Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Utusan’s Ridhuan Tee defends removal of crosses at Xmas party

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 — Utusan Malaysia columnist Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah defended today the action by aides of Datuk Seri Najib Razak who sought the removal of Christian symbols at a Christmas gathering a week ago.

The conservative Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia lecturer said the instruction did not violate freedom of religion, and urged the Christians to respect the prime minister’s Islamic faith.

“In my opinion if there is any truth in the report, the request of the prime minister’s office is tolerable. It has nothing to do with violation of religious freedom, except for those who seek political mileage,” said Tee in his weekly column published by Utusan Malaysia’s Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia.

He said Christians have never been prevented from celebrating Christmas despite forming less than ten per cent of the population and indicated that the community should tone down its celebration to reflect its population size.

“Christmas celebration sometimes looks as if they form more than 50 per cent of the population. Out of respect for religious freedom, no restriction has been imposed, although it should be celebrated moderately as they are less than ten per cent of the population,” he added.

Last week, The Malaysian Insider reported that Najib’s aides had instructed church officials to remove crucifixes and other overt Christian symbols from being displayed at the party grounds in Bukit Nanas before the PM’s visit, in their zeal to protect his Islamic credentials.

Hymns and prayers were also barred.

Sources disclosed that the orders were issued without the PM’s knowledge. He is now away on holidays in Dubai and is due to return this week.

It was Najib’s first time attending a Christian function in his official role since taking over power in April 2009.

Tee, however, said Najib’s presence at the Christmas celebration was a major compromise made as a Muslim.

“True, Christians have every right to mark the celebration. But shouldn’t they show some respect to the prime minister as the No 1 leader who is a Muslim?” asked Tee.

“According to the Islamic laws, Muslims are not supposed to attend many of the non-Islamic celebrations, but for the sake of promoting tolerance and harmony, our leaders decided to close one eye.

“In my opinion, even without the instruction, the church should have understood Muslim sensitivities in the country after 53 years of independence. However, if it is no longer an issue, I suggest for the Selangor or Kelantan mentri besar to one day officiate the opening of a temple or a church. I am confident non-Muslims too would not be comfortable if we have them attend Islamic celebrations in mosques,” he added.

Both states mentioned are run by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) governments and have been subject to criticisms by Tee, who has never hidden his admiration for Umno and its policies.

Tee also said that Najib would suffer political setback if his aides had not taken the precautions.

“Imagine if the prime minister was not cautious when entering the ‘house of worship’, pictures of the prime minister with a crucifix over his head would surface. It will be politicised by the opposition,” said Tee.

“I still remember how a crucifix was used to undermine a Muslim leader not too long ago. It does not matter who did it, but the incident should be a lesson,” he added.

He was referring to the campaign in Election 1990 when photographs of then Semangat 46 leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah wearing a Kadazan headgear with a crucifix symbol was distributed. The photograph was printed by Umno-controlled newspapers on the eve of the election and was said to have helped secure victory by Barisan Nasional (BN) under then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Tee said to avoid similar controversy in the future, Christmas celebrations should be held in public places and not in church grounds.

“We hardly see hari raya open house celebrations being held in mosques out of respect to non-Muslim’s sensitivity. Celebrations are usually held in public places to avoid controversy. The main objective is unity,” he said.

The Christmas party last week was hosted by Catholic Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam and held at the car park of his official residence in Cardijn House in Jalan Bukit Nanas.


Taken from The Malaysian Insider.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every religion has it own method how to respect others.

no need for another religion to "advise" another.

Who is Ridhuan Tee to advise Christian how to respect PM.

But PM should learn how to respect Christian religion.

NOT one wa please.

Anonymous said...

Main your own religion no religion on earth is superior to each other only believers who make it...remember when human being die they will leave behind nothing except they rot like any other creatures created by ALMIGHTY GOD!!!

Anonymous said...

Just look at his name- the son of Abdulah. Ohh my Tee (O) as muslim convert you dont have to ANGKAT pelir Ketuanan Melayu- dont make it so obvious brother!

Why small percentage of Christians could not make the celebration grand? Is it in the federal constitution?

Christians majority in the western world never stop muslims from celebrating a big Hari Raya.

Stop talking nonsense!

Anonymous said...

Cina tak sedar diri itulah cina murtad...masuk islam ingat boleh jadi melayu ke? Stupid maggot...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous January 5, 2011 9:28 PM...,

...["Cina tak sedar diri itulah cina murtad...masuk islam ingat boleh jadi melayu ke? Stupid maggot..."]

Ooi! Bukan masuk "Melayu" lah!

Masuk Islam. Islam bukan Melayu saja! Di negara lain di mana ada orang "Melayu", ada mereka bukan Muslim. Orang Arab pun banyak Christian atau tiada agama. Bapa Nabi sendiri tak sempat masuk Islam.

Islam apa yang kau maksudkan itu?

Di Timur Jauh, atau Far East, hampir semua orang berketurunan dari dua punca manusia awal/purba:

1.Dari "Orang Jawa" atau "Java Man"
2.Dari "Orang Peking" atau "Peking Man"

(4Malaysia)

# Java Man
# Peking Man

Anonymous said...

Apa hal Pak Najib macam sembahyang dalam gereja pula? Siapa punya siapa yang bagi sembahyang tu? Masuk gereja pandai sembahyang macam orang kristian juga ha...ha... itu dia!!!Ba..kata orang masuk kandang kambing mengembek...masuk kandang babi menguek....maca2 hal sekarang dunia-dunia....