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Friday, August 5, 2011

BN season for racial, religious politicking begins: DU church raided

Sulaiman Kamal | 12:19 AM | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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It looks like the season for racial and religious politicking has begun. Prime Minister Najib Razak has given it the flag-off as his UMNO party looks to draw Malay voters closer to its fold ahead of snap general elections widely expected to be held within the October-November period.
Police and the religious authorities in Selangor, a state which Najib is under tremendous pressure to regain, raided a multi-racial dinner held at Dream Centre building, which also houses the Damansara Utama Methodist Church, based on a vague complaint. The building has many dinner event and seminar rooms apart from the ccordinchurch hall.

Ag to news reports, about 30 enforcement officers from JAIS entered the church without a warrant at 10pm. The unlawfulness of their behaviour shocked Malaysians when they read the news over morning coffee on Thursday.
"There is no call for such rash action and by now, everybody should know this. In fact, Malaysians are wondering why the Prime Minister has not given his direction on this issue since he recently came back from the Vatican. Surely, Christians in Malaysia will want to know after establishing ties with the Vatican, what is the status of Christians here. And this is something only Najib can tell us all," Ramon Navaratnam, past president of Transparency International, told Malaysia Chronicle.
More to come in a bid to get the Malays paranoid and fearful
But Najib is also the head of Selangor UMNO and has vowed to retake the state government at any costs. So the response has centred on why are Christians being targeted. However, many pundits believe that Najib should also watch closely if there was any reaction from the Muslim community.
"It looks like an attack against the Christians but maybe his real purpose is to get the blessings of the Selangor Muslims for this sort of action. If Selangor Muslims endorse this sort of aggression, then Najib may feel he is justifed although this sort of behaviour of stirring up hate for other religions is sinful. If Muslims get fed-up by all his insane behaviour, then Najib will lose the respect and support of both Muslims and Christians. It is a double-edged sword for him," PAS leader Hatta Ramli told Malaysia Chronicle.
According to DUMC senior pastor Dr Daniel Ho, an NGO called Harapan Komuniti had organised an annual thanksgiving dinner at the church building, which saw an attendance of between 100 and 120 guests of all races.
“They were mainly Christians... there were about 15 or so Malays. “The police came in on the pretext of a complaint and said somebody made a complaint,” an online portal reported Ho as saying, adding that it was never disclosed what the  complaint was about.
More to come
Pakatan Rakyat leaders have slammed the high-handed move, but said they were expecting more of such incidents to happen closer to the GE date, which may say could be on November 11, as this was Najib's lucky' or favourite number.
"It is more than just being overzealous. This is the start to a concerted move to get the Malays upset, paraniod and fearful of the Chinese, the Jews and the Christians. What UMNO wants are the votes of the Malays and the Indians. So they will play this hate game, we don't know yet how far they will go but I think we must all be on guard and watchful," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

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