It’s a shocking news that churches have been set ablaze by ‘unknown’ culprits (as of 8th Jan) in Malaysia, the very country, where various religious beliefs have been fairly respected, although certain discrimination or preference have existed.
The following statement by Parti Socialist Malaysia (or PSM) has finely elaborated facts and key points on the issue.
– Penseur21 –
PSM STATEMENT : 8 JANUARY 2010
PSM CONDEMNS ATTACKS ON CHURCHES ! NAJIB AND HISHAMUDDIN SHOULD TAKE FULL RESPONSIBLITY !
Parti Socialist Malaysia is shocked to learn that three churches have been attacked in the last 12 hours in the Klang Valley – the Assumption Church in Jalan Templer, Petaling Jaya and the Life Chapel in Section 17, Petaling Jaya and the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur. The three-storey Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur, part of the Assemblies of God movement, was set ablaze in the attack which took place around midnight.
We cannot deny the fact that the attacks are somehow related to the High Court ruling last week which ruled in favour of the Catholic weekly, The Herald newspaper, which has used ‘Allah’ as a translation for “God” in its Malay-language section. The ruling however was suspended on Wednesday pending an appeal by the government.
PSM believes that the irresponsible act is caused by the indirect blessings given by the Prime Minister and the Home Affairs Minister to voice out protest against the ruling. The Minister was reported as saying that the government would not stop anyone from protesting against the ‘Allah’ ruling, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein however later attempted to deny it. It is difficult to accept his denial since he has been consistent in ‘welcoming’ any protest that stirs up racial hatred among the rakyat .This has been proven when he welcomed the ‘cow-head’ protestors at his office last year on the Section 19 Shah Alam temple issue.
The government is again playing the race and religion card in times of crisis. It plans to divert the rakyat from many critical issues such as rising prices of goods, GST, MACC, corruption, missing jet engines, MCA and the list goes on. It is also to create a climate of fear and a perceived threat to national security so as to pressure the courts in reversing its decision during the appeal.
More than half of Malaysia’s Catholics are from indigenous groups, most of whom live in Sabah and Sarawak and who mainly speak Bahasa Malaysia. All this while churches have used the word”Allah” in their sermons and teaching in Ear Malaysia. The Sikh too have voiced concerned, because in the Sikh religious text the word” Allah” is also used. In the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the word ‘Allah’ appears in the original text numerous times. So it is an irony when Najib talks about 1Malaysia when for years the BN Governmetn has been responsible in ensuring we are divided.
The issue has been deliberately built up on unsubstantiated fears that Muslims will be confused and probably be converted to Christianity! Were there reports substantiated?
Thus PSM immediately calls that the Government
1. Ensure the freedom of religion to all groups. Religion must be treated as a private and personal affair of individuals and should remain so.
2. When there are religious disputes, it is important that discussions and dialogues among the concerned people be held. It is again proven why we need an inter-faith commission to resolve such sensitive issues amicably and harmoniously.
3. All political parties must stop their own political agenda in playing the race and religion card. All parties must immediately refrain from further violence
4. There are enough laws to punish those who create such violence and we will not in anyway support the use of ISA.
In wake of this we call upon all peace loving Malaysians to form multi-racial peace brigade in their respective towns and kampongs to protect all lives and give a strong message to those who use religion and race to propagate violence.
NO MORE RACISM ! FREEDOM OF RELIGION TO ALL .
On behalf of the PSM Central Committee
Central Committee Member (016-6798005)