Wednesday, May 01, 2013

CFM Statement Against Anti-Christian Election Billboards

(H/T: Robert Lip Seng Kee)

1 May 2013


Christians are appalled at the despicable and heinous message on election campaign boards which has gone viral among Netizens recently (see 2 photos attached).

The message asking “Do you want to see your grandchildren praying in Allah’s house” and with two pictures of churches with the Cross and the words “Gereja Allah” is incendiary and may pose a danger for Christians and Churches just because we use the word “Allah”. These fears are real given the recent history of Church burnings and threats to burn the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia.

The message pits one community (Muslims) against Christians by spreading fear through scare tactics using the issue of “Allah” which the High Court had allowed as a right to freedom of religion.

CFM and other Christian leaders have in the past said that Bumiputera Christians whose only common language is Bahasa Malaysia had used the Bible in BM and the word “Allah” for centuries without any resistance until recently. Hence, it is extremely mischievous and malicious to pit Muslims against Christians who have always enjoyed good relationships, to gain political points with such blatant misinformation.

Christians and all right-thinking Malaysians should rightly condemn such inflammatory election campaign billboards and for that matter all such campaign materials and rhetoric in the run-up to polling day on 5 May 2013.

We strongly urge the Election Commission to immediately remove such billboards and materials and the authorities to investigate and charge the person or persons responsible.

We call upon fellow Malaysians to report to the police such billboards and other campaign materials and speeches which disrespect our communities and incite against another religion for political expedience.

The Christian community maintains its rights as guaranteed by our Federal Constitution, which includes the right of non-Muslims to manage their own religions. This right includes those Malaysians who only know Bahasa Malaysia besides their native language, such as the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, the Babas, and the Orang Asli peoples, using the AlKitab and all other materials in Bahasa Malaysia necessary for their religious purposes.

At the same time, we note with great dismay the upsurge in polls-related violence (as reported in the media) such as the torching of cars, the planting of explosive devices near ceramah centres, arson cases and motorcycle gangs scaring off people going to ceramahs which are attempts to cause fear and intimidation in the days just before election day. We urge all to be more circumspect during this election season.

Yours sincerely

Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng,
Chairman and the Executive Committee
The Christian Federation of Malaysia

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) is an ecumenical umbrella body in Malaysia that comprises the Council of Churches of Malaysia (mainline Protestants and Oriental Orthodox), National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (Evangelicals) and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia (Roman Catholic).

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