We call on the Prime
Minister to provide more opportunities for meaningful dialogues
between all religions so that we can make religious tolerance truly
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw
(Kuala Lumpur, Friday): We wish everyone Merry Christmas that should bring peace, goodwill and comity. That the Prime Minister visited the open house by the Christian Federation on Christmas Day was a good sign. We hope he continues to attend open houses of all religions.
Dato’ Seri Abdullah emphasized that religious tolerance was practised as second nature by Malaysians, a fact that the international community acknowledged as Malaysia’s best quality. We wish that Malaysia truly has religious tolerance that will be forever.
True, there is no outward religious intolerance. The Special Branch works on any incident that may develop into a religious conflict. Compared to other countries, such as Sri Lanka or Palestine or India, we have no overt religious animosity.
Matters that are objected by certain religious followers like the proposed church in Shah Alam and the siting of mosques in areas with few Muslims and with muezzin’s call at dawn are handled with care. But then, we require meaningful dialogues to ensure true tolerance. We hope the Prime Minister consider the rationale of this type of dialogues and conferences between all religions.
As Non-Muslims do not want Islamic State, Dato’ Seri Abdullah has to make sure that the polity of this nation will not be changed. The declaration of Malaysia as an Islamic State by the former PM on 29 September, 2001 and the Pas’s Islamic State document on 12 November, 2003, have serious implications. We should uphold the Federal Constitution and the quintessence of parliamentary democracy.
* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong