Utusan Malaysia is at it again. Faced with declining circulation and a buoyant opposition coalition after Sarawak, the Umno-owned paper resorts to stirring the pot and trying to create ill-will among Malaysians.
This strikes me as a paper that sudah hilang modal, i.e. has no other issue to capitalise on. (Same goes for the bloggers the paper cites.) Such irresponsible reporting should be censured by all right-thinking Malaysians and people of goodwill.
Joint Statement by the Christian Pastors of Penang with Penang Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng at Komtar, Penang 9 May 2011
DAP and the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng have never asked Christian Pastors to pray to seek God’s divine intervention to establish Malaysia as a Christian state or have a Christian Prime Minister.
Christian Pastors and Churches have always prayed for blessings for the nation, peace and well-being, unity and harmony amongst all races as well as a leadership that is honest and just.
Christian Pastors and Churches are aggrieved that such outright lies can be published in the mass media. We sincerely and strongly urge the Prime Minister and Home Minister to take action against Utusan Malaysia for printing and spreading such dangerous lies that have disturbed the multi-religious harmony of society, created fear and uneasiness amongst Malaysians, especially Christians.
We express grave concern that Utusan Malaysia is spreading dangerous lies that make Christians the object of hate and incite hatred against Christians that may lead to undesirable consequences.
The Chief Minister of Penang will continue to meet with Christian leaders, Bishops or Pastors just as he meets with Muslim clerics, Buddhist or Hindu monks in line with Mr. Lim Guan Eng’s duties as the Chief Minister.
Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM)
a) Roman Catholic Church
b) Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM)
c) National Evangelical Christian Fellowship of Malaysia
Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister
And this is a response by the organisers of the conference, which became the subject of Utusan’s cover story. The conference was held on 5-6 May and organised by the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), Global Day of Prayer, Marketplace Penang and Penang Pastors Fellowship:
Christians’ response to “Making Christianity the official religion?”
The Christian community in Penang is disturbed by unwarranted and unsupported claims and allegations as contained in the write-up “Making Christianity the official religion” in the blog “The Thirteen Million plus Ringgit Guy Ramble ….”
While it is true that several Christians and pastors gathered together at a hotel in Macalister Road for dinner, the gathering was never with the intention to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia nor was it with a vow to have a Christian Prime Minister. The dinner was held to honour several pastors from Sarawak who was in Penang for the Unashamedly Ethical marketplace conference held this morning. Such fellowship dinners are common amongst Christians and are part and parcel of the Christian custom of love and fellowship.
The organiser of the Unashamedly Ethical marketplace conference is also perturbed by the claims in the blog that a special convention in the morning and a special meeting to be held this evening at Khaw Sim Bee Road, Georgetown was to ponder over having a Christian brother as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The organiser vehemently denies such a claim as being unfounded and totally untrue aimed at creating division and social disharmony in multi-ethnic society of Malaysia and appears to be seditious. The so called special convention this morning was in fact an Unashamedly Ethical marketplace seminar organised to discuss and address the issue of bribery and corruption in the marketplace and the Christians’ contribution in addressing such issues. It has nothing to do with political succession.
The Christian scripture has always affirmed the teaching and practice to honour and pray for the ruling authorities. This is demonstrated in the custom in Penang where pastors have consistently prayed for the leaders of the State in public meeting irrespective of who they are or which party they represent. The question of whether who will become the ruling government and the prime minister must be left to the democratic processes and by the will of God.
The organiser therefore call on all ethnic and religious communities to reject unfounded claims and negative assertion and stand together in upholding love, charity, compassion, righteousness and mutual respect as well as to contribute positively towards the development in the state of Penang and the nation as a whole.
Organisers of Unashamedly Ethical Conference,