Excerpts: Read here for more
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The Mufti of Sabah issued a fatwah (religious decree) that declared all Buddhist statues haram (forbidden).
With that fatwah the Thean Hou Foundation was forbidden from erecting the Goddess of the Sea statue and was ordered to halt all work although they had already brought in the statue and work had progressed halfway.
The Sabah situation does NOT look good for UMNO.
Najib (tried) to get Abdullah Badawi to reverse the decision of the Sabah State Government and override the fatwah of the Sabah Mufti. The Deputy Prime Minister urged Abdullah Badawi to do something as this matter can be very explosive.
Article 11 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia allows freedom of religion. While this freedom is not extended to Muslims, and Muslims may not leave Islam or convert to another religion, the government cannot interfere in non-Islamic religions as stipulated under the Constitution.
The Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah, Chong Kah Kiat, not a mere estate worker or labourer from HINDRAF, did go talk to Abdullah Badawi. Even the Deputy Prime Minister tried convincing him, though it was an exercise in futility.
At 11.00am tomorrow, 12 December 2007, Chong Kah Kiat will be filing a suit in the Kota Kinabalu High Court (to override the fatwah of the Sabah Mufti) because Abdullah Badawi is not listening.
PAS KELANTAN'S TOLERANCE OF OTHER RELIGIONS
The largest Buddhist statue is in the ‘Islamic’ State of Kelantan.
PAS allows the largest Buddhist statue in Malaysia in the state that it rules.
From Shieh's "Kickdefella" Blog: See MORE photos in Kelantan, CLICK HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE
In Kelantan: Longest Sleeping Buddha Statue in South East Asia
(And yet) Umno says that PAS is an extremist party and very intolerant towards non-Muslims or towards other non-Islamic religions.
It was during the rule of PAS that its Menteri Besar summoned the Hindus to a meeting and offered them a site to build a Hindu temple. He approved the Hindu temple on the spot without any requirement for a formal application or for any committees to be formed to look into the matter.
In fact, the Hindus had previously applied for permission during the time that Umno was ruling the state so Nik Aziz just resurrected that decades-old application and approved it without the need for a fresh application.
Sabah's Deputy Chief Minister Chong Kah Kiat has discovered something new today. PAS is NOT really the ‘Taliban’ party that UMNO says it is.
UMNO'S RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE
UMNO comes out with fatwahs declaring Buddhist statues haram and forbids its erection while PAS allows the largest Buddhist statue in the country.
UMNO demolishes Hindu temples while PAS summons Hindus for a meeting and offers them permission to build one though they never asked for it thinking that surely PAS would say no if Umno says no.
And Abdullah Badawi’s Islam Hadhari is NOT as liberal as what UMNO says it is.
And this will make the Chinese sit up and take note... whether the Umno government and Abdullah’s Islam Hadhari is tolerant to Buddhists and Hindus.
And luckily the UMNOMember of Parliament’s resolution in Parliament that missionary schools be made to remove all Christian religious symbols, statues and crosses was vetoed.
If not the Christians too would join the Buddhists and Hindus in opposing the government.