RELEASE OF MCCBCHST (Inter Religious Council)
Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism & Taoism)
notes with deep concern that the cowhead incident in Shah Alam is not an
isolated case. Another recent example of this kind of insensitivity was when
the Holy Eucharist was desecrated when certain persons went to a church, took
the consecrated bread and spewed it out.
Such irreverent and
sacrilegious conduct should not be condoned and allowed to be repeated with
impunity. In seating the organisers of the recent demonstration in Shah Alam to
his right and left during his press conference, the home affairs minister
seemed to have bestowed honour to the perpetrators of a gravely offensive and
dangerous event whereby seditious speeches accompanied by the stepping on the
severed head of the cow were made. What signals would this send to the people?
therefore, the same disrespectful, unruly and unwilling to listen behaviour on
the part of some rendered the town hall meeting between the Menteri Besar and
Section 23 residents to discuss the issue on September 5 2009
unmanageable and unproductive.
The same rules must
apply to all.
MCCBCHST is concerned
that whereas in the August 28 2009 Shah Alam incident the police had stood by
while the demonstrators desecrated the cow head and made seditious speeches,
the police acted strongly against would-be candlelight vigilers in the vicinity
ofDataran Merdeka on September 5 2009. Also, Malaysiakini has
now been warned by MCMC (Malaysian
Communications and Multimedia Commission) not to make the video showing the terrible acts in the
Shah Alam incident available for viewing to their readers. Thinking Malaysians
will rightly raise the question: Which comes first- the act or the video which
exposes the act? How do we as a country go about resolving our problems? In
this case, stopping the video of the act will not unmake the act. We must
surely first prevent the act and the video would not have existed.
For the sake and good
of all Malaysians and peace and order in Malaysia , consistent, fair, just and
rational measures should be applied regardless of religion, ethnicity, culture,
gender or political connection.
There must be one rule
for all Malaysians.
All who incite ill
feelings amongst religious communities, denigrate any religion, desecrate
the religious symbols of any religion or threaten to commit violence against
others must be promptly deterred and held accountable. They must face charges
and given a fair trial in a court of law.
committed by adherents of any one religion upon another religion must never be
condoned. We hold to the principle that all human beings and communities have a
sacred right of freedom of choice as far as their religious
belief and practice is concerned.
We stand with
Malaysians of all religious and political persuasions who were outraged by the
flagrant disregard for the sensitivities of others shown by the Shah Alam demonstrators.
We welcome the
partnership of all Malaysians of goodwill. Together we can weather the mischief
and bigotry of those who seek to drive a wedge between us and divide rather
than unite the people of this land.
We Malaysians live in
a pluralistic society and accordingly we must respect our neighbours
and endeavour to learn about their beliefs, customs and sentiments. It is upon
such understanding of others and what is dear to them that our nation can be
firmly rooted and grow strong and united.
The way to manage our
differences is not by creating enclaves whereby Malaysians will be segregated
and separated from one another but through understanding and respect. Let us
live together next to one another rather than to live apart. Each succeeding
generation of Malaysians should grow closer rather than to be pulled
The site chosen in
Section 23 of Shah Alam for the Hindu temple to be relocated to
complies with local government conditions. It is over 300 meters away from any
housing area, six times more than the 50-meter requirement. If the
authorities accept the objection to it by certain quarters, the social dynamics
of Malaysian life will be affected and the consequence on national
integration will be very serious indeed.
We must not subscribe to
the view of thinking about Malaysians as majorities and
minorities, and majorities versus minorities.
calls upon all Malaysians of goodwill to be in earnest prayer for the peaceful
and just resolution of the issue. Those in authority at the community,
religious and governmental level must be firm to unequivocally reject
unreasonable, unfair and anti-social behaviour and demand.
Rev. Dr Thomas
Philips, MCCBCHST President