Thursday 11 October 2012

Ex-Pakatan man revives ‘Christian Malaysia’ report, shows ‘proof’ in Parliament

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — An independent federal lawmaker today sought to revive last year’s “Christian Malaysia” allegations against the DAP, revealing in Parliament what he claimed was photographic evidence of an alleged plot by party leaders and foreign clergymen to turn the country into a Christian state.

Zulkifli Noordin (IND-Kulim Bandar Baharu) urged Putrajaya to investigate the matter, saying the Malay community, as the country’s dominant ethnic group, have compromised too much over the years.

“Imagine if it was revealed that imams and mosque authorities had helped Barisan Nasional (BN) to win the polls... what would have happened then? They (opposition) would not have kept silent,” he told the House when debating Budget 2013 this evening.

The former PKR lawmaker said he was in possession of photographic proof of a thanksgiving held in Penang last year on May 5, shortly after the Sarawak state election on April 16, where DAP leaders and a group of local and foreign clergymen had prayed to install a Christian Prime Minister and turn the country into a Christian state.

Listing those in attendance, which he said included priests and pastors from United Kingdom and South Africa, Zulkifli said it was also admitted during the dinner that foreign churches were willing to channel funds to help the opposition’s political struggle here.

“The priest from South Africa said he was invited to observe the Sarawak polls, and that he was disappointed in how the Christians have been sidelined in Malaysia, especially on the AlKitab Malay language bibles issue.

“He requested that something is done to help spread Christianity here and said that money is not a problem and that the churches in Africa are ready to help.”

The independent lawmaker had raised the matter when attempting to draw links with the latest claim by PAS MP Nasharuddin Mat Isa, who had alleged of a similar thanksgiving ceremony in Sarawak.

Speaking at a press conference later, Zulkifli maintained that his remarks were based on actual proof of the dinner function, which he said he had obtained from “sources”.

“My main concern here is on the involvement of foreign clergymen in our country’s politics. Not only are they involved in terms of their physical presence in our country, but they have also promised funds to the opposition.

“This is direct interference and this is my concern.”

He, however, refused to release the photographs to the media, but denied that it was because he was afraid to be sued by the DAP.

“Why don’t you go back and ask your boss — is Zulkifli Noordin a coward?

“Put it in that way you know... do not spin. I am never one who is afraid of anybody,” he retorted to the reporter who asked for the photographs, adding later a challenge to DAP leaders to deny his remarks today.

Zulkifli’s revelation today was first exposed in May last year in a front-page article on Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia headlined “Malaysia negara Kristian? (Malaysia a Christian country?)”.

The Malay daily reported that “Malam ini pula, akan diadakan satu majlis di Pusat Kristian (Katolik) Pulau Pinang di sini dan satu ceramah perdana pula dianjurkan esok. Pertemuan itu dikatakan dianjurkan setiap tahun”.

[“Tonight, there will be a function at the Penang Christian Centre (Catholic) here and the public lecture will take place tomorrow. The convention is organised every year.”]

Several Muslim organisations, including right-wing Malay rights group Perkasa, lodged police reports after reading the Utusan report, which was based entirely on allegations by several anonymous bloggers known to be pro-Umno.

The bloggers have accused the DAP of sedition in an alleged conspiracy with Christians to change the country’s highest law to put a Christian in place of a Muslim as prime minister.

To back up their allegation, the bloggers pointed to a grainy photograph showing what they described to be a secret pact between the DAP’s Jelutong MP and pastors at a closed-door dinner party in a Penang hotel yesterday.

The DAP has vehemently denied the allegations and its secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, has directed its members to file police reports to counter them.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein later claimed there was some element of truth in the story after DAP member Mohamed Razali Abdul Rahman lodged a report with the police and claimed that he had been present at the event.

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