Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 3.1.2014.
DAP condemns Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin’s provocative support for UMNO Selangor’s proposal to demonstrate outside Catholic churches during their prayers on Sunday. Muhyidin is fanning the fire of religious hatred by agreeing with Selangor Umno’s threat to demonstrate outside Catholic churches on Sunday unless Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew retracts his statement and apologises over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians in the state in their Bahasa Malaysia masses.
Never before has a governing political party been sanctioned to demonstrate outside a religious place of worship and our first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia would have reacted with utter horror at such an uncvilised act. Muhyiddin is behaving recklessly for political gain and irresponsible by stating that UMNO Selangor is acting under their own consideration and within their lawful rights by demonstrating outside Catholic churches on Sunday when such hostile acts would damage interfaith relations and destroy the religious harmony assiduously built up in Malaysia by the various communities since Merdeka in 1957.
Why is it okay to demonstrate against Catholic churches but not against price hikes on sugar, petrol, power tariffs and highway tolls imposed by BN? Such demonstrations by a racist anti non-Malay and anti non-Muslim UMNO would irreparably harm the harmonious relations in our multi-racial society which had existed peacefully until UMNO stirred up the Allah controversy.
The raid by Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) on the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) is completely unacceptable. The Islamic authorities do not have the authority in law to enter the premises of non-Muslim religious establishments for inspection, search or raid, unless related to attempts to propagate non-Islamic religions to Muslims. This is the constitutional provision accepted by everyone that JAIS can only intrude on a non-Muslim premise in pursuit of Muslims that transgresses Islamic law or syariah but not against non-Muslims.
For JAIS to seize over 300 Bibles in Malay and Iban at the premise of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) without a search warrant and authorization cards as well as detain BSM President Lee Min Choon and BSM Manager Sinclair Wong, is a dangerous and wrongful extension of JAIS powers over non-Muslims that will be seen as an unprecedented attack and erosion of the fundamental right of freedom of religion as enshrined under the Federal Constitution.
The constitutional right of freedom of religion shall and must include the rights of religious communities in the country to freely profess and administer their affairs. The wild and blood-curdling remarks made by a state Mufti have only generated increased concern amongst non-Muslims not just of religious intolerance but of religious persecution. Are these latest acts of aggression and persecution against non-Muslims, the 1Malaysia dream that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is talking about?
DAP does not agree that with the application of Islamic laws on non-Muslims. The great irony is that BN and UMNO had been warning non-Muslims about the dangers of PAS imposing Islamic laws on non-Muslims, and yet BN has shown their true colours of hypocrisy and double-standard by using force and compulsion against non-Muslims in exactly what they had accused others of doing.
Even though BSM was wrongly persecuted, DAP fully endorses the call by BSM president Lee Min Choon to the Christian community to remain calm and not engage in any provocative acts. The Christian community must remain calm even if UMNO Selangor continues to bully and humiliate the Christian community by carrying out its wild and dangerous demonstrations in front of Catholic churches on Sundays.
LIM GUAN ENG