Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Home Ministry oversteps the line by trying to tell Christians what religion is and is not...

I take offence when someone turns around and tells me what my religion is and/or should be. I am a Christian, a Roman Catholic - and in our religion, it includes all aspects of life - social, economic, cultural and political aspects.

For us religion, is not just about praying, going to Church, processions and reading the Bible - and the Home Ministry is treading on dangerous grounds in trying to define what 'religion' is for the Catholics. Just consider the Catholic church's social teachings and encyclicals.

Of course, human rights and justice issues are all part of the Christian faith. Current affairs, and discussion about what is happening in Malaysia and the world is all part of Christianity. For the Catholic Church, there are official Catholic Church teachings on all matters of the world.

As such, of course articles and/or editorials about the General Elections or the Permatang Pauh bye-elections are also matters so connected to our Christian Catholic faith religion - and it is right for the Herald to be carrying such articles in the Herald.

The threat of suspending the permit of the Herald should immediately be withdrawn...
The Catholic newsletter Herald may have its permit suspended if it goes ahead and publishes an editorial on the Permatang Pauh by-election.

An official with the Home Ministry’s publication control and al-Quran text division said this was because an editorial on the by-election was a topic under current affairs and politics.

“This clearly goes against the conditions of their permit which should only centre on their religion and religious activities. It will earn the Herald another warning letter and probably, even a suspension,” he said in an interview here yesterday.

He said the ministry was not satisfied with their answers to a show-cause letter as they were “clearly going against the conditions of their permit” by continuing to publish various articles, some of which were related to Islam. - Star Online, 13/8/2008 -Catholic newsletter warned to stay off politics

Some days back, a Malaysiakini report also dealt with this matter"-

Publications Control and Al-Quran Texts Unit senior officer Che Din Yusof when contacted confirmed that cautionary letters were sent to Herald but was unsure if any letters were sent to CANews.

"It is because what they did was contrary to the conditions in their permit. They are suppose to focus on religion but instead they focused on political issues on Anwar Ibrahim.

"We only sent a reminder, not a show cause letter. If they don’t comply with our reminder then we will send a show cause letter," he said.

He added that the ministry monitors these publications closely to make sure that they adhere to their respective permit conditions.

"We will see if they do it again. If they do, we will send another letter," he said... -Malaysiakini, 11/8/2008, Herald gets show cause letter

This is not the 1st time, that such letters have been sent to the Herald - but alas, for us not to discuss matters happening around us -- not to discuss Anwar - not to discuss the corruption in society - not to discuss upcoming Permatang Pauh by-elections, etc will be contrary to what the Christian faith requires of Christians.

What does the Home Ministry want us to do - be like 'frogs under the coconut shell' (katak di bawah tempurung) and pray...pray...

A conservative Christian is what the government of the day - one who just prays and prays. Our faith, alas, is a see, judge and act - and it is because of our faith that we did chose who we did in the last GE2008 in March 2008.

I also wonder why the Publications Control and Al-Quran Texts Unit is involved in making determination about a Christian publication - come on, this is too much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is not too much. YOu get EXACTLY the Govt you voted for!