HarmonyMalaysia

Many Faiths, One Nation: our vision for Malaysia

MCCBCHST – ‘RIGHTS TO LIFE, LIBERTY, THE RIGHT TO THE DIGNITY OF THE PERSON AND THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY FOR ALL PERSONS

Media Statement – 4 November 2011

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) is a national coalition of the named religious groups. The MCCBCHST recognises that the norms for sexual practices within each religion, as in numerous other matters, is governed by the commandments, laws, rules and regulations and values as set and practised within each religious group. Often, there are differences in a given subject between one religion and another in our coalition.

The MCCBCHST recognises these differences, respects their practice by members of that faith, opposes any attempt to impose the norms and/or values of one upon another and have, do, and will continue to support such norms or values of any religion as long as they meet universally recognized norms of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to life, the right to personal liberty, the right to the dignity of the person and the right to privacy, and respects the equal rights of all others.

MCCBCHST is against all forms of harrassment, intimidation, threats and violent attacks on any Malaysian including those from the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) community. Their right to personal liberty, dignity and privacy must be respected.

We also note that all Malaysians have a right to freedom of expression and can disagree with our existing laws. As long as they assemble in peace to discuss these matters, to educate and create awareness, and to seek law reform, their right to express themselves and to assemble peacefully must also be respected.

The MCCBCHST therefore condemns the hateful speech directed to members of that community to date, and the blanket ban on the Seksualiti Merdeka festival assembling peacefully in a private place to hold concerts, speeches and forums.

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

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November 4, 2011 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

MCCBCHST – RESPECT THE RELIGIOUS SENSITIVITIES IN SCHOOLS

Media Statement – 4 November 2011

As Muslims in our country prepare for their holy festival of Hari Raya Haji we in the Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) wish our Muslims brothers and sisters Selamat Hari Haji.

However, we are concerned that a ritualistic sacrificing of cows in conjunction with the Hari Raya Haji celebrations is proposed to be held in schools on a school day in the presence of students.

We hold a dim view of this purported activity in front of our multi-racial and multi-cultural student population as it ignores the sensitivity of our school-going children and the larger mixed Malaysian society.

We call upon the relevant authorities to respect the sensitivities of our multi-religious society and implore them to halt this ritualistic ceremony in our schools, institutions of higher learning and other public places. We hold that the public places, especially schools, are not the right place for the performance of this ritual that pertains only to the Muslim community. It does not augur well for the promotion of harmony and peace among our varied peoples.

The maintenance and promotion of peace and harmonious living should be the prime concern and focus of education authorities among our students and not instil hate, suspicion disgust in them in their formative years.

MCCBCHST pray and hope for good sense to reign among us and call upon the authorities to do the needful and put a stop to this ritual of sacrificing cows before our students before it escalates into something undesirable in the future. God bless this Nation of ours – Blessed, Bountiful and Beautiful.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chioew, 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

November 4, 2011 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

CONVERSION OF SHOBANAA A/P GENGATHARAN

MCCBCHST MEDIA STATEMENT
01.11.2011

The Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) is alarmed at the manner in which Shobanaa Devi A/P Gengatharan, a Hindu, was converted to Islam. The family had enrolled Shobanaa as a student at the Institute Pendidikan Guru Kampus Perlis to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become a teacher. Instead of imparting such knowledge and skills, 3 lecturers from the Institute proselytised and influenced her to convert to Islam, which is contrary to the Institute’s role to impart knowledge and to be sensitive to all religions. The family members were totally unaware of the conversion and found out only about 2 months later of her conversion on 15 July 2011.

The lecturers, being responsible for imparting knowledge should in fact have safeguarded the religious, cultural and social interests of the student to ensure unity, peace and harmony among students in this multiracial institution of learning.

The implications of a conversion to Islam are very serious and far reaching. Conversion out of Islam is almost impossible. Non Muslim next of kin are disinherited. Spouses are divorced by Syariah Courts and children converted without the non converting spouse’s consent.

All these matters must be urgently addressed. The Cabinet’s decision of 21 April 2009 that only one parent cannot convert a child and that the religion of a child under 18 years of age would continue to be his or her religion at the time of birth should be immediately implemented.

Comprehensive legal reforms have been proposed by the MCCBCHST to remedy the current unacceptable situation facing converts and the families of converts. Law reforms are stuck and have not moved despite the government’s assurance of action.

As such, until the reforms requested by the MCCBCHST are implemented, the MCCBCHST unanimously decided at its Executive Council meeting on 29 September 2011 that laws must be drafted to provide that a non Muslim cannot be converted to Islam until immediate family members have been given 6 months prior notice and informed in writing of the intended conversion.

MCCBCHST therefore calls on the Federal Government to introduce necessary laws or amendments to remedy the current injustice caused to non Muslims by conversions of one family member to Islam.

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

November 1, 2011 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment