TO ALL CHRISTIAN READERS, 'POLITICAL' FRIENDS OR FOE, WISH ALL OF YOU BELATED MERRY CHRISTMAS.
PAS is in such a dilemma for their past sin arising from Haji Hadi's Message or Edith and Memali Trust Fund that Haji Hadi has disappeared from public appearance and PAS Terengganu slowed drastically their ceramah program.
While PAS is feeling the heat for their past game of playing the religious card to the hilt to win the hearts and minds or threaten the conscience of Muslim voters, DAP refused to heed this warning.
Political analysts are aware of the Christian dominations of DAP in which 15 of the top 20 elected central commitee (CEC) members are Christian activist and church activists involved and supportive of the proselytising of Muslims. [Here is one dedicated DAP Evangelist watcher.]
While many strongly believed he is a closet Christian, DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng is not shy to replay the resolved issue of churches using the word Allah on Christmas Eve. And he could be trying to numb the Muslims sensitivity by repeating the same provocation till the Muslims give up.
It is really a distasteful gesture on Guan Eng to spoil the spirit of peace and joy to the world with partisan politicking.
More so, it still leaves a sour taste to a significant population of Muslims who are aware of the ulterior motive behind the use of Allah beyond the usage within the Christian Pribumi.
It is nonetheless but a tool of deception in the propagation of Christianity to Muslims by those minority group of Christians but rising in numbers usually referred as "Evangelical Christians."
These Evangelicals Christians are not the traditional Christians dominions in Malaysia, such the Roman Catholics that appreciate the peaceful co-existence between the different races and religion in Malaysia and respect the law and rule to maintain that peace.
The Evangelicals are well-funded, foreign-backed and funded, and more assertive or perhaps bordering on millitancy and fanaticism in proselytising of non-Christians, particularly Hindus and Buddhists.
The Evangelicals with support from foreign Christian organisations and left-leaning NGOs are now refusing to respect article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution that prohibit propagation of other religion to Muslim and resisting against anything Islamic or Muslims.
Ultimately, they aim to revoke all such article related to Islam under the guise of secularism.
They are not only creating tensions within the various religious communities but breaking up families tolerant to religious differences within members. It sounds similar to Haji Hadi's Message breaking up Muslim ummah's unity, isn't it?
Evangelical Christians can be associated with DAP. They are strongly making their presence felt in DAP and dominating the DAP leadership and agenda at the expense of the traditional Chinese community interest and representatives.
She resigned from DAP to become an independent and defected to support BN in the 2009 power shift in Perak.
Pakatan Rakyat claimed it as an immoral power grab but lost their case all the way to Federal Court. Yit Foong that was victimised by Datok Ngeh Koo Ham was called a traitor.
The 'taste of blood' for revenge on the Perak incident and more political power seem to blind the senses of common Chinese folk to this power shift in the Chinese community.
The personalities influencing DAP's agenda for a Christian agenda are Theresa Kok, Tony Pua, Hannah Yeoh, Jenice Lee, Teo Nie Ching, Ngeh Koo Ham, Ngar Kor Meng, etc.
It is widely and strongly believed that Lim Guan Eng is a closet Christian with Joseph Lim as his Christian name. But he is still chickening from coming clean for fear of rejection by the Taoist majority of Penang.
While Guan Eng is not ready to proclaim openly his Christian faith, he has not shied from voicing the interest and demands of the Evangelical Churches.
In church's events, his speeches divulge his handy use of Bible phrases and his use of "we", "us" and "our" only revealed his Christian faith. Guan Eng's choice of religion does not concern us but why not be honest about it. And do not tell us the 2010 video below is not convincing:
The issue of use of Allah for Christians was resolved some three years ago but DAP insisted on repeatedly raising the matter as a political issue. Perhaps it serve the ulterior motive of Christian activists in DAP.
Nevertheless, it confirms conclusively that DAP is in a state of desperation.
DAP is presently in a volatile position as PAS continued with their fervour to impose Islamic rule to prove their resolve to their supporters that PAS will not budge in their pursuit for a PAS Islamic state and hudud laws.
This only further distance PAS from non-Malay Muslims voters and their influence seemed to be waning with the Muslims voters. It could worsen if they are without an effective reply to the present hotly debated Amanah Haji Hadi issue.
DAP realised they are in great difficulty to attract the Malay voters now that their recently concluded convention clearly reflected the party’s chauvinistic character and attitude towards Malays.
They are left with the only choice to strengthen themselves with Christian Chinese voters.
Despite DAP hoping on PAS's influence to gain them ground on the Malay votes, their political relationship with PAS is fragile. They are together in the unregistered opposition alliance of Pakatan Rakyat, but both have no ideological common ground then the interest to topple the ruling BN.
DAP had expected PAS to net Malay voters as well as some Chinese voters who do not want DAP’s chauvinistic stand but PAS has apparently antagonised the Chinese by imposing Hudud laws on them in Kelantan.
DAP as expressed by Karpal Singh is angered by PAS's actions, but they are in a bind and can't afford to cut-off ties with the strongest Malay party in their alliance and a party with a strong machinery that share the common objective to topple BN.
Although PKR is a Malay-based party, the Malays are shunning away and distancing themselves from the party with a de facto leader whose character has been an issue of contention and disdain among them.
The Malays know too that most PKR seats will be contested by non-Malay or non-Bumiputera and non-Muslims. For Sabah and Sarawak, PKR can only fool the Semenanjungs that they are making major in-roads. In-road where when they are in confrontation for seats with STAR and SAPP?
Only a handful are still blindly loyal to Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim but these are mostly leaders at various levels, maybe around 100 of them, but are not members or grassroots. The grassroot membership are the important backbone of any political party.
PKR has no such things as grassroots and whatever grassroots they claimed to have are actually PAS members and supporters making their presence and throwing their support from the directive of their Erdogan faction leaders.
DAP cannot rely on PKR to add value to their political position. The party realised this and is asking for more parliamentary and state seats but Anwar had to say no way. Otherwise, he could lose that vital PAS support and political machinery.
That is bad for DAP because it cannot widen or expand its influence. In Penang, DAP would prefer to be able to defend the state alone since they have the most state seats. Currently they still need other component parties.
After the ideology, rhetorics and promises, politics boils down to the game of numbers. Guan Eng is actually fishing for votes from Christians to add to the party’s existing status since they cannot hope for help from neither PKR nor PAS given the situation.
PKR is not convincing at all. PAS is considered as ‘enemy of the Chinese and Christians’.
DAP wants its situation to be strong before the general election is called, without having to depend on its partners in the unregistered Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
That is why he raises an old issue that strikes the ‘cord of Christians’ all over the country. But to use Christmas as the occasion is just poor taste and shows desperation.
At a time when Muslims and those of other faith are putting aside politics, work, and even religious restrictions to strengthen friendship, create solidarity and increase personal bonding by celebrating together in the festivities, Guan Eng has to spoil it with his desperate calls.
The Islamic ulamak repeatedly cautioned Muslims against adulterating their akidah by the basic act of greeting of Merry Christmas.
Not to defy or being disrespectful of ulamak's opinion, but most Muslims are confident enough that their akidah (or belief) could not be shaken. Muslims generally understand ulamak's advice is to be aware of boundary between religion and culture to avoid emulating rituals of other religions.
Such Muslims have no qualms to offer courteous season greetings and accept invitations to family Christmas gatherings or adopt Malaysian open house culture during religious festivities.
The practise in Malaysia is that religious holidays have the family element and community goodwill attached to it.
Those of other faiths usually do not invite Muslims and those of other faith to participate in the religious aspect of the occasion but to expand the family gathering to invite over neighbours, friends and just about anyone.
Let's not spoil but embrace this Malaysian custom. After all, the Christmas message is peace and joy to the world.
If there is non-existence of such respect, appreciation and acceptance, this blogger would not have received and accepted money gifts from Christian and other non-Muslim friends for our Haj last year?
Off course, Christians and those professing to other religions have issues with the status of Islam in this country and felt that they are unfairly treated on interfaith issues.
They could not preach to Muslims but Muslims perform dakwah on non Muslims. Embracing Islam is dubbed as a lyric in the song Hotel California, "you can check out any time you like but you can never leave."
Muslims should make them understand the history and historical heritage of this country. It does not curb on the freedom of religion. Not unlike Sisters in Islam ... better still, Sesat that only fuel non Muslims anger on Islamic authorities and Islam.
Coming from PERKIM volunteer parents and whose father is an Imam and teacher to two state Mufti, this blogger knows that PERKIM are prudent in their dakwah. The Chairman now is the much revered and respected Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
PERKIM uphold to the Quranic principle of dakwah that there is no compulsion on non-Muslim to embrace Islam.
Nurul Izzah got a deviant and politically motivated interpretation of Iqraha Fiddeen. by refusing to understanding that the whole passage meant the ayat is for non Muslims and not Muslims to convert to other religion. There exist no such Quranic ayat that allows it.
Unlike Evangelical Christian missionaries, PERKIM hardly sent Imams and pendakwah to non-Muslim and take opportunity on their sufferings, loneliness and social problems to tricked them into conversion.
No money is given as bait. If any money is given, PERKIM only provide assistance to weather any problems but not to provide income to converts (not before conversion) ostracised and deprived by their family due to their conversion.
There was an occasion of a lazy bum of a Melayu Christian. The church had stopped giving money monthly. He came to offer himself and his family to re-embrace Islam in exchange for PERKIM to provide him monthly income. Our parent told him to leave because Islamic faith is not for sale.
PERKIM emphasise education before embracing by pronouncing syahadah. Seldom, these converts are more well-versed on Islam at the point of pronouncing syahadah than many born-Muslim.
Muslim dakwah work are not overzealous to convert. PERKIM always reminded potential converts to learn, understand, and be aware of consequences. Be absolutely sure before converting. Seldom fishes jump out of the net and they do not regret.
Those converts under our parents care are advised to maintain family bond and win the hearts of their parents. Conversion to Islam do not end that family bonding. Alhamdulillah, those converts become fillial sons and daughters to their non-Muslims parents and in-laws.
That is far cry from the experience of our Buddhist friend had. He was neglected by his evangelical-ly converted daughter.
On the conversion out of Islam, where did Nurul got the idea that it is not allowed on Malays to get out of Islam? The religion may forbid but the constitution respect the freedom of religion and the law allows for it.
Due to the status of Malay as Bumiputera being inextricably linked to professing Islam, it is only fair that Syariah Court endorsement is sought.
The Deutronomy forbid conversion out of Christianity [read Tok Senawi here].
Why are Evangelical Christian activists and left leaning groups making a fuss over Islamic authorities trying a last ditch attempt to understand and save the souls of those Malays and Muslims from converting out of Islam?
It is only natural on any religion to try convince their followers to remain. If they still could not, Syariah court have to relent.
These activists had issues with the law. Hey ... man-made law will never be perfect. If it is perfect, opposition lawyers would not have a field day saving crooked, corrupted and sodomite politicians, cops and lawyers from prison.
There are many other occasions for raising interfaith and political issues.
And, there other times to alert the Buddhists and practitioners of traditional Chinese beliefs of the impending danger in allowing Evangelical Christians become a divisive force in the Chinese and Malaysian community.
At least allow this Christmas for a time for goodwill, bonding and solidarity among the people.
That's no way to celebrate Christmas, Joseph Lim.