I hope that the Prime Minister has, or will, apologize to Malaysians for the issuance of such a directive, especially if it was one that called for the removal of crucifixes(crosses) from the venue of the party, the non-singing of certain Christmas hymns, saying of prayers, etc... It mattters not whether the directive was mere suggestions or otherwise. It matters not whether Najib specifically approved it or it was just send by some officer of his government....
It is good indeed that Malaysian Christians did not cow down to such unreasonable demands...
The Herald report:-The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) has confirmed that it never received any official directive from the Prime Minister's Office to remove crucifixes from the Christmas event attended by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on Dec 25.
"The CFM received no written directive. I am not aware of any such directive given by the Prime Minister's Office," said CFM executive secretary Tan Kong Beng, who when contacted today added that communications with the Prime Minister's Office normally go through him.
Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam (left), who had hosted the annual social event in the compounds of his resident last Christmas, was however unavailable for comment.
Sources at Prime Minister's Office, too, claim that there had been no official directive, and that if anything, the 'orders' were likely made by "overzealous officers" without Najib's knowledge.
"Even (United States) President Obama would have problems controlling the personal skews of his officers no matter how good or competent the officers may be," a source said, adding that prolonging the matter would only add to the fissures in society.PM's Office: No commentThe Prime Minister's Office has apparently officially chosen to keep lips sealed on this matter.Contacted for an official response today, the office's media advisor Jalaluddin Bahaudin said: "I don't want to comment on this matter".
Yesterday, Seputeh parliamentarian Teresa Kok demanded that Najib apologise for his office's directive, saying that he was an ungracious guest and was disrespectful to Christianity.
It is understood that no hymns or prayers took place at the event but Tan said that this is normal as it is a social event and not a religious one.
The event was attended by the prime minister, government representatives, religious leaders, community leaders and politicians from both sides of the divide. - Malaysiakini, 31/12/2010, X'mas directive: Likely overzealous officers' fault
See also earlier posts:-KUALA LUMPUR: No crucifixes were taken down as there were no crucifixes mounted anywhere in the car park area fronting the residence of the Archbishop Murphy Pakiam. It is surprising that those who carried the news report in their various portals did not check the veracity about the statement of the ‘removal of crucifixes’.
There is no proper place to host a large gathering in or around the Archbishop’s residence. So on the eve of Christmas, the car park area was cleared of all cars and Bedouin like tents were put up as a make shift reception hall to celebrate Christmas. It was a simple celebration without much fan-fare.
The invitation cards were sent out to a number of people. Much of the programme as listed on the reverse of the card was carried out without much delay. The arrival of guests was scheduled for 3.00pm. The Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Fr Justus Pereira said the opening prayer, followed by the reading of the Gospel by Fr Julian Leow of College General, Penang. With that spiritual rite the carollers from the Cathedral of St John’s International Community began to sing a number of carols in their native languages.
There is that realism that the Church in Malaysia is also universal and is not just the Catholic population of Malaysia alone. The carollers were from Nigeria, Myanmar and Vietnam. To say that there wasn’t any singing of carols is to ignore their singing and their presence as well. So to say that the Archbishop complied with the requests of Ms Hardev Kaur from the Prime Minister’s Office is to DENY TRUTH.
At least one portal stated that “among the directives given from the Prime Minister’s Office” were:
To remove any overt Christian symbol, such as crucifixes, from the party premises.
Take a look at this: The Archbishop was seen wearing his pectoral cross and there were other Bishops who were also wearing their pectoral crosses. More crucifixes were put up than removed!
That carollers not belt out hymns. The carollers did sing a carol. It was Joy to the World.
Not to quote from Scriptures or say any Christian prayer during the visit.
We repeat, the Scripture was read by Fr Julian Leow and prayer was led by Fr Justus Pereira. We must always witness to the truth, for Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Each year under the auspices of the Christian Federation Malaysia, an open house Christmas celebration is held.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak with Archbishop Murphy Pakiam and Bishop Ng Moon Hing, who were wearing their pectoral crosses. HERALDpix courtesy of Tan Kong Beng.
The 2009 Christmas celebration was held at the Mar Thoma Church but the Prime Minister was not able to attend it, but for the 2010 Christmas celebration at the Archbishop’s residence, the Prime Minister was there till it was time for him to leave for KLIA. - Herald, 6/1/2011,Much Ado About Nothing!