THE Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) – backed up by a host of advisors and legal eagles including the Attorney-General and the Mufti – would not have issued a Christmas greeting to the Christian community in Malaysia if such greeting is against the teachings of Islam.
Malaysians are grateful that religious extremism has no place in the country, especially since the YDPA Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and his would-be successor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Ahmad Shah themselves have risen above the politics of race and religion to extend their Christmas greetings.
It is the politicians and their supporters who have no clue of how to run the country that they have to play on race and politics in order to win votes. In a country where people of all races and religions live together as fellow Malaysians, mutual respect is important.
Such cannot be said of PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang who incessantly blames DAP for Islamophobia but the truth is the Christian community in the country have had enough of the nonsense that we see from the likes of Hadi, and two former prime ministers Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Real root cause of Islamophobia
By playing up on these sentiments, such politicians think they are doing a favour for Islam when they are, in fact, doing greater damage in the relation of both Muslims with other races as well as fuelling more Islamophobia than there is now.
Islamophobia can only happen when people see how extremism rear its ugly head from time to time. For example, when a video showing Muhyiddin Yassin speaking against the Christians, our brothers and sisters in Sarawak expressed their unhappiness against the unity government which Muhyiddin could have easily formed.
The Sarawak state government is also unhappy with the development that they see in West Malaysia to the extent that even the Sarawak premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg saw it fit to chide Berry’s Cake House for not allowing cakes to carry the “Merry Christmas” greeting.
Such controversy should never have happened in the first place since the issue had first cropped up in 2020.
Berry’s operations manager Daniel Teoh (Abdullah) should have taken the cue from the YDPA who had previously issued Christmas greetings in the past to the Christian community instead of playing innocent and blame game with the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) for the internal circular that he issued.
This could have at least saved the management of Berry’s the embarrassment of being ridiculed by netizens throughout the country.
What’s important henceforth
All three leaders – Dr Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Hadi – have to learn that what is important in Malaysia is the ability to solve the problem that Malaysians face, not create more issues from time to time.
For example, instead of pushing for government assistance to promote polygamy, Kubang Kerian MP and PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man should suggest how the government can solve the influx of foreigners without work permits to Malaysia.
At a time when the government is starting to look at a number of issues from contract medical officers, illegal foreign workers and online scams to food shortages, inflation rates, and stricter border controls, PAS and Bersatu as responsible Opposition parties should change its tune in the august house.
What about Muhyiddin and Hadi – for a change – greet all Christians in Malaysia a Wonderful Christmas to end the year in goodwill? It is not too late. – Dec 24, 2023.
Main pic credit: Istana Negara’s Facebook