Archbishop urges action on religious, racial polarisation

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Ties among Malaysia's different communities have reached an alarming level, says Anglican Archbishop of South East Asia, Datuk Ng Moon Hing. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 25, 2015.
Ties among Malaysia’s different communities have reached an alarming level, says Anglican Archbishop of South East Asia, Datuk Ng Moon Hing. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 25, 2015.

The Anglican archbishop of South East Asia today warned that religious and racial polarisation had reached a critical stage in Malaysia, and urged authorities to take action before it got out of control.

Speaking at a Christmas hi-tea organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) in Petaling Jaya today, Right Reverend Datuk Ng Moon Hing said the government must make it a priority to address the problem.

“Religious and racial polarisation is very rampant and has reached a very critical stage nowadays. It urgently needs to be curbed and arrested before an ugly explosion takes place.

“We have already seen two incidents of this in our shopping centres recently,” said Ng, in an apparent reference to brawls at Low Yat Plaza and the Kota Raya shopping centre this year.

Ng, the chairman of CFM, said the nation would crumble if there was no respect for the diversity of the different communities, and universal rights were not accorded to all.

He said freedom of expression should not cross into hate speech or incitement to attack places of worship.

“We urge the ruling authorities to place this as top priority and to work together with all community leaders,” he said.

Ng (pic, left) added he was deeply concerned about the country’s direction, particularly with regard to the rule of law.

“We are worried about laws that are being introduced hurriedly and without adequate debate and discussion with all stakeholders.

“Even security laws are of concern to us, because they affect the freedom and liberty of ordinary citizens,” he said in an apparent reference to the National Security Council (NSC) Bill.

The Dewan Negara passed the bill on Tuesday despite protest from civil society.

The bill gives powers to the council headed by the prime minister to arrest anyone without a warrant once an area is declared a security area.

Ng said the government should not use “fighting terrorism” as an excuse to allow the country to operate in a climate where “law and order are suspended”.

“As a religious body, we know about the evils of temptation, and the lure of giving in to them in the belief that we are doing good. We council restraint.

“Do not allow our country to operate in a climate where law and order are suspended. That will lead to anarchy and chaos. And that is precisely what the terrorists want,” said Ng. – December 25, 2015.


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