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Friday, August 5, 2011

Malaysian Aids Council confirms 'church' dinner was for AIDS

Sulaiman Kamal | 10:54 PM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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The Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) today rose to Harapan Komuniti's support, saying that the NGO's dinner raided by the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) on Wednesday was actually a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS support programmes.
This is despite Selangor state exco Hasan Ali claiming that Jais had found evidence of "proselytisation" during the event.
In a statement today, its president Mohd Zaman Khan said that the dinner was organised by the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) to raise funds for the MAC partner organisation at its premises.

"It was intended to raise funds to support Harapan Komuniti, whose primary aim was to help Malaysians living with HIV, regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds.
The '1Malaysia Muhibbah Fundraising Dinner', said Mohd Zaman, the former federal CID chief, was meant to help provide financial assistance to the underprivileged and support for proper medication, treatment and care.
Harapan Komuniti is a partner organisation of MAC which also provides educational assistance to underprivileged children in Kuala Lumpur and Johor.
Saying that he is "disheartened" by the incident, Mohd Zaman sought an explanation from Jais, and called for precautionary steps to be taken to ensure that the integrity of Islam and interreligious harmony is not compromised.
Yesterday, Hasan Ali had said that Jais "searched" the church after a tip off that a breaking fast event would be taking place there.
His statement came shortly after Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim expressed regret over the incident and ordered a full report from the religious department.
PAS: Jais should have checked first
Meanwhile, PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said that Jais should have done preliminary investigations first before conducting the raid.
"Efforts must be taken to prevent sinful activities, but this does not mean that one should interfere in the affairs of other religions.
"In this case, Jais had acted on a tip-off, which is the right thing to do, but unfortunately, they did not first confirm the veracity of the information," he said in a statement.
He said that the religious department should have been more "cautious" due to the "political climate of the country".
"Don't be too quick to believe in slanderous statements and make ill-assumptions prior to investigations," he said.
Nevertheless, he said, the Muslims who had attended the fundraising dinner must "reflect on their actions to decide if they have unintentionally caused others to assume to worst about the dinner and the church.
"I hope that Jais can come forward to explain what happened and the result of their probe so that no more slanderous accusations would be made against the church, the Selangor government, Islam or the department itself during the holy month of Ramadan.
"If a mistake has been made, apologise," he said.

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