Monday 12 September 2011

Bishop on government's gaping 'credibility gap'

Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing said a “gaping credibility gap” has opened up between the publicly expressed intentions of the government with respect to Muslim-Christian relations and the reality that “when Christians are falsely accused they not entitled to apology or assuagement.”

bishop paul tanExpressing his dismay to Malaysiakini today, the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese, said: “More than a month has passed since the incursion by Jais on a function organized by a Christian group in Damansara Utama in which a few Muslims were present.

“Till today, no one from the accusatory quarter can sustain the charge that Christian proselytisation of Muslims did actually occur at that occasion.

“It appears that Jais requires more than a month to compile their report. Apparently, they have not heard of the Najib Razak administration's 'People first, performance now' motto, or if they have, they may well think the Prime Minister was indulging in a peculiar sense of humour.”

The Jesuit-trained prelate said it would be “folly to think that Christians also sport a comparably peculiar sense of humour whereby they view matters in which grave accusations have been preferred against them as a lark, a charade, as some kind of joke.”

church christian in kuala lumpur 1Bishop Tan (above), who is concurrently president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, said he felt no need to bring up the recent case of a private TV station using fabricated footage in a documentary allegedly depicting Christian proselytisation of Muslims.

“That calumny inevitably follows upon the one visited upon Christians in the case of the incursion of Jais on the Damnasara Utama Methodist Centre. One fabrication begets another,” said the prelate.

Tan observed that the “patience of Christians was well nigh inexhaustible though our credulity in limited.”

He warned the powers-that-be that they were in the same situation with respect to Malaysian Christians that they were with regard to a “certain community that came out in force to demonstrate their long-simmering discontent nearly four years ago.”

Bishop Tan observed that demonstration went largely unheeded but, he said, that months later its impact registered at the ballot box.

“A similar festering of discontent is at work and a comparable complacency with respect to implications is on evidence,” he commented.

“Santayana was right: those who forget history are condemned to repeat it,” warned the bishop.

No comments:

Post a Comment