Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Yesterday, this blogger posted here a 1993 Vatican communique on their position that Catholic priest refrain from politics.

The reason being, as this blogger understand it, priests are messenger of Christian spiritualism and should be above the worldly pursuit for power and wealth. This blogger stand to be corrected.

This morning, this blogger found this piece of news from the Free Malaysia Today website here entitled "UMNO's Christian plot to bag Muslim votes.

News from a pro-opposition website with a title and content of such political overtone would usually be coming from an opposition leader making an accusation on the opponent party, Barisan Nasional or specific to the power block in BN, namely UMNO.

Such writing would usually have some fact twisted, pre-sumptions made without any factual truth or logic, and focus of a political nature, in this case, creating a negative perception or paint weakened political position of the political opponents.

Unfortunately, the news report was not of a politicians but a Catholic priest, Father Lawrence Andrew who is the Herald's editor.

The news reproduced below and comment interspersed:
‘Umno’s Christian plot to bag Muslim votes’

In an interview with the Vatican Radio, the Herald's editor Father Lawrence Andrew says the government is stirring up a controversy to revive Muslim support.

KUALA LUMPUR: The allegation of a Christian coup being planned is an attempt by the Umno-led government to stir up controversy to revive Muslim support, said the editor of the local Catholic weekly, Herald.

Speaking to the Vatican Radio, Father Lawrence Andrew claimed that the government felt that it was losing the popularity it once commanded.

“Because they are losing popularity, they will enjoy some uneasiness that will create confusion – that will create fear – in the people,” he said.

He said the allegation was absurd, pointing out that Christians made up less than 10% of the population.

The mentioning of UMNO and plot and the claim is made with such sureness is a political statement against a political party. The questionn now: Is the claim justified or mere conjecture?

In case no one remembers, Father Lawrence Andrew is the same editor of the Weekly Herald that was up in arms with the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the issue of using Allah for god in their Malay articles. Read this past news from here. 

Father Lawrence was speculating that the brouha over a group of Christians pledging to turn Malaysia into a Christian state was an UMNO orchestrated political propaganda to regain Malay votes.

Naturally, as a priest, he is out of touch with politics. UMNO does not need new propaganda to regain Malay votes. It is in quite a comfortable position in that area with Anwar and PKR in a self destruction mode and PAS is a self inflicted confusing phase.

UMNO does not need neither the Dato Trio's sex video expose help nor any new controversy. It only needs to improve the "middle level political structure and infrastructure." It is in quote and unquote as in for UMNO politician to understand.

Citing the heat on inter-faith issues does not serve the BN interest. Clearly, like everbody else, Father Andrew missed the plot too. 

Andrew had also criticised Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for the latter’s remarks regarding the issue.

The minister, he said, was not being “prudent” in describing the allegation as serious, and stating that the government would take action.

“If I were to have said that (a similar allegation about other faiths), I would have been arrested immediately, and I would have been brought to the police station.

“But (since) it is being done by the Muslims, none of them have been arrested till today,” he said.

Last Saturday, the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia published a front-page report claiming that Christian leaders were conspiring with DAP to make Christianity the official religion in Malaysia instead of Islam.

On what ground is he demanding those people to be arrested?

Not on the ground that both bloggers asked if such a pledge occurred? And not on the ground that Utusan Malaysia had made fair reporting of both side of the issue? Read blogger RBF defense of Utusan here.

The police or MCMC is not dumb to charge and apprehend on a case that is not legally conclusive and about something with subjective interpretation such as blog posting.

And Hishamuddin is not wrong to say it is serious because anything that contravene the Constitution and more so, involving the "Social Contract" is serious. Social contract item includes right to practise religion, in case Father Lawrence lack understanding.

It is strange that Father Lawrence seemed determined to see someone get arrested. A priest without the heart for foregiveness and compassion. That is something new.

It is indicative of a priest with the heart and meanness of a politician has infiltrated inside the Malaysian Catholic Church organisation.

Hard truth

The report, based on unsubstantiated claims by pro-Umno bloggers, also accused the groups of praying for a Christian prime minister.

Both DAP and Christian leaders had denied the allegation, and lambasted Utusan for spreading dangerous lies.

In his interview with the Vatican Radio, Andrew said he agreed with Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng that Utusan was “setting fire to the land”.
Questions were asked and denial was given. Thats it.

But why did DAP Penang and their Jelutong were hesitant with their denial. Lim Guan Eng said when pressed for an answer by an UMNO Youth member in public, he said Jeff Ooi told him that he is unaware as he was focused on his i-Pad.

That's a dicey answer but why did he gave a denial instead?

Furthermore, there was even an attempt to deny that DAP Jelutong was the host of the dinner given to 35 Sarawak pastors, including foreign pastors that helped DAP Sarawak's election campaign and are in town for a close door church convention.

The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship and Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Tan Sri Murphy Nicholas Pakiam, had also denied the claim. Was NECF the host for them to deny? Pastors involve Protestants, so why must the Catholic Archbishop deny?

Everyone sounded like a kid caught stealing candy in the store with their hands in the jar. Jeff Ooi demand on behalf of the Christians for blogger Big Dog to apologise sounded as though he does not have a better political counterpoint to return. He can't represent Christians for he is a Buddhist.

Big Dog refuse for he will be deemed as admitting fault. 

The rest of the news is all background story not worth repeating. Read it here.
The blogs' postings were directed towards socialist DAP, who fights for secularism and outrightly are against theocratic state, especially Islamic state, but used the church machinery to campaign. Isn't that plot obvious?

Ah well then ... it is just typical of recalcitrants refusing to see the plot and go whacking on the wrong issue raised out of their own political convenience and preference.

Father Andrew is no different.

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