Proselytisation: Bishop hails Mat Sabu's stance
Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing welcomed as “strategic” the pronouncement of PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu that his party would support punitive measures taken by Jais in the event Christian proselytisation of Muslims did occur on Aug 3 at a thanksgiving dinner held at Damansara Utama Methodist Centre.
“It's a strategic maneuver that is designed to flush out Jais who are engaged in an evasive tactic by saying that their investigations into the incident are incomplete and, in any case, these have first to be shown to the sultan who is head of religion in Selangor state,” said the head of the Catholic Church in the diocese of Melaka-Johor.
“The Jais maneuver is a tactic of evasion that is wholly unacceptable given the gravity of the accusation that Christians proselytised Muslims,” said Bishop Paul Tan.
“You must remember that this accusation comes at a time when Christians are being accused, thus far without proof, of engaging in activities undermining the official religion of this country,” he elaborated.
“The obverse side of the pronouncement by Mohamad Sabu that his party is ready to support punitive measures is recognition of the need for exoneration should the accusation be shown to be false,” said the bishop.
The Jesuit-trained prelate noted that thus far the proof adduced by Selangor state minister for religion, Dr Hasan Ali who is from PAS, had not been convincing enough, which is why his party has elected to meet both Jais and officials of DUMC to resolve the issue.
PAS to meet DUMC on Tuesday
Jais has yet to fix a date to meet with PAS but the DUMC will closet with a delegation from PAS on Tuesday on the matter.
“I don't think it would be untoward for me at this juncture to recall to the deputy president of PAS that he was once accused of an offence against his religion in the 1990s,” said Bishop Paul Tan.
“I recall that it was a harrowing time for Mohamad Sabu. In fact, I felt sympathy for him.
“But a syariah court later exonerated him. Still, the leader of the rival party to PAS publicly pronounced Sabu to be guilty despite his exoneration by a religious court,” he said.
“I recall all this not from a desire to be tendentious but to emphasise the point that a false accusation is a grave offence and people falsely targeted by it are in need of exoneration,” argued the Jesuit-trained prelate.