandate to educate young minds.

It wasn’t my outrage that this is yet another example of how ignorant and misinformed dogma and bigotry have somehow percolated and seeped into the minds of our educators at one of our institutions of higher learning.

I was dismayed that the Police DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) saw fit to attend and present at this seminar. Our women and men in dark blue are supposed to enforce the law, keep the peace and protect the lives and property of all Malaysians.

PDRM’s presence and participation at such an event, while not ― as the IGP rightly points out ― unlawful, sends the wrong message and provides legitimacy and credibility to something that is more suited to the fringe, paranoid and crazy-eyed crowd.

PDRM’s participation in this kind of seminar by virtue of its presence, provides support and endorsement to the idea that Christians, their faith and their actions could, or in this case, should be considered and viewed as national security threats.

I cannot emphasise enough that this viewpoint is not only wrong and malicious, but also that this is actually religious bigotry disguised as righteousness. Read the rest of this entry »

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Laying the foundation for fanaticism

– Sheela R.
The Malaysian Insider
16 November 2015

Imagine yourself to be seven years old. A tender age where your foremost consideration would be if you get to play your favourite game with your friends, watch a television programme or simply decide on which ice-cream flavour to indulge in.

Now imagine yourself at that age in a class, where a teacher talks of hell and heaven and the myriad punishments awaiting sinners and unbelievers.

The stuff of nightmares is introduced progressively to you, in the guise of imparting religious values. These visions terrify you, but you don’t have the maturity or intellect to challenge the teacher. Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Paris terror attacks highlight a clash of civilisations?

Gideon Rachman
Financial Times
November 16, 2015

Multiculturalism is not a naive liberal aspiration — it is the reality of the modern world

Ever since the late Samuel Huntington predicted that international politics would be dominated by a “clash of civilisations”, his theory, first outlined in 1993, has found some of its keenest adherents among militant Islamists. The terrorists who inflicted mass murder on Paris are part of a movement that sees Islam and the west as locked in inevitable mortal combat.

Leading western politicians, by contrast, have almost always rejected Huntington’s analysis. Even former US President George W Bush said: “There is no clash of civilisations.” And everyday life in multicultural western nations, most of which have large Muslim minorities, offers a daily refutation of the idea that different faiths and cultures cannot live and work together.

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, that core idea needs to be reaffirmed. And yet a necessary restatement of liberal values should not prevent a sober acknowledgment of some malign global trends. The fact is that hardline Islamism is on the rise — even in some countries, such as Turkey, Malaysia and Bangladesh, previously regarded as models of moderate Muslim societies. At the same time, the expression of anti-Muslim prejudice is entering the political mainstream in the US, Europe and India.

Taken together, these developments are narrowing the space for those who want to push back against the narrative of a “clash of civilisations”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tun Dr Ismail’s son wants Jakim abolished

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
9 November 2015

There was a time in the country’s history when the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) did not exist, Putrajaya did not tell Malaysians how to practise their faith, and no one batted an eye when Muslims owned dogs.

And the former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman’s eldest son, Tawfik Ismail, wants those days back.

The main step is to dissolve Jakim, Tawfik said during an interview in conjunction with the release of “Drifting into Politics”, a collection of his late father’s writings during the nation’s formative years, edited by Tawfik and academic Ooi Kee Beng. Read the rest of this entry »


I am Muslim, I don’t have a ticket to heaven

Fa Abdul | August 13, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

How can we eradicate racism when we have half brained teachers who teach absolute nonsense to our children?


Nine year old Alicia who goes to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sri Hartamas came home from school last week and asked her mom if she will end up in hell when she dies.
“Mommy, Lina said her teacher told the Agama class that when we die, the Malays will go to heaven and non-Malays will go to hell. Is it true?”

Eleven year old Yasmin who goes to Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Desa was confused over who her friends should be and decided to seek her mom’s advice.

“Ummi, my Ustaz says it is haram to be friends with Olivia and Annie. He said it is because they are not Muslim. But I like Olivia and Annie, they are my best friends. Will God be angry with me if I talk to them?”

Both incidents you just read about aren’t made up. The names have been changed to protect the identities of the children but the stories are very much real. Read the rest of this entry »


In recurring religious conflicts, Muslim MPs ask where Malaysia is headed

by Joseph Sipalan
Malay Mail Online
June 27, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 ― Muslim lawmakers from both sides of the political divide have raised concerns over the seeming trend of Muslims imposing their beliefs on others, questioning if this is reflective of a wider agenda that is backed by Putrajaya to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.

The federal lawmakers noted that the federal government appeared either unable to stop or even condoning of incidents in which Islamic sensibilities are imposed on the larger society by religious authorities and individuals.

“This issue bothers me because as our forefathers taught us, religion should be about faith and (is) personal,” Umno’s Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed told Malay Mail Online via text message.

“I suspect the longer-term objective of these groups is to usurp power through religious means and therefore avoid being legitimately elected.

“While I respect their motives and intentions, the elected government of the day must control the actions of these groups and act in the interest of all the citizens of the country,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »


The demonisation of secularism

Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
17 June 2015

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude (dare to know)! Have courage to use your own understanding! (Immanuel Kant)

The discussion on secularism in this country is a problematic one, chiefly because the term has become trapped in the narrow framework of identity politics dominated by the hegemony of ethno-religious nationalist discourse. As a result, secularism is now an emotive expression invoked as a label to paint its targets as anti-religion. In the Malaysian context, that always means anti-Islam.

Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development (Jakim), the foremost religious authority in our country, for example, has issued warnings against conspiracies by “enemies of Islam” to manipulate them through ideas like secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism and positivism. In May last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, added “human rightism” to the list of offending ideologies that threaten the faith of Muslims.

Why has secularism come to be so demonised? Read the rest of this entry »

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