HarmonyMalaysia

Many Faiths, One Nation: our vision for Malaysia

Resolution adopted at the 30th General Assembly of MCCBCHST

Press Statement – 13 September 2012

This Resolution proposed by the Christian Federation of Malaysia was unanimously adopted by delegates to the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism held on 14 July 2012.

The Resolution
“In its ongoing discussions with the Government of Malaysia and with the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) shall propose and put forward as part of the National Education Policy the provision that all religions be allowed to teach their respective scriptures in national or in government-aided schools (for example, the SPM Bible Knowledge in the case of the Christians) wherein examinations thereto shall be prepared and graded by the respective authorities of each religion and recognised by both the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education”.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

September 13, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

Resolution taken at our 30th Annual General Meeting

Press Release – 12 September 2012

It has been brought to the attention of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) that religious places and people who go to such places for regular worship have become targets of crime attacks. This reflects the sad reality of the growing deterioration of crime and corruption in the country.
We, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) note that:-

- Corruption and Crime has deteriorated at an alarming rate in our country,

- While macro indices like Corruption Perception Index, illegal outflow of funds reflect the downward slide, however day-to-day life experiences of ordinary citizens confirm that Corruption, in its many forms, has become more of an accepted culture among both the ‘takers’ and the ‘givers’,

- Crime rates, in spite of successful KPI achievements and assurances from our leaders does not leave the impression that Crime trend has abated. On the contrary, spates of kidnapping, theft and white collar Crimes appear to be brazen and not isolated, as claimed by the Home Minister
MCCBCHST hereby resolves that it will continuously urge its faithful and all citizens who cherish a better quality of life to take a more active role in combating these cancerous trends.

MCCBCHST further resolves that it will urge the government in power to show more visible and tangible results in these areas so that every citizen can confidently say that we have a living environment that is visibly free from Crime and Corruption.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

September 12, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

RAMADAN MUBARAK GREETINGS FROM MCCBCHST

23.07.2012

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) conveys its warmest Ramadan Mubarak greetings to all Malaysian Muslims.

Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God. This is a time when families gather for “iftar”, friends host “iftars”, and meals are shared. But Ramadan is also a time of intense devotion and reflection – a time when Muslims fast and pray during the day and do the special Terawih prayers at night; in addition to looking out for others who are in need.

We once again wish you a blessed month of Ramadan.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

July 23, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

PRESIDENT’S SPEECH: DAOZHANG TAN HOE CHIEOW AT THE 30TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON SATURDAY, 14TH JULY 2012

Salutations.

A very good morning and a warm welcome each one of you to the 30th Annual General Meeting (AGM). My heartfelt appreciation to all delegates, observers and invited guest for having made the effort, commitment and taken time to attend and ensure the success of the 30th AGM. This is especially so for the representatives from the respective State Branches who started out as early as 5am this morning.

The Executive Committee had miscalculated that since we are having our 30th AGM hence we should be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of MCCBCHST and had even appointed Sardar Jagir Singh as the Organising Chairman for our 30th Anniversary celebration. The President opined that MCCBCHST is not only to solve problems and challenges faced by the Non- Muslims but also to Promote Understanding and Harmony Among Adherents of all religions. Hence our Anniversary Celebration is one way of Promoting Understanding, Interaction and Harmony amongst our members. But after careful calculations, we found out that this year is only the 29th year of MCCBCHST’s formation. Nevertheless the organising committee for the 30th Anniversary Celebration have started its meeting and had fixed the date of our 30th Anniversary Celebration to be held on the 10th August 2013 at the HGH Convention Center in SJK(C) Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. I believe the event will be a grand Celebration showcasing our 30 year history. We have started working and we are giving the event our considered attention and time, 1 year and 1 month of preparations to ensure its success.

I personally feel that MCCBCHST, after 29 years of existence, moving from one premise to another, and now renting the office in this Buddhist Maha Vihara, I think it is about time that the EXCO should make use of the 30th Anniversary Celebration to raise funds to acquire our own building. It might not necessary be a whole block but perhaps an office unit where all our important documents, photographs and files can be permanently and safely kept. The office will also be our Administrative and Resource Center. We can then have our meetings in our own office to hold our regular Executive Committee meetings. Of course we should also solicit allocation from our Federal Government so as to lessen our burden to expedite the purchase of our own nest.

When I was attending the AGMs of the various state branches, I gathered some feedbacks which Executive Committee must note and that is the concern for the lack of communication, rapport and interaction between MCCBCHST National and State Branches. As a remedy, MCCBCHST national will organise more workshops with all our branches. I personally feel that our Anniversary Celebration should be an Annual event and one table FOC should be allocated to all our branches. This will promote interaction, understanding and a sense of belonging among all our members.

Since the formation of Jawatankuasa Mempromosikan Persefahaman dan Keharmonian Di Antara Penganut Agama (JKMPKA) or Action Committee for the Promotion of Understanding Amongst Adherents of Religions was formed more than 2 years ago, under the leadership of our beloved late Datuk Hajah llani Bt Dato’ Hj. Isahak and now helmed by Datuk Azman Amin, Ketua Pengarah JPNIN and the 2 advisors; Ministers in the PM’s Dept Y.B. Senator Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Senator Major Gen. (Rtd) Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir Baharom. Members of JKMPKA were appointed by the Cabinet and the Prime Minister which comprise of MCCBCHST, ACCIN, INSAF, JAKIM, JPNIN, IKIM, Muslim and Non-Muslim leaders from Sabah and Sarawak.

4 Working Committees were formed, each headed by a Muslim and a Non-Muslim.
JK 1 Understanding and Issue Co-Chaired by Reverend Dr. Hermen Shastri. This committee is tasked with finding amenable solutions to the many issues confronting our nation today.

JK 2 Joint Activities Co-Chaired by Mr. RS. Mohan Shan had organised many working tours to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Kota Bahru, Kelantan and Kuching Sarawak. While in Kuching, MCCBCHST had taken the initiative to invite representatives of the different religious committees to come for a dialogue with the intent to formalise the formation of MCCBCHST Sarawak.

JK 3 Mediation Co-Chaired by me, have come up with a Certificate course in Religious Mediation together with IIUM. Among the topics in the course outline are Understand the 6 major Religions i.e. Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism.

JK 4 Initiatives with National and State leaders is headed by Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips. This committee amongst other organised the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), a proposal by King Abdullah of Jordan rectified and accepted by the United Nations. WIHW is to be Celebrated from the 1 – 7 February each year. JKMPKA had had organised a series of Interfaith activities over a 2 week period, culminating with a luncheon with our Honourable PM, cabinet ministers and leaders of the 6 major religions. This year we belief that interfaith should start young and JKMPKA together with the Ministry of Education had organized a number of Interfaith activities and dialogues in primary, secondary and universities.

Through all these activities, leaders of various religious communities really get to know one another, understand all religions and together try to solve interfaith issues. We must continue to promote Interfaith Understanding and Harmony Among Adherents of all religions, ensuring Malaysians continue to as 1 MALAYSIA, as in Sabah and Sarawak. We must not just promote within the framework of JKMPKA but to promote religious understanding and harmony in the communities where we live.

Reports from State Branches reflected a lot of joint activities in welfare and charitable work. MCCBCHST, being a member of the National Council of Organ Transplantation and Donation should also promote organ donations during such activities like blood donation campaigns, gotong-royong etc.

Of course we must not lose sight of the objectives of MCCBCHST and that is to champion the rights of the non Muslims, the many cases of conversion issues, opposition against Syariah compliance laws, being a watchdog for clean, transparent governance, both at Federal and State Governments, Guidelines on the allocation of land for Places of Worship, burial grounds, crematoriums and columbarium.

MCCBCHST will always defend our religious rights and sensitivities, impositions of restrictions, our opposition to imposition of restrictions and Islamic Architecture on Non-Islamic places of worship and Hudud Laws. Let us all pray that Malaysians will continue to live in peace, religious understanding and harmony.

Thank you.

Dao Zhu Ci Bei

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow
President
MCCBCHST.

July 14, 2012 Posted by | Speeches | Leave a comment

PROTEST ETHICALLY: RESPECT OUR DIVERSITY AND HARMONY

Press Statement – 1st June 2012

We refer to the two “protests” outside Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan’s home recently.

In the first so-called protest, a man alleging that he was a burger stall vendor who had lost business because of the Bersih 3.0 rally opened his stall outside of Dato’ Ambiga’s house and gave away approximately 200 burgers, including those made of beef.

It is also a well-known fact that Dato’ Ambiga is a Hindu and a life-long vegetarian. For these men to carry out this exercise, and to then add insult to injury by offering a burger to her, is the height of insensitive behaviour.

Malaysians must be allowed to protest, but those who protest must, we believe, take great pains to do so in a manner that does not incite racial or religious disharmony.

The Prime Minister must immediately denounce the burger stall vendor and all who assisted or participated in this event. Is it part of 1Malaysia for Malaysians to offer foods to others when they know (or ought to know) that the eating of such food is against the religious or cultural precepts of the recipient?

In the other so-called protest, a group of army veterans put on a lewd and totally indecent show outside the family home of Dato’ Ambiga. Again, the police did nothing to stop them nor to control their acts of public nuisance and public indecency. All religions abhor such indecent acts.

Both these so-called “protests” outside Dato’ Ambiga’s house were not, to our minds, legitimate expressions of opinion and protest.

The Prime Minister and all those in the government must clearly and unequivocally condemn those who took part in these acts of intimidation and inform them that such protests, especially outside the home of a private citizen, is wholly and utterly unacceptable and unethical.

A genuine assembly calling for reform is totally different from a targeted attack against a private citizen at her family home in a manner clearly meant to offend her religious sensitivities or in a lewd and indecent manner.

We also learn of reports of others now wishing to make similar protests outside the homes of public officials. We urge them to desist from doing so. Let us keep official business and one’s private life separate, and respect the dignity of the person, the family and the home.

When we protest, we should do so with decorum, peaceably and in the spirit of harmony and true national unity.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

June 1, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

MCCBCHST: Bersih has constitutional right to assemble peacefully

Press Statement – 25 April 2012

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) supports Bersih’s right to assemble peacefully at Dataran Merdeka on 28/4/2012. It is their Constitutional right to Assemble Peacefully which is guaranteed in our Federal Constitution by Article 10(1)(b) which provided “all citizens have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms”.

Bersih’s demands for clean and fair elections should be supported by all including their call for electoral reform which is also in accord with Universal religious values. All religions support amongst others, principles of Justice, fairplay, transparency and that no undue advantage is enjoyed by any party to the exclusion of the other.

Any argument that such assembly may cause traffic jams and inconvenience the public is not a legitimate reason, for people are prepared to put up with some inconvenience to allow for the exercise of fundamental rights by others.

The MCCBCHST therefore calls upon the authorities to allow Bersih’s sit-in rally to proceed as planned. The police have the duty and the capacity to ensure that the Assembly proceeds peacefully without disturbance from any quarter. We appeal to all parties to conduct themselves with decorum and honour.   

 

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

April 25, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

MCCBCHST: WE SUPPORT CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION REGARDING ISLAM

Media Statement – 6th April 2012

We support the Regent of Perak Raja Dr. Nazri Shah’s call (STAR 4/4/2012) for parties not to manipulate issues. We on our part re-iterate that MCCBCHST has never questioned the Position of Islam as the religion of the Federation as provided in Article 3 of the Federal Constitution. Article 3 also grants protection to other religions when it further states that “other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”.

We further support the Regent’s call that “the etiquette of respecting and non-interfering in the affairs of other religions be adhered to”. Thus, every religious group should respect each other’s religion and work within the boundary of the constitution.

The Non-Muslim are in no position to be of any threat to Muslims. We quote ZAID IBRAHIM (Malaysia Today: 29/4/2011: http://www.ziaduntukkrakyat.com);

“…. the Malays are in complete political control. More than two-thirds of the cabinet is Malay. More than two thirds of Parliamentarians are Malay or Bumiputra. The Sultans are Malay. All except one of the Menteri Besars and Chief Ministers are Malay Bumiputra. Eighty-five percent of civil service is Malay, including the diplomatic corps and the educational and judicial services. The Armed forces and Police are composed primarily of Malays. Rela Members are Mostly Malay….”

We are saddened that Non-Muslims have been warned as rasing racial issues, when in fact the statement should be addressed to all. Raja Petra (Malaysia Today 3/4/12) lays the blame for racial issues with other quarters.

The MCCBCHST does not encourage and has never played up racial issues. What it has done is that when Non-Muslim rights are affected, it points out the constitutional provisions relating to the matter.

What is the boundary of Article 3? Does it override the Federal Constitution. The answer lies in Article 4 which declares “This constitution is the supreme law of the land”.

Professor Dr. Shad Foruqi (STAR 3/5/2007) at page N51 stated:

“However though Islam is the religion of the Federation, Malaysia is not an Islamic state. The Syariah is not the basic law of the land. The constitution is supreme……….. Further, Article 3 (on Islam) does not extinguish any thing else in the constitution …… Nor can Article 3 be relied on to trump any other constitutional provision…..”

We feel that what is at stake is the interpretation of the constitutional provisions. Thus, some rational debate must be allowed within the perimeters of the Law. A healthy debate gives us room to develop a stronger Malaysia based on our Federal Constitution.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

April 6, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

MCCBCHST – MR PRIME MINISTER SIR TIME TO WALK YOUR TALK

Press Statement – 30th March 2012

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) IS seriously alarmed that the Pejabat Pelajaran Daerah Johore had initiated and planned a seminar themed “PROGRAM TAFAQQUH ILMI: PEMANTAPAN AQIDAH, BAHAYA LIBERALISME DAN PLURALISME SERTA ANCAMAN KRISTIANISASI UMAT ISLAM. APA PERANAN GURU?’

Malaysia had only recently commemorated the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week in February 2012.  Our Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Education Minister had launched the school-level National Interfaith Harmony Week on 21 February 2012 where he called on all students and teachers to respect and celebrate the different religions practiced by our fellow Malaysians under the tenets of 1Malaysia.

We are shocked that the only voice of the government heard on this matter is that of the Minister responsible for Islam who is condoning the seminar. The irony of the matter is that this same Minister serves as one of the advisors to the Cabinet Committee “Jawatankuasa Mempromosikan Persefahaman dan Keharmonian di antara Pengganut Agama (JKMPKA)”. All these seem meaningless in the light of what was planned.

Further, we are alarmed by the deafening silence from the other component leaders of the Government who had pledged to protect the rights and privileges enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Let us remind all leaders of the Government that the majority of the rakyat in Malaysia irrespective of their religious affiliations would like to live in peace and harmony with one another.

Since Education comes under the purview of the Federal Government, it must take responsibility of this very serious violation.

Mr Prime Minister sir, we implore you to Walk your Talk. Be the leader of a responsible Government that practices what it preaches. Your concept of 1 Malaysia and your call for Moderation is all in disarray.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

March 30, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

MCCBCHST: DR. HASAN ALI’S Statement has tendency to incite and create religious tensions

Media Statement – 29 February 2012

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) supports the statement by Bishop Dr. Paul Tan Chee Ing and other Christian leaders that Dr. Hasan’s recent statements have the tendency to incite and create religious tensions.

The MCCBCHST is disturbed at the numerous statements made by Dr. Hasan Ali accusing Christian missionaries of trying to proselytise Muslims but has not shown any proof to date and his statements at best amount to innuendous and insinuations. His latest statement is similar, where he accuses Christian missionaries of donning Muslim robes and going into mosques to pray with Muslims in order to convert them.

There are more than enough criminal laws in the country to charge persons who try to proselytise Muslims and Dr. Hasan should have lodged a police report and provided proof. Without proof, it appears to be far fetched that people will go into mosques to convert Muslims. On the contrary, it could be argued that such people were taken to mosque in order to convert them to the Muslim faith.

Dr. Hasan Ali should also identify the 51 Muslims apostates and make them available to the public to allay accusations that they may be set-up.

The total silence by the Government to rein in Dr. Hasan and to investigate him for Sedition as his statements can create ill feelings towards the Christians, can in the minds of the people create a suspicion that Government is complicit with it. Our leaders have been propounding moderation both locally and internationally yet inflammatory remarks by persons such as Dr. Hasan are left unchecked.

Dr. Hasan Ali is a politician. His constant rhetoric against the Christians appears to show that there is a hidden agenda behind it. Otherwise he just has to lodge a police report for the matter to be investigated and the guilty party (if any) punished.

Finally, MCCBCHST call on all to be responsible in thought, speech and action to give true meaning to the extended month long commemoration in Malaysia of the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

February 29, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

MCCBCHST – Chinese New Year Greetings

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) takes this opportunity to wish all fellow Malaysian Chinese a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year, “GONG XI FA CAI”.

May you find Peace, Happiness, Joy and Harmony in the year of the Dragon. Let us all Malaysians join our Chinese brothers and sisters in celebrating the Lunar New Year. For this our Nation –“Malaysia Truly Asia” – Blessed, Beautiful and Bountiful.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

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