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Malaysian police raid AIDS fundraiser at a church
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. Officers of the Selangor lslamic Religious Department (JAIS) and the police clearly breached the constitutionally guaranteed, and internationally recognised, sanctity of a holy place of worship. They raided an event which has been confirmed by the Malaysian AIDS Council to have been organised to raise funds.
We are astonished as to how using the words "Quran" and “Pray" 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 inquiry, 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. If 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, the 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.
PHOTO: Petronas twin towers, Kuala Lumpur, Maylasia (By Jared Ferrie)