The Bible in Malay language – II

One might actually say that there is something wrong in the Prime Minister’s Office. A certain one of his ministers is talking exactly like a Christian preacher. He quotes from the Bible, and even offers an offensive comment that some people “long” for a “total revival” in Malaysia. Doesn’t the PM’s Office know that the term “revival” has a completely different meaning and connotation for Christians than for Muslims? And that the form and format of the Christian “revival” is completely against the Muslim belief?

This spokesman for the PM’s office then talks about lent as if it is a current ritual to be performed. Lent has not been observed in western Christian communities for centuries, except in a symbolic, dimly remembered way. The season of Lent has not been well observed in much of evangelical Christianity, largely because it was associated with “high church” liturgical worship that some churches were eager to reject. There is absolutely nothing in the modern-day lent comparable to the spirit of Ramadhan. But the PM’s office does not appear to know this.

Aside from verbally offending many Malay Muslims (and other resident Muslims) quite a lot, the leader himself seems to have come quite near to sedition in violating the constitutional warnings about offending the Malay Muslims or uplifting other religions in any such way as we have seen here this past week.

I believe that his actions have contravened Section 298A of our Penal Code, which stipulates the following provision… “Causing, etc., disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing, etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion 298A. (1) Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations, or by any act, activity or conduct, or by organizing, promoting or arranging, or assisting in organizing, promoting or arranging, any activity, or otherwise in any other manner— (a) causes , or attempts to cause , or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will; or Penal Code 117 (b) prejudices, or attempts to prejudice, or is likely to prejudice, the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years.”

Does this office have enough qualifications to speak about religion, in particular on behalf of Islam, if they release statements that reek of the Christian style of thinking and talking? Surely, the Muslim leaders in the Government should have been involved in this decision to import the Malay translation of the Bible. Had there been their effective involvement, there might have been some Muslim-sounding comments in the PM’s Department recent release.

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