Friday, August 05, 2011

Ask Respect, Show Respect

In my recent post on Are We Not Over-Reacting? I wrote:

Yet the reminder was gentle and kind and I believe done without malice. It said that while it is good that you are part of our Ramadan celebration but please to respect our tradition and show some good manner and respect. I believe it is a fair reminder and request.

A day later, that very night a mainline church, Damansara Utama Methodist Church, in Petaling Jaya, was raided by Islamic religious officers supported by the police for undisclosed reasons. The senior pastor of the church revealed that some 15 Malays were there attending a thanksgiving dinner held in its premise. That may have a connection to the raid but as no search warrant was produced, the raid was deemed illegal, high handed and totally disrespectful. It smack of thievery and arrogance that the raiders believe they are above the laws. Of course the news escalated protests and disbelief that such an incident still continue to recur in this multi-religious nation.

In the hastily withdrawn TV advertisements, the non-Muslims were reminded to not be carried away but should respect and display good manners to the Muslims during their Ramadan celebration. Likewise wouldn't it be fair to ask the JAIS and the police to do likewise to people of other faith? They are entering a church building! They are disrupting a private event. They gate crashed! They lack common courtesy. They lack respect. They must apologize for their highhandedness. Whatever the reason or excuse the raid cannot support the argument that it has to take place in the dark.

We can all say this has nothing to do with politics. In Malaysia today, unfortunately, EVERY news is colored with politics. As of now, the highest level reaction has come from the chief minister of Selangor, the state in which the incident occurred, who asked for an explanation from JAIS before consulting with the Sultan of Selangor. I don't know if a remark will come from the prime minister at all who so aggressively promoted the 1Malaysia culture. Like it or not the public are viewing the incident as a Muslim authority raid against a Christian held event. How bad can this get? And what impact on the soon to come general election? It is anyone's guess for now.


Anonymous said...

Dear Peter, i am not interested to know why or who ordered the raid,all i know is that its wrong wrong wrong wrong x30 times wrong no matter what the reason they can conjure up,i pray the highest level of leaders in our beloved MALAYSIA to investigate and demand those concern to apologise ASAP,and admit it was wrong wrong wrong. All Religion should or shall i say MUST be respected at all cost.GOD BLESS, I agree with what you wrote and i am a Muslim by religion your friend AL MAL.

Peter Yew said...

Dear Al, the issue is freedom of worship which was never an issue years ago. Central to this is also the issue of human rights that so many Malaysians fought for last month. When the authorities begin to restrict these rights it is human nature to react defensively. Najib said recently that we must not just tolerate but embrace one another. I wonder when will this be ever practised across the entire Malaysian society. That will be the day paradise come to us. Peter.


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