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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Media Statement: Authorities must take action against irresponsible, baseless and provocative reporting


A national Malay language daily, Utusan Malaysia, today (7th May 2011) carried a report under the headlines “Malaysia negara Kristian?”, (Malaysia, a Christian country?) where it was alleged that Christian leaders (paderi-paderi or priests/pastors) who at a closed door meeting in Penang had vowed to make Malaysia the official religion of Malaysia and to install a Christian as its Prime Minister. It was further reported that a meeting was to take place this evening at the Catholic Christian Centre (Pusat Kristian Katolik) in Penang and a public lecture will be organized tomorrow.

On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Malaysia, I would like to categorically refute the allegation that such a meeting had taken place or will take place in a Catholic venue in Penang. It is clear that this reporting is baseless and highly irresponsible as the reporters and editors of the above newspaper have not taken any reasonable steps whatsoever to verify the allegations made by anonymous bloggers. Furthermore, this report comes after the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), one of the organizers of the above meeting, having refuted the claims of those bloggers and the same was carried on online media. The NECF has further clarified that this meeting only covered the topic of ethical leadership and had no treasonous agenda as alleged by the bloggers and news report.

It is clear that such reporting has the effect of creating religious disharmony, inciting hatred and heaping odium on Christians. We therefore call upon the authorities and the police to immediately make a thorough investigation of this matter to determine the source of these insidious, provocative and malicious lies and to take the necessary action against those who seek to threaten the multi-cultural and multi-religious harmonious make-up in this country.

We, Christians constantly pray for good governance by political and civil authorities. We also teach our people to be God fearing, law abiding citizens and conscientious decision makers based on justice which is reflective of moral and divine laws. In the recent statements of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) regarding the Al-Kitab issue, we had always reiterated our commitment and readiness to dialogue and work together with the government and all parties for a just and reasonable solution. It is clear that our position has never been treasonous nor have we advocated hatred, antagonism or animosity towards any religion or groups of persons.

I continue to call upon all Catholics, Christians and all Malaysians to pray, dialogue and work together to strengthen national unity and harmony. May God bless our leaders with a firm vision and the courage and strength to uphold and realise it. 


Tan Sri Datuk Murphy Nicholas Pakiam DD
Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
President, Catholic Bishops of Malaysia 
7th May 2011

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