Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 6.1.2014.
Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin Should Recant His Provocative Support For UMNO Selangor’s Proposed Demonstrations Outside Catholic Churches On Sunday And Sanctioning The Forcible Extension And Compulsion Of Islamic Laws On Non-Muslims.
DAP lauds the unity, harmony and genuine goodwill displayed outside the Sunday mass at the Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Klang, Selangor yesterday which was attended not only by nearly 1,000 Catholics but few Muslims, including social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, expressing solidarity with the Christians.
Marina pointedly said to forget about the ambitious Visit Malaysia Year, as few would want to visit a Malaysia like this where there is no moderation or is now known as a country which grabs Bibles.
Such moderation, respect for religious diversity and solidarity with other faiths is in direct contrast to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s provocative support for UMNO Selangor’s proposal to demonstrate outside Catholic churches during their prayers on Sunday. Muhyidin should learn how to be a peacemaker from Marina instead of being a religious bigot and rabble-rouser for political gain by being a champion of oppressing the rights of non-Muslims.
The Selangor UMNO Chairman is a well known nationally as a racist and extremist and his actions in fanning the fires of religious hatred have made UMNO repugnant to all right-thinking Malaysians not bewitched by the perks and privileges of Ministerial posts. But what is shocking is the support given by Muhyiddin which even the police did not approve.
By sanctioning Selangor UMNO’s initial intention to hold demonstrations outside Catholic churches during Sunday prayers Muhydin is lending the authority of his office to launch a dangerous attack on the fundamental human and constitutional right of freedom of religion. Never before has a governing political party been sanctioned to demonstrate outside a 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 irresponsibly and unmoved that 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. If the precedent of allowing demonstrations to be held in front of a place of religious worship, what is there to stop similar demonstrations to be held in other places of religiosus worship. Muhyidin must explain 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?
Similarly, the raid by Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) on the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) is completely unacceptable JAIS raid is unacceptable because questions are asked whether Chinese or Hindu temples would be next. 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 this reason, Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin should recant his provocative support for UMNO Selangor’s proposed demonstrations outside Catholic Churches on Sunday and sanctioning the forcible extension and compulsion of Islamic laws on non-Muslims. 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 that blood of peaceful protesters can be lawfully shed in the eyes of Islam. have only generated increased concern amongst non-Muslims not just of religious intolerance but of religious persecution.
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.
LIM GUAN ENG