ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Christians disgusted Najib is back to religious bigotry after papal visit

Sulaiman Kamal | 5:08 AM | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Prime Minister Najib Razak seems to be creating more problems for himself each time he opens his mouth to speak. After visiting Pope Benedict XVI, a number of Christians here hoped that he would be more understanding towards other faiths in Malaysia.
Instead, the PM put his foot into his mouth when he returned, sparking cynicism within the Christian community that those who had criticised him were right.
The PM was a "gas-bag" who said nice things to the Pope and the outside world, but shows his true colours the moment he is home by reverting to racial and religious politicking, they slammed.
“The government will engage with Christian groups here that love peace and respect the country’s Islamic leadership. We wish to tell our friends the Malaysian Christians… if they respect us, we will also respect them,” Bernama had reported Najib as saying.

Deliberate affront to Christians
Christians, who see this as an affront, reeled with anger and disappointment. Baru Bian, himself a staunch Christian and Sarawak PKR leader, questioned if the PM was intentionally insinuating that Christians do not respect Islam.
“Being a Christian means you respect other religion, be it Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism. No Christian will ever dispute that fact, so why is the PM implying as if Christians do not respect other religion, what more Islam,” Baru told Malaysia Chronicle.
Like other Christians in the country, Baru Bian had hoped that following Najib's meeting with the Pope, he would deal with more important issues including the Catholic Herald appeal case over the Allah word and the seizure of the Malay-language Bibles.
“Instead, he swung right into the topic of telling the country that Christians should respect Islam, as if he is the protector of Islam. What he is saying is a non issue in the country. The majority of Malaysians are respectful of each other’s faith. Najib statement’s is very misleading and mean. He is politicisng religion and this shows he has two faces - one for overseas and one for at home,” chided Baru.
Self-glorification at national expense
Another Christian, Terence, said something is very wrong in the country if the PM could start "politicising" religion so soon after meeting someone as high as the Pope. "I have never been disrespectful to my Muslim or Buddhist friends,” said Terence.
Terence was of the view that the PM should stop going on a "self-glorifying" trip and get his lackeys to gather thousands of people to wait at the airport just to profess their loyalty to him.
“It’s such a self-centred show telling his rivals, look, I have so many proclaiming their support of me and welcoming me back with open arms. No wonder the world looks at us as a self-centred country, a nation that never seems to grow up,” he added.
Lam, a lawyer of the Buddhist faith, believes that if a leader of a country is one to twist and manipulate facts to confuse its citizens and at the same time turning one against the other, the country is in danger of losing it. A good leader, said Lam, unites his people, not pit them against each other through race and religion.
“Bersih has shown the beautiful side of one nation, one voice and one togetherness. And do you call that a threat to the nation? The thousands of people gathered at the July 9 rally spoke proudly of each other as Malaysians. Doesn’t the BN government want that?" asked Lam.
"With that sort of unity, Malaysia can rise higher with good things to come. Why is UMNO and Najib against that sort of national unity? If they think that is wrong, then there is something very wrong with the government system.”
What are they really after
Indeed, experts have warned that the political leadership of this country should take note that racial and religious polarization is now at its worse in Malaysia. Such divide-and-rule tactics were also a double-edged sword.
The British, through their colonization process, had practiced such a policy to weaken their subjects. But Malaysia is now a nation of its own and should never resort to such policies anymore, the experts have advised. They added that in this modern era, a polarized society will not only breed discontentment against the rulers but also distrust within the society itself.
But Najib's critics doubt that he will listen or change his ways. For him and the UMNO elite, racial and religious bigotry would always be their "tried and tested" weapons to stay in power.
Religious tolerance is a sign of political maturity, a quality that is very much needed in the present political climate, but then stability, unity and harmony amongst the races may not be what Najib and cohorts are after!  


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