PETALING JAYA – It is only normal to ask for the truth, said the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Julian Leow Beng Kim today (Sunday).
Leow, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, said there was nothing political with voicing out what the public has been asking themselves.
“Asking people to own up to what is happening is a normal request, especially when public money is in question,” he told reporters at the annual Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas hi-tea in Kuala Lumpur.
Leow was asked about the trend of some political and religious leaders who had injected political messages in their religious greetings.
One example was the Sabah Council of Churches’ Christmas message today, where its president Rev Jerry Dusing said, among other things, truth must be established on the issues concerning 1MDB and the “hudud bill”.
“I think we have to speak up, and we have to question no matter who they are,” said Leow.
“I believe we have to distinguish between politics and political parties. We are not with political parties. The church is not with political parties.
“But we are involved in politics. Politics in the sense of speaking out against what is not right, speaking of the values of justice, of what is right, and what is wrong.”
Leow said if religious leaders do not speak up for the public, then they are not doing their duty. He also expressed a wish to see all leaders putting their heads together and for the betterment of the country.
“I think at the moment the feeling is a bit… everything doesn’t seem to be going well in the country.
“I hope we will be able to dialogue, to share our hopes and our ideas, on how to build the country.”
And this evening, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang in wrapping up his salvo of 40 questions over the past days to Umno minister Salleh Said Keruak, referred to Dusing’s statement to continue his attack on Barisan Nasional (BN).
“On this Christmas Day, the Sabah Council of Churches prayed for truth to prevail in Malaysia, referring specifically to the international multibillion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal.
“Will Salleh raise the Sabah Council of Churches prayer, the 1MDB and ‘global kleptocracy’ issues, at the last Cabinet meeting of the year, this coming Wednesday?” asked Lim in a statement.
He also pointed to Dusing’s question on PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.
This proposal has been seen by many as PAS’ way to implement hudud, earning it the “hudud bill” title.
Hadi has repeatedly denied this, and even amended his original proposal to include a cap of his proposed Shariah court’s power to punish.
Dusing however, still demanded to know the truth behind the bill, and “all other efforts of the Federal Government of Islamising East Malaysians by threats, intimidation and deception”.
Referring to Dusing’s question, Lim said: “Will Salleh ask the Cabinet to clarify without equivocation, that if there is no BN consensus to support Hadi’s private member’s bill motion in the March sitting of Dewan Rakyat, the BN federal government will not take over the bill at any stage of the parliamentary process?”
- This article first appeared in FreeMalaysiaToday.