Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Surat dari Penganut Katholik kepada Pope, mendedahkan Tembelang Najib.



Berikut adalah kandungan surat yang telah dikirimkan oleh 365 rakyat Malaysia penganut Katolik kepada Ketua Gereja Katolik, Pope Benedict XVI yang mendedahkan Perkembangan Politik dan Sosial di Malaysia. Surat ini telah disampaikan kepada wakil Pope Benedict di Singapura, delegasi Apostolik His Grace Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.

Surat ini mendedahkan kepada Pope akan sikap sebenar Pentadbiran Najib terhadap penganut Katholik di Malaysia..


__________________________________________________________________

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

Via
His Grace Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli
Apostolic Delegate to Malaysia
55 Waterloo Street #06
Singapore 1877954

Your Holiness

Recent Political and Social Developments in Malaysia: Towards a More Comprehensive Understanding of the Realities in Malaysia

We are a group of Catholics and some from other Christian denominations in Malaysia. Malaysia, a Muslim-dominant country, has a population of 28 million people with 2.2 million registered as Christians, of whom an estimated 850,000 are Catholics.

We write to you with regards to our prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s official visit to the Vatican on 18 July 2011. We are anxious about recent developments concerning questions of democratic rights and religious freedom in Malaysia. In our letter we highlight these issues in order to help Your Holiness understand more critically and comprehensively the political and social realities in our country lest you are presented with a one-sided view of developments in Malaysia.

A watershed

The Malaysian media has reported that the visit of our prime minister to the Vatican is a ‘watershed’ that foreshadows the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Holy See.

We believe that the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Vatican and Malaysia is a good step forward; after all, Malaysia is one of only 17 countries in the world that does not yet have diplomatic ties with the Holy See. Our concern is that of the timing in establishing these ties, on which we elaborate below.

Christian-Muslim dialogue

Church sources in Malaysia inform us that the visit also has to do with the Holy Father’s desire to promote Christian-Muslim dialogue, an initiative that you wisely began to undertake beginning from 2005, shortly after you assumed the papacy. It might be that you find this sixth prime minister of Malaysia an attractive dialogue partner given that he goes around the globe promoting himself as the leader of a moderate Muslim country made up of various ethnic groups. As well, he has called for the formation of a ‘Global Movement of the Moderates’ and that it ought to take centre stage in the international arena.

We believe that there are lessons that one can draw from the Malaysian experience. For ordinary Malaysians of different races and faith are respectful of one another’s beliefs and customs, and have learnt to co-operate and live peacefully side-by-side. However, this is so in spite of the shameful conduct of some of our political leaders who have unabashedly manipulated ethno-religious sentiments all these years, and mobilized on ethno-religious grounds in order to stay in power.

Cakap tak serupa bikin

Indeed, the conduct of prime minister Najib and his Barisan Nasional (BN) government at home, at least recently, has been anything but moderate! In our Malaysian colloquialism, we might say of the prime minister that dia cakap tak serupa bikin, meaning that ‘he does not do what he preaches’, or that ‘he does not walk the talk’!

In this regard, we are very concerned about the timing of this official visit which follows immediately after recent repression of civil society groups which are fighting for clean and fair elections. We are also deeply concerned that some top leaders of this democratic initiative have been painted unjustly as ‘anti-Islam’ by the authorities without any basis whatsoever. Below we highlight a few recent events and episodes.

Najib’s heavy handed response to the Walk for Democracy

Just last week on July 9, 2011, there occurred the controversy-ridden ‘Walk for Democracy’ that was initiated by the coalition of 62 NGOs calling themselves Berish 2.0 (bersih meaning ‘clean’ in Malay, our national language). The coalition had wanted to hold a peaceful street walk in support of an 8-point program to institutionalize clean and fair elections. Numerous glaring incidences that have occurred in past elections as reported in the media, and recounted and confirmed in studies by major researchers, have indicated that Malaysia’s electoral system and the conduct of these elections have not been free and fair. Significantly, Malaysia has been ruled by a single party – the BN coalition dominated by Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) – since independence in 1957, more than 54 years ago!

It was on account of frustrations arising from these inadequacies in the electoral system that Bersih was formed. Among others, the respected Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, of which the Catholic church of Malaysia is a part, affirmed Bersih’s right to conduct this peaceful walk for what it considered ‘just demands’.

In deference to the king, who intervened to head off a potential confrontation between Bersih supporters and its extremist detractors including from UMNO Youths, Bersih opted to hold a rally in the Stadium Merdeka. Yet Najib’s BN government declared that Bersih was ‘an illegal organization’ and its proposal to hold the gathering in the Stadium was rejected by the authorities. On the eve of the gathering, a court order was obtained to ban 91 leaders of Bersih and the Opposition (and also those from anti-Bersih groups) from entering those parts of Kuala Lumpur around Stadium Merdeka under threat of ‘arrest on sight’.

Earlier, Najib’s government had even banned the wearing of yellow Bersih T-shirts. The Bersih office was raided and six of their office workers were arrested. Bersih supporters who participated in ‘roadshows’ to publicise the upcoming event were also arrested. Six of them, also members of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia, were subsequently detained under the Emergency Ordinance (a Detention without Trial law) and are now held under solitary confinement. A leading lawyer has described these developments as signifying Malaysia’s descent into ‘a police state’.

In the event, the police came down hard on Bersih supporters who turned up for the gathering in Kuala Lumpur on July 9. The police set up road blocks and barb-wire fences manned by hundreds of policemen thus creating huge traffic jams throughout the city. To disperse the Bersih supporters, the police resorted to use of water cannons and fired tear gas into the crowd, as though the people were the enemy. A total of 1,667 people including 151 women and 16 children were arrested. What was singularly laudable was that there was no incidence of violence on the part of the tens of thousands of Bersih supporters who came from all ethnoreligious backgrounds.

Yet, prime minister Najib has claimed that the police had acted professionally, and condemned Bersih and the Opposition for tarnishing the image of the country. We urge you Holy Father and your Vatican officials to view the video clips that were taken of the goings-on. Significantly, the Bar Council of Malaysia has commented that the police had ‘used force excessively’.

Manipulating ethnoreligious sentiments

Tellingly, two days before the July 9 event, Najib had addressed a gathering of Malay silat (martial arts) exponents whence, reportedly, he suggested that the silat groups could be mobilized as a third line of defence against enemies from within and outside the country.

More than this, on July 2 in a gathering of about 20,000 people in the town of Kota Baru, Najib, in a live broadcast over Radio Malaysia, described Ambiga Sreenevasan, the chairperson of Bersih, as ‘a threat to Islam’ for the watching brief she held as the then president of the Bar Council in the Lina Joy case a few years earlier.

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