• Demolishment of Chapel dedicated to St Joseph, Saujana Impian

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 26th of August 2016

    Demolishment of Chapel dedicated to St Joseph, Saujana Impian

    I refer to the media statement of Ng Chok Sin, MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Deputy Chairman and MCA Selangor State Liaison Committee Secretary which was issued on the 24th of August, 2016.[1] In his statement, he levelled many unfounded and baseless accusations against Wan Azizah, PKR President and State Assembly representative for Kajang, against the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and against DAP and PKR, for allowing the demolishment of a chapel structure dedicated to St Joseph in Saujana Impian, Kajang.

    Ng Chok Sin’s statement was totally irresponsible and unbecoming of a political leader. If he had bothered to put in just a bit of effort to find out more about the situation, he would have easily found out that the local authorities as well as the state government had been discussing the matter with the Catholic church and the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) since the beginning of the year.

    He would also have found out that the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Reverend Julian Leow, had issued a letter on the 19th of August, 2016 to the parishioners of the Holy Family Church in Kajang to explain why he agreed to allow the local authority, namely MPKJ, to demolish of what is now the remains of the chapel dedicated to St Joseph which was previously used by workers from the Brehma Estate, which no longer exists. (See Appendix 1 below) In this letter, the Archbishop also informed the parish priest, Father Surain, to cooperate and assist the local council, wherever possible, to ensure that no untoward incidents take place.

    This letter was read out during all masses on the weekend of the 20th and 21st of August at the Holy Family Church in Kajang so as to ensure that the proper information was channelled to the parishioners.

    In a letter dated on the 19th of August, 2016, to Selangor Exco member, Elizabeth Wong, Archbishop Julian Leow also confirmed that he had no objections to the local authority tearing down what remains of the chapel located along Jalan Saujana Impian, Kajang. He also thanked the Selangor Exco for “your kind concern and engaging in a dialogue on this sensitive issue and coming to an amicable solution on this matter”.  (See Appendix 2 below)

    Because of the media coverage on this issue, which Ng Chok Sin is partly responsible for, Archbishop Julian had to issue another statement today to restate his position on the matter at hand. In this letter he appealed to the individuals who were preventing the demolition work by MPKj to “respect the lawful right of the council to carry out their duty and to remind everyone that the decision to demolish the unused chapel was made after due process was followed”. (See Appendix 3 below)

    I call upon Ng Chok Sin to apologize to Wan Azizah, MPKj, PKR and DAP for his baseless and unfounded accusations. In addition, I call upon Ng Chok Sin to apologize to Archbishop Julian Leow for making it seem as if the Catholic church had been irresponsible in not taking part in the decision making process to decide the fate of the chapel. Now that the facts surrounding this matter are clear to the general public, as a responsible public figure, Ng should issue an unconditional apology to all the parties who have been aggrieved by his irresponsible statement.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    Appendix 1: Letter from the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to the parishioners of Holy Family Church, Kajang (the closet Catholic church to the St Joseph chapel)

    Appendix 2: Letter from the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to YB Elizabeth Wong, Selangor EXCO

    Appendix 3: Press Statement by the office of the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur on the 25th of August, 2016

    [1] http://theheatmalaysia.com/Main/Callous-bid-to-destroy-church-at-night

  • PDRM must explain why it tried to disrupt the service at Kajang Bethany Church last Sunday

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 2nd of December 2014

    PDRM must explain why it tried to disrupt the service at Kajang Bethany Church last Sunday

    I refer to the news reports of two policemen who disrupted a BM church service at the Bethany Church in Kajang. I have spoken to the pastor of the church, Pastor Nelson, and he confirmed the events as reported in the news. He told me that the two police asked him to stop his service immediately and that they left after Pastor Nelson tried to ask them to speak to Pastor Alfred Tais, the National Evangelical Christian Federation (NECF)’s BM Commission’s Executive Secretary on the telephone.

    Short of someone committing a crime or there being a life threatening emergency, the police have no right to disrupt the services of any religious organization. What the two policemen did at Bethany Church is an infringement of the constitutional right of freedom of religion of the members of the church and Pastor Nelson.

    Furthermore, the issue of whether the shoplot in question can or cannot be used as a place of worship is not a matter for the police to decide but for the local council, in this case, Majlis Perbandaran Kajang (MPKj). For the police to take action without the presence of MPKj on the basis of a few ‘complaints’ is unacceptable and without basis especially when no crime had been committed.

    I call upon the Kajang OCPD Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahap to carry out a detailed investigation for this case and if necessary, to ask his officers to apologise to Pastor Nelson and his congregation. I will also meet with the Kajang OCPD to demand his guarantee that such an occurrence should never happen again in the area under his jurisdiction.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming

    Member of Parliament for Serdang

  • Najib’s assurance that Sabah and Sarawakian Christians will not be affected by the Court of Appeal ruling on the ‘Allah’ verdict has proven to be completely undependable and unreliable

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 31st of October 2014

    Najib’s assurance that Sabah and Sarawakian Christians will not be affected by the Court of Appeal ruling on the ‘Allah’ verdict has proven to be completely undependable and unreliable

    In October 2013, after the Court of Appeal’s verdict on the right of the Herald newspaper to use the word Allah in its publication, Najib assured Christians in Sabah and Sarawak that the decision would not affect the Christians in Sabah and Sarawak as per the 10 point agreement issued by the Federal Cabinet.[1]

    However, it was reported yesterday, on the 30th of October, that ‘hundreds of compact discs (CDs) and books containing the word “Allah” were confiscated at the KLIA2 airport last Saturday.’ It was further reported that these items belonged to a Sabahan Christian who had brought them in from Medan, Indonesia, on his way back to Sabah where he lives.[2]

    If this report is true, then it proves that Najib’s assurances to the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak are completely undependable and unreliable. This confirms the view of the Sarawak Minister’s Fellowship that ‘there is no basis for Najib to give assurance on Allah.’[3] The confiscation of this Christian material containing the word Allah once again shows that the Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have no assurance that bibles printed in Indonesia and imported to Malaysia through KLIA or any other airport will not be confiscated by the federal authorities, as a result of the Court of Appeal ruling on the use of the word Allah as ‘not being an integral part’ of the Christian faith.

    This confiscation also shows the complete failure of the federal government to protect Freedom of Religion as per Article 11 (1) of the Federal Constitution. It also shows the failure of the federal government in trying to keep up the pretense of having an inconsistent promise of ‘one country, two systems’ for having one set of laws for Peninsular Malaysia and another set of laws for Sabah when it comes to something as fundamental as our constitutional rights to practice our religion freely.

    I call upon the Prime Minister to order the Home Minister to release the material belonging to the Sabahan Christian immediately. I also call upon the Prime Minister to order the Home Minister not to appeal against the High Court decision for the Home Ministry to return the Christian CDs belonging to Jill Ireland and for the immediate return of these CDs.[4] The failure to do so would only confirm that the Prime Minister is a ‘toothless tiger’ who is incapable of ensuring that his own Ministers implement the Prime Minister’s promises to the people.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/244475

    [2] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/in-latest-allah-incident-christian-cds-and-books-seized-at-klia2

    [3] http://www.barubian.net/2014/06/no-basis-for-najib-to-give-assurance-on.html

    [4] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/no-release-of-christian-cds-while-ministry-appeals-jill-ireland-ruling

  • Call on all Malaysians to support Religious Freedom for Minorities all around the world

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 3rd of July, 2014

    Call on all Malaysians to support Religious Freedom for Minorities all around the world

    It was reported yesterday that the central government in Beijing, China, has banned civil servants, students and teachers in the majority Muslim Xinjiang region from taking part in Ramadan fasting.[1] By preventing civil servants, students and teachers who are Muslim from fasting during Ramadan is to force them not to follow one of the five pillars of Islam. This goes against the freedom of religion which includes the freedom of an individual to carry out the religious practices of his or her faith.

    I strongly condemn the persecution of the Muslim minority in China through the directive forcing civil servants, students and teachers, including Muslims, not to fast during the holy month of Malaysia.

    I call upon all Malaysians to support the right of the Muslim population in Xinjiang to have the right to fast during the month of Ramadan. In particular, I call upon all non-Muslims in Malaysia to stand in solidarity to support freedom of religion for all minorities around the world by fasting for one day during this holy month of Ramadan together with our Muslim friends.

    Today is the fifth day in which I am fasting during Ramadan and the 2nd year in a row which I am doing so. I value the opportunity and the right to be able to fast during Ramadan, as a non-Muslim, in order to share the experience together with my Muslims friends.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1]http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1544914/china-bans-xinjiang-officials-and-schools-participating-ramadan

  • MAIS has acted unconstitutionally and illegally by not only refusing to return the BSM bibles but by asking the bibles to be destroyed

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, 16 June 2014

    MAIS has acted unconstitutionally and illegally by not only refusing to return the BSM bibles but by asking the bibles to be destroyed

    After the Attorney General announced that the case was closed with regards to the Bible Society of Malaysia’s (BSM) Malay and Iban bibles, the right thing for the Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS) would have been to instruct the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) to return these confiscated bibles to BSM.

    Not only has MAIS refused to ask JAIS to return these bibles, they have taken the extra step to ask for these bibles to be destroyed. MAIS has released 2 statements in three days to defend the unconstitutional actions of JAIS in raiding the offices of BSM and not returning the bibles after the AG’s announcement.

    Unfortunately, MAIS used Article 11(4) of the federal constitution which allows state law to “control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam” and the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment, 1988, to justify the JAIS raid and its continued insistence on not returning the bibles.

    But until now, neither JAIS nor MAIS has produced one iota of evidence to show that the BSM bibles were intended to be used for propagating Christianity among Muslims in Malaysia! That AG did not refer to any evidence produced by JAIS confirms this fact. Furthermore, the AG specifically wrote that the confiscated materials are not writings that would fall under section 9(1)(a) of the 1988 Enactment which means that the publication of the BSM bibles cannot be prosecuted as an offense!

    Without any proof that the BSM bibles were going to be used to propagate Christianity among Muslims in Malaysia, MAIS is acting unconstitutionally by not requesting JAIS to return the bibles to BSM.

    Furthermore, in its media statement dated 14th of June, MAIS asked for the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) in Selangor to obtain an order to destroy the evidence in this case, namely the BSM bibles, according to Section 407A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

    To ask for the destruction of the bibles under the Criminal Procedure Code is illegal since the AG has stated that no crime has been committed in the publication of the BSM bibles!

    As such, MAIS and JAIS have to work together to ensure the safe return of the BSM bibles to its owners. The first step that needs to be taken by MAIS and JAIS is to show that the bibles are in good condition and have not been destroyed or damaged.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

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