Utusan controversy: Christian Federation of Malaysia responds

The Christian community respects the position of Islam as the official religion of the country, which has no place for extremism, Christian Federation of Malaysia chairman, Ng Moon Hing, said today.

He said the federation was disturbed and unhappy with the irresponsible and potentially riot-inducing type of seditious words in the prominent Malay-language daily.

“The prime minister has stressed on moderation. I think all of us believe that, and I don’t think we need to go to any extreme; (there is) no place for extremism.

“So, [the culprits] must be taken to task,” he told reporters after attending a lunch meeting with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today.

Last Saturday, Utusan Malaysia had carried a front-page report, quoting two blogs which claimed that a meeting had taken place in Penang, and attended by Christian leaders who wanted Christianity to be the official religion of Malaysia.

Denying allegations in the newspaper, Ng, who is also head of the Anglican Church in West Malaysia, said Islam’s position in the country was never challenged.

“We want our own space to worship. That’s all. Everybody should have freedom to worship.

“There is no such thing that we want to challenge anyone, that is a lie,” he said.

Asked whether any issue was discussed at the meeting, he said many memoranda had been sent by the group to the government on issues they feel have not been addressed, such as cemetery land and church land.

“The prime minister said he would look into it and get the individual ministries to handle (the issues),” he said, adding that it was a good meeting and they had been looking forward to engage with Najib.

“We are interested in peace and harmony. We are not partisan in politics. We are only talking about how to build a nation and give ourselves and our generation, space to grow,” he said.

– Bernama