Christian leaders have hit out at DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng for using the church as a political platform.
today reported that Lutheran Evangelical Church bishop Soloman Rajah
said a church is a "sacred place" which should not be used for political
"We do have a right to speak out against injustices but
Malaysia is not in such a state of chaos that we need to mix up
spiritual matters with politics," he was quoted as saying.
He added that Lim's speech at dialogue with 300 church leaders in Penang last Thursday, was an effort to politicise the church.
Among others, Malaysiakini reported that Lim, who is also Penang chief minister called on church leaders to stand up against injustices.
The meeting, however, did not take place in a church but at the Masyarakat Penyayang community hall in George Town.
"I don't know if he is Christian or Buddhist...But I'm sure (Lim) knows
that the church need not be urged to stand up for justice for political
purposes," Mingguan quoted Solomon.
Awang Selamat, Big Dog defends church
The Sunday edition of Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia also reported that Council of Churches Malaysia president Thomas Philips said that churches cannot be used for vote-fishing.
cannot in any way use churches as a place to fish for votes for any
political party. It is not a place for politics," Philips (left) said.
Meanwhile, Awang Selamat, the collective-pseudonym of Utusan editors in his Sunday column said that his "Christian friends" had raised concern over the DAP's move to "politicise religion".
"It is fine to meet with church leaders but he should not have played
with politics. His speech on injustices is akin to sowing seeds of
hatred among the church leaders.
"In fact, he cannot later blame anyone if they feel that his statement is tantamount to sedition," Awang said.
The daily also reported that blogger Zakhir Mohammed, who blogs as Big Dog, urged authorities to take action against Lim.
"The matter should stir reactions from the public, especially if there is no action by the authorities.
"As chief minister, Lim should have used the opportunity to speak on
understanding and tolerance between races and religions," he was quoted
Zakhir had previously blogged that Penang DAP leaders, including Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi who later said he is not Christian, were conspiring with church leaders to turn Malaysia into a Christian state.
The issue was front-paged by Utusan, causing police to investigate the blogger and Christian leaders. No charges were made.
Utusan later issued a two paragraph notice on the blogger's "explanation" on the matter, and directed readers to the blog.
The "explanation", however, did not clarify how the unsubstantiated allegations were raised.
The daily was also issued a reprimand letter over the episode by the Home Ministry.
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