PAS: Christianity’s ‘Kingdom of God’ as national narrative against Rukunegara, Constitution

PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man delivers a speech at Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (Muslim Unity Rally) held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man delivers a speech at Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (Muslim Unity Rally) held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

IPOH, Sept 19 — PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has questioned today whether the Christian concept of “Kingdom of God” fits Rukunegara and the Federal Constitution, if it becomes part of the national narrative.

The Islamist party leader has again accused DAP of trying to shoehorn Christianity into its politics, despite repeated clarification by Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong and churches on a speech he made at a forum.

“My statement did not at all dispute the good values he shared, but as Malaysia, there is worry when a DAP leader insisted on The Kingdom of God in the ‘New Malaysian Narrative’,” Tuan Ibrahim said in a statement.

“Indirectly, there is a question whether DAP will make ‘The Kingdom of God’ as a new narrative in politics in Malaysia?

“Is it not seen as contradictory with Rukunegara principles and the main provisions in the Constitution such as Islam as the religion of federation and the position of Yang Di-Pertuan Agong as the head of state?” he asked.

Despite his claim, the Rukunegara only prescribes “belief in God” and does not mention only Islam. The declaration is also not legally binding.

Article 3 of the Federal Constitution also states that while Islam is the religion of federation, all other religions can freely be practised.

Yesterday, Tuan Ibrahim had claimed Sim was zealously promoting the “Kingdom of God” idea, a Christian concept of a spiritual realm over which God reigns or the fulfilment of God’s will on Earth.

Sim then said his reference to the Bible during a forum held on September 14 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.

The Council of Churches Malaysia also explained 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.

Allegations against Sim were a rebuttal to critical descriptions of the PAS-Umno alliance sealed last weekend. The DAP leader was said to have called the pact a klepto-theocracy and that the two parties exploit religion to gain support.

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, Tuan Ibrahim claimed today his media statement asking the police to investigate Sim over his speech was manipulated, claiming it was part of an attempt to portray PAS as rejecting religious freedom and spreading hatred.

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