Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 20th January 2010:
Tsu Koon exposing the hollowness of 1Malaysia when he is himself shooting down the proposal for inter-religious council to resolve inter-religious differences and promote inter-religious amity, goodwill and understanding
It is most regrettable that the KPI Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon is leading the Barisan Nasional government backoff from an inter-religious council to resolve inter-religious differences and promote inter-religious amity, goodwill and understanding, starting with the “Allah” controversy.
This is the real meaning of Koh saying that at this time, “teh tarik” sessions for inter-religious dialogues are more appropriate than official and formal ones.
In the first two decades of nationhood, there were more meaningful inter-religious interaction than now as there was a formal Inter-Religious Organisation which was set up by Tunku Abdul Rahman when he was the first Prime Minister which was headed by a Cabinet Minister.
For over three decades, the Inter-Religious Organisation went defunct and a formal inter-religious council should be urgently revived to resolve inter-religious differences and promote inter-religious amity, goodwill and understanding in plural Malaysia.
I find Koh’s shooting down the proposal for an inter-religious council most troubling, as Malaysia is already more than three decades too late in reviving an inter-religious council.
Why is Koh spearheading the rejection of the proposal to establish an Inter-religious council, which will be a blot in his own KPI record as Cabinet Minister?
Koh is exposing the hollowness of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia slogan when as the Minister in charge of KPI and the 1Malaysia slogan, he dare not even support the establishment of a formal inter-religious council.
Surely, Najib’s 1Malaysia cannot be very meaningful in creating the environment and conditions to establish a Malaysia which is the overarching object of love and loyalty of all Malaysians, transcending race, religion and region when it could not countenance the establishment of an inter-religious council, which had been done by Tunku Abdul Rahman as Bapa Malaysia in the early years of Merdeka.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor