Religious bigotry on the rise again under 1Malaysia policy -by Dr Chen Man Hin

5 April, 2011

The seizure of 30,000 Christian Bibles printed in Malay and imported into Malaysia is a serious breach of religious freedom. This is a glaring example of the failure of Najib’s promise of a better Malaysia for all, irrespective of race, culture and religion. Reliable sources say that the Bibles do not contain any philosophy or teachings which are any different from the Bibles used in the country for centuries, since Christianity came into the country whether in the Peninsula or in Sarawak and Sabah.

It would appear that the Bibles were seized because the authorities consider the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the bibles was prohibited and therefore seditious. This is religious bigotry on the part of some fanatics in the Muslim community. Allah is the name of the God of the Christians and Muslims in Arab countries for centuries. They invoke the name Allah when they pray and freely when they greet each other. In Malaysia the Christian natives praise Allah when they pray and when saluting each other in everyday life. To them Allah is part and parcel of their religion, culture and lifestyle. In the Peninsula there are also thousands of Christian workers from Sabah and Sarawak who go regularly to churches and pray to Allah.

It is hard to understand why local Muslims are so conservative on the issue. It is time for Malaysian Muslims to move on, and embrace reforms like their Muslim brothers in the Arab countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and others. This is an important issue which should be taken up by the interfaith council, to arrange for a dialogue of all the faiths to reach a common understanding.

Why has 1Malaysia failed to promote religious understanding? It is because Najib announced that his 1Malaysia does not subscribe to pluralism in the country. Does he imply that Islam is the big brother, and the other religions are on a lower plane?
If pluralism is not accepted, the whole concept of unity in a multiracial, multireligious society would be undermined. A united multireligious society means that the religions are equal and live together with perfect harmony and understanding.
Mr Prime Minister, please take note if you are sincere in promoting equality and unity for a better and prosperous Malaysia. -The Rocket

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