Where is the tolerance, compassion, justice and respect?

Statement by MCCBCHST

The Malaysian  Consultative  Council  of Buddhism,  Christianity, Hinduism,  Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) unreservedly condemns  the unwarranted raid on the premises of the Damansara  Utama  Methodist  Church  (DUMC)  on the evening of 3 August 2011 by officers  of the Selangor lslamic  Religious Department (JAIS) and the police which clearly breached  the constitutionally guaranteed,  and internationally  recognised, sanctity of a holy place of worship – an event which has been confirmed by the Malaysian AIDS Council  to have been organised  to raise funds.

MCCBCHST  fully supports the statements already released by the Selangor Menteri Besar, Abdul Khalid lbrahim; by Prof. Hamdan  Adnan, Deputy Chairman  (on behalf of the Exco) of the Persatuan Promosi  Hak Asasi Manusia  (Proham);  by the Chairman, Bishop Ng Moon Hing, and the Executive Committee  of the Christian Federation  of Malaysia; by Rev. Hermen Shastri, General Secretary of the Council of Churches Malaysia and similar sentiments (that this action sets a dangerous precedent  and makes a mockery  of the sanctity  and inviolability of all religious  places  in our beloved country) yet to be expressed  by all other responsible,  just and right-minded Malaysians  (and organisations)  of every
race, faith and political inclination.

MCCBCHST is especially  heartened by the prompt action of Menteri Besar, Abdul Khalid lbrahim and the Selangor  State Government on this fiasco by JAIS.

We are further encouraged by his statement that “the State is always open  to engagement  and dialogue  regarding the harmonious and mutually  respectful co-existence  of different religious  communities and appreciate  the efforts of all who seek to build a more united  society.”

We are astonished  as to how using the words “Quran” and ‘nPray”  in speech can amount  to proselytising towards Muslims  when these very words are used every  day by Malaysians  when conversing  with each other.

JAIS’ action sets a dangerous precedent  which must be stopped and condemned by all peace-loving Malaysians.  The constitutionally  guaranteed  and internationally recognised sanctity of all places of worship cannot be compromised, and this unprecedented violation must be investigated  and those responsible,  appropriately punished.

The Press (Berita Harian and Harian Metro of 6 July, 2011) reported that “Muslims questioned  that night confirmed that they had been asked  to convert.” These reports, to the best knowledge of the MCCBCHST,  did not identify the claimants nor state the basis for their making such statements.

Such witnesses  must be made available  to an independent  lnquiry,  which must be instituted immediately,  to determine their qualification  to bear such witness, to corroborate  such evidence and to verify  it.

We urge the Federal  Government  to expeditiously  launch a thorough investigation into this fiasco. lf the newspapers  in question  are found to have published  false statements likely, or meant, to incite  religious or racial hatred between  Malaysians, the authorities  must initiate the necessary action to punish them to the full extent provided for in our laws.

All 120 guests who attended  this multi-racial  appreciation dinner  deserve  an unconditional apology from the raiding parties.  The government  of the day must also come forth to assure the Malaysian non-Muslim communities  that such untoward  incidents  will never recur.

The MCCBCHST must highlight the systematic and deliberate  attempts this year by many of “those who walk the national  corridors  of power” to create conflict among the citizens  of different races and religions in our beloved country by driving wedges between them.

There is ample evidence  in “the lnterlok  controversy”  (January); “the Alkitab issue” (February);  the unproven  and ludicrous  accusations in the media of attempts to “make Christianity  the official religion” (May); the even more ludicrous  charge against the illegally detained Sungei Siput MP, Dr. Michael Jayakumar and others, of “waging war against  the Yang DiPertuan  Agong” (June);  the absurd charge of “reviving Communism”  on the PSM 6 under Section 3(1) of the Emergency  (Public Order and Prevention  of Crime) Ordinance 1969,” (July); profiling  leaders of Bersih as “traitors to the nation” (July) and unfounded allegations  against  the Christian  church  of “proselytizing  Muslims”  (August).

These insidious efforts must be stopped forthwith if we are to preserve  the hard-earned peace and harmony  between  our peoples  of the past half-century.

Finally, ihe MCCBCHST  calls on all leaders of all faiths to dedicate every Friday,  from 16 August  till 16 September,2011  during  the month-long  celebrations of our 54 years of lndependence  as Malaya and 48 years as Malaysia  to pray in their respective places  of worship that the leaders of our nation have it in their hearts and minds to find the understanding, truth, respect, compassion  and most of all, the wisdom, to justly govern this blessed, bountiful  and beautiful Malaysia,  home to us all,  in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, the supreme  law of the land.