August 8, 2011
PAS: No Decision on Dissident Hassan Ali
Hazlan Zakaria at http://www.malaysiakini.com
Aug 7, 11
PAS will set a meeting with both the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) and the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) to find out first hand what went on at the controversial raid on a fundraising dinner this week.
“PAS will go down to the ground and we will meet with both Jais and the church, the two parties directly related to the incident to find out what really happened,” party president Abdul Hadi Awang (left) told a press conference at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
The PAS central working committee which met today had already listened to the Selangor exco Hassan Ali’s version of what went on.
The PAS president stressed that Hasan was there as he is a member of the central working committee and not summoned specifically for questioning. “We have listened to his explanation, the rest are all media reports, which we take with a grain of salt. So we need to listen to the people involved,” said Hadi.
Asked why they needed to explore the topic further despite Hassan already having his say, Hadi said that while they have heard the Selangor exco’s explanation of what happened, now they needed to hear from others in the interest of fairness.
Bombarded with queries from reporters, he refused to say if the report from Hassan (left) was either inadequate or could not be relied upon.
Secretary-general Mustafa Ali, said that he will contact both JAIS and the Church and set a date for a meeting which will be soon.
‘Christians converting Muslims’
In the Wednesday night raid on the dinner, JAIS enforcement officers raided the Dream Centre, a hall situated in DUMC’s grounds, where the function was held and disrupted proceedings, picking up Muslims in attendance to give their statements as well as searching the premises.
Speaking in his capacity as the state exco in charge of Islamic religious affairs, Hassan Ali explained Jais’ raid as a move to prevent the proselytisation of Muslims by Christians. However this was vehemently denied by church leaders.
Several Malay dailies have reported that JAIS was acting on information that Malay language bibles were also distributed to Malays during such event. The Malaysians Aids Council, however, clarified that the dinner was a fund-raiser for Aids patients.
Hassan was also reported by a Malay daily as saying that he would gladly resign as exco in order to defend the Muslim Akidah.
‘Hassan still exco’
Quizzed on if the matter may cause a rift with the state government, Hadi said that there was no such thing. “We are a part of the state government. Without us there is no state government.”
As for Hassan’s status as state exco, Hadi said the meeting did not make any resolution or discussed that as it is under the purview of the MB and the Sultan to decide. “As far as we are concerned, Hassan is still part of the exco,” the PAS president intoned.
“We have no problem with him,” chimed in vice president Salahuddin Ayub who was also at the press conference.
Catholic Bishop laments PAS decision
Aug 7, 11
Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing called the decision by PAS to meet up with the two parties to the issue of alleged Christian proselytising of Muslims in Damansara last week as “an equivocation, a temporising measure.”
“I’m disappointed, but given the nature of politics, this is to be expected,” said the head of the Catholic diocese of Melaka-Johor.
“I had hoped for a surgical resolution of the issue but this decision by PAS is a recipe for protraction,” he lamented.
“In the meantime, the suspicion of Christians as fifth columnists in a Muslim dominant nation continues,” he regretted.
“Here you have someone who has made an accusation for which he says he has the evidence. He has yet to show it.You don’t make an accusation on surmise; you make it on solid evidence. Otherwise you don’t make it, especially if you are a religious person,” commented the Bishop, who is concurrently president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia.
“I don’t think I can be faulted for engaging in a spurious triumphalism but the Christian circumspection about politics is wise – render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s is an admonition by Christ about the nature of politics. You may now see why that is so because politics is an arena inherently inhospitable to truth-telling,” expatiated the Jesuit-trained prelate.
“You now have a situation where any Muslim so inclined can make an accusation against Christians in this country and it will incumbent on the latter to furnish a defence when the boot should properly be on the other foot – it’s for the one preferring the accusation to demonstrate the solidity of the evidence for leveling the charge,” remonstrated the Bishop.
“Thus you can see how Christians have now come to feel about their situation – that it is easier for the accuser to level a charge while the one being accused has gradually to backpedal in the face of inquisitors who are acting mala fide,” said the septuagenarian prelate.“This is not right,” he complained.