Mahdzir, when are you going to apologise to Christians?

by Zainal Yunos

OPINION: Many of us will still remember these words of Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid in August last year when he criticised Christians.

“The Jews and the Christians have pledged that as long as there’s the moon and the stars, as long as the end of the world was not here yet, they will decide that Muhammad’s followers will be confused and split among themselves.”

“This is the pledge of the Jews and Christians.”

“What is their agenda? Their agenda is to see Malaysia no longer as an Islamic country. They want to destroy our country and, to destroy it, they will ensure the Malays are split until they have no political power in their own country,” he said, alluding to the work of the early Christian missionaries who came to Malaysia and the rest of Asia to preach the Gospel to pagans.

Let me tell Mahdzir something. I’m a Malay and Muslim like him and I would never ever speak badly about those of another faith. This is just being tolerant and cultured. Most importantly, it’s about being Malaysian. We are in a nation where people of diverse racial and religious backgrounds have lived together in peace and harmony for as long as one can remember.

Oh, I’ve forgotten that Mahdzir is a Malayan and not a Sarawakian. Herein lies the great difference.

In Sarawak, religion has never been an issue at all. We have no religious bigots and those holier-than-thou Muslims who think that they are sent by Allah to bring salvation to Malaysians – their kind of salvation, not Allah’s. Malays and Muslims in Sarawak are very sober people.

Let me also tell Mahdzir that I was educated in a mission school run by the La Salle Brothers in Sarawak. These Catholic educationists never preached religion in class and they had never ever attempted to convert anyone.

Mahdzir, you can ask your boss, Najib Razak, whether I’m telling the truth. The prime minister was also schooled in a Christian institution and Najib is still a Muslim today.

So what is your beef against Christian missionaries, Mahdzir?

I think the prime minister made a great mistake in appointing you as the Minister of Education. In my mind, you are unqualified and unfit to handle education in the country.

Many, including Muslims, can concur with the statement of the Association of Churches (ACS) when they expressed deep disappointment that Mahdzir Khalid had the nerve to turn up in Sarawak, a Christian majority state, after delivering a huge insult to the faith and refusing to apologise for his irresponsible and unfounded remarks.

“The Anglican Archbishop of South East Asia, the Most Reverend Bolly Lapok, had requested the minister to apologise for his divisive and incendiary remarks but to this day, no apology has been forthcoming,” said ACS secretary-general Ambrose Linang.

“The ACS reiterates its concern that the Minister of Education should not have stooped to the level of slandering and demonising those of other faiths for political gain.”

In doing so, warned Linang, the minister had failed in his sworn duty to help preserve, protect and defend the Federal Constitution.

“As a minister, Mahdzir was duty-bound to help protect and defend the rights of all Malaysians and help preserve the peace and harmony among the various groups in the community.

“Having failed to do so, and having caused hurt to a large segment of the population of Malaysia, the minister should be humble enough to offer his apologies.

“Regrettably, he has chosen to ignore our concerns”, Linang added.

So Madzhir, when will you be man enough to apologise to Christians in the country?

Failing which, I think you should stop visiting Sarawak because you are not welcomed to the state.

Moreover, I doubt you have anything to offer to education in my home state. You would be the last person we, in Sarawak, would refer to on educational matters concerning our Christian-majority state. – The Ant Daily

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