KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — The Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) has lambasted PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man for inferring a church social forum held on September 14 was used for the purpose of political propaganda.
In rebutting Tuan Ibrahim’s claim, CCM clarified that the “New Malaysia Narrative” forum that was held in the Mega Chinese Methodist Church in Kota Damansara, Selangor was part of the church’s Malaysia Day observance to assist its members to contribute to nation building by participating in a shared narrative.
“The forum which featured a panel of speakers was to encourage the participants to play their role within the unfolding story of a ‘New’ Malaysia by understanding our shared historical heritage and calling for better understanding of our shared destiny as citizens of our country.
“To that end, the PAS leader should not imply that the forum was used for political propaganda and therefore stop insinuating that the church was promoting it,” it said in a statement here.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong who attended the forum as one of the speakers, was accused of zealously promoting the “Kingdom of God”, a Christian concept of a spiritual realm over which God reigns or the fulfilment of God’s will on Earth.
Tuan Ibrahim claimed that Sim allegedly preached the idea alongside other Christian topics such as the “Jesus Manifesto” at the “Naratif Malaysia Baru” (New Malaysia Narrative) forum on Saturday.
The phrase Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of Heaven, occurs frequently in the New Testament, primarily attributed to Jesus Christ in the first three Gospels.
In response, Sim said earlier today his reference to the Bible during the forum was merely aimed at urging Christians to become better Malaysians by rejecting racism and corruption.
The Bukit Mertajam MP stressed that he did not criticise any religion nor did he propose the establishment of a Christian government as claimed by Tuan Ibrahim.
Sim said his speech stressed on values espoused by the Bible as guidance to become better citizens, such as justice, transparency, helping the weak and poor, rejecting corruption, oppression and racism.
Malay-Muslim conservative groups here, have consistently spoken out against Christianisation, human rights, and religious pluralism as alleged threats against the Malay-Muslim community in recent years.
Last month, Gerakan Pembela Ummah, a coalition of Malay-Muslim groups, had listed several issues it deems “major threats” against the majority community, which included Christian evangelism.