Tok Guru Nik Aziz meets Bishop Sebastian Francis

Tok Guru Nik Aziz meets Bishop Sebastian Francis

On a day when a threat of Bible-burning by unknown bigots fizzled out, Pas spiritual leader Nik Aziz hosted a friendly private meeting with Catholic Bishop Sebastian Francis.

This one's from me to you: Tok Guru presents Bishop Sebastian with a mouth-watering cake
This one’s from me to you: Tok Guru presents Bishop Sebastian with a mouth-watering cake

It may have been Nik Aziz’s 82nd birthday on Sunday, but it was the octogenarian who handed over a cake to the Bishop of the Penang Diocese, which covers Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Perak and Kelantan. On the cake was inscribed the simple words: Kpd: Yg Mulia Bishop, Daripada: Tn Guru Dato Nik Aziz, Mursyidul Am Pas.

Delicious diplomacy: A sweet touch indeed
Delicious diplomacy: A ‘peace’ of cake, a sweet touch indeed

Though Nik Aziz had a full schedule in Penang, he cancelled another appointment to make sure he could meet Sebastian at short notice. Looking frail, the Tok Guru said he now finds it difficult to stand air-conditioning and even rain. But sunshine is always welcome, he said, his face brightening up.

Though Tok Guru tires easily – he has a pacemaker – his aides say he perks up when the occasion demands such as when addressing a large ceramah. And on this occasion, he was clearly looking forward to meeting the Bishop.

"I will pray for your health," Bishop Sebastian assures Tok Guru.
“I will pray for your health,” Bishop Sebastian assures Tok Guru.

Nik Aziz touched on the importance of kerohanian (spirituality) – which Sebastian wholeheartedly agreed to – and lamented the excessive emphasis on materialism in development models today.

The Tok Guru pointed out that Islam honours the prophets, including Jesus. In Kelantan, he was pleased to add, there were many images of Buddha.

Bishop Sebastian expressed concern about Tok Guru’s health and said he would pray for him: “The nation needs your spiritual example,” he said.

Tok Guru expressed regret that certain people had created a controversy over religious matters. Bishop Sebastian concurred saying that that wasted energy could be better spent looking for missing children, for instance.

Later, when posing for a group photo, Nik Aziz joked, “I don’t know what the mainstream media is going to say about my meeting with you!”

Mujahid, Nik Aziz, Sebastian and Francis and Marie Jeanne
Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Nik Aziz, Sebastian Francis and Sr Marie Jeanne

The closed-door meeting was held on an auspicious day for the Pas spiritual leader for several reasons: It was his birthday; it was the first time he had witnessed a Thaipusam celebration in Penang (en route to meeting Karpal at his residence). He also received news that he is now a great-grandfather twice over – newborn twins. (He has 10 children and 52 grandchildren – that’s a lot of birthdays to keep track of!)

Earlier, he had laid the foundation stone for a minaret at a mosque in Batu Uban, which was built around 1710 (according to Mujahid), well before Francis Light set foot in Penang in 1786.

And it was the first time he was meeting Bishop Sebastian. When told that the Penang Diocese includes Kelantan, Nik Aziz immediately invited Sebastian to drop by at his residence in the East Coast state.

After about 30 minutes, Nik Aziz appeared to tire and he requested Mujahid to take his place to deliver a khutbah (sermon) at a surau after the meeting. (After resting, he made a brief 15-minute appearance at a ceramah later in the night.)

The meeting with the Bishop was held at Nik Aziz’s suite in a hotel in Penang. Also present in the Pas team were Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa and Tasik Gelugor Pas information chief Abdul Rahman Kasim, both of whom had just returned from a dialogue at Fatima Church in Kangar, as well as close aides of Tok Guru.

Bishop Sebastian was accompanied by Sister Marie Jeanne of the Little Sisters of the Poor and Arokiadass, newly appointed to take charge of inter-religious dialogue in the Penang Diocese.

From left: Abdul Rahman, Arokiadass, Mujahid, Nik Aziz, Sebastian and Marie Jeanne
From left: Abdul Rahman, Arokiadass, Mujahid, Nik Aziz, Sebastian and Marie Jeanne

This quiet and dignified encounter was the perfect riposte to the bigots who are trying to divide and rule the people and divert attention from the real issues of the day.

24 COMMENTS

  1. In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High enjoins Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews—the People of the Scripture):

    Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)

    http://www.acommonword.com/the-acw-document/

     
  2. Many years ago, while in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, I saw a group of elderly Chinese men, get off their breakfast and rush down to the street to greet a gentle looking Malay man dressed like an Uztaz. I did not know who this Malay man was at the time. But it was really good to see such warmth and sincerity exchanged by all the men. I later found out that it was Tok Guru Nik Aziz that those men rushed down to greet. Whenever I see his face, I see a level of holiness and kindness, nobility of spirit and peacefulness. May ALLAH continue to keep our beloved Tok Guru in good health.

     
  3. In the hearts of peaceful Malaysians, Tok Guru is ranked as one of the two greatest statesmen, together with Tunku, of our times! Tok Guru, may you continued to be blessed with good health.

     
  4. Well-meaning gesture to seal bilateral tie. Nevertheless, I wish to see more than that, i.e. honouring Christian right to use Allah in word and speech.

     
  5. […]”This one’s from me to you: Tok Guru presents Bishop Sebastian with a mouth-watering cake”[…]

    The Kek says: “Kpd: Yg Mulia Bishop”

    Or is it the dungu bakery tak pandai Bahasa!?

    Hey Kawan!

    Siapa punye birthday, ah?! 😆

    In any case, Tok Nik “got away” with a cake! He didnt burn anything but baked a cake!

    Those strawberries make me salivate! 😆

     
  6. When we were in school, we regularly exclaimed “Alamak”. When we grew older, our regular meal order was “Alacarte”. In our golden years, we pray regularly to, you know who, for help and guidance. So, what’s the big deal on that word.

     
  7. Hi everyone,

    Congrats and way to go YAB Nik Aziz! You are doing wonders to your religion, showing religious bigots that Islam is a beautiful religion, often maligned because of being hijacked by misguided people, especially those in UMNO Baru!

    To UMNO Baru leaders and cronies, corruption is endemic as for them the be-all is “Dunia” and not “Akhirat”! Vote PAS and PR component parties in the next GE for a 2-party system whereby the PEOPLE are the masters and to help BN get rid of its rent-seekers and corrupted members!

     
  8. People love to cheat. One thing is, PAS is not = Islam and Islam is not = PAS

    And Nik Aziz is not = Islam and Islam is not = Nik Aziz

    The truth is Nik Aziz = politician
    The another truth is Nik Aziz using Islam to gain support.

    I hate to see such DRAMA !!! After all PAS hudud is non-negotiable[1]

    Reference:
    [1] Islamic state aim not negotiable, says Nik Aziz (http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/islamic-state-aim-not-negotiable-says-nik-aziz-1.112847)

     
    • Call it “Drama” call it “Politics” whatever you want, however irritating you want to be.
      You can’t deny the fact that whatever happened at YB Karpal Singh’s house on Thaipusam Day, 27 Jan 2013 was demonstration of human decency and mutual respect to co-exist irrespective of our differences.

      This, has never led to happen during UMNO/BN tenure of well over half a century in power except to ‘divide and rule’ – such, the characteristics of insecure bigots.
      It has to take Pakatan Rakyat to make it happen. Time to change the government!

      Cheers Malaysia!

       
    • GK,
      You are right on. Some love to cheat and its in the billions. You also seem to miss out … Some also love to kill while some love an adulterous life and sex with prostitute.

      And this is all equal === what ????. I am sure you know.

      Still in a denial mode or to cheat your way out

       
  9. Malaysians blown away by such fine gesture from all parties concerned, demonstrates magnanimity that’s truly “Malaysia-in-unity” and it has to have Pakatan Rakyat to make it happen, Wow!

    Happy Birthday Tok, may you live to be a hundred and “Taniah” on birth of your great-grandchildren!

     
    • What a contrast!

      While PAS went for peaceful resolution, Najib went to Gaza to endorse Hamas (terrorists?).

      Rakyat can make assessment here and make the right choice in PRU13.

       
      • Desperate times call for desperate measures! This Gaza trip looks very much a decision made out of hopelessness; he thought he would come back a chest beating hero – plans were in place for big talk, brave words but NAH(!!) now he has fell off 3 steps!

        In this day and age of electronics, internet news spread far and wide like wild fire! His visit to Gaza had incensed, insulted and offended Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and caused a diplomatic row.

        Read here…
        http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/01/23/262086.html

        How when then will Najib call for GE-13?

         
      • I think PAS support HAMAS too. All Malaysians should support HAMAS. They area fighting against occupation by a ruthless regime that many nations do not recognize.

         

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