Bishop: Hasan Has Been 'Grossly Negligent'

Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing today reminded Hasan Ali of PAS, the Selangor minister for Islamic affairs, that he is a “an elected representative of a party that cannot rely on dubious evidence when accusing others of wrongdoing”.

Responding to Hasan’s opinion that yesterday’s statement by the Selangor sultan showed that there was Christian proselytisation of Muslims at a function hosted by a Christian group in August, the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese said: “More than any other party, PAS has to be extremely fastidious about the evidence before preferring an accusation.”

He explained: “Need I remind him his party wants to implement a judicial system - at least in one state in the country - that in the terminal finality of the punishments it encompasses, makes the sifting of evidence a matter of the gravest responsibility.

“In leaping to his conclusions in the matter of alleged Christian proselytisation of Muslims at the dinner hosted by the Damansara Utama Methodist Centre (DUMC), Hasan has been grossly negligent in respect of evidence evaluation.

“He has done a grave disservice to the cause of the judicial system his party is on record as propounding for the good of citizens in this country.

“People are going to look at the way he has leaped from arbitrary fact to accusatory conclusion in this matter and say what kind of system is his party propounding that allows a grave accusation to be preferred on a dubious evidentiary basis.”

Bishop Paul Tan reminded Hasan that “not only in Selangor but every other state in Malaysia, his party is in contention with the supposedly corrupt and unprincipled”.

“Therefore it is incumbent upon him to hold himself to a higher standard of public conduct and exposition than of those he is in contention with.”

The bishop said he was “extremely dismayed” that Hasan has “now compounded his initial error committed last August when he leaped to a conclusion about what had allegedly happened at the DUMC function and was in peril of disciplinary action by his party”.

“Just because the Sultan of Selangor, against the better counsels of his constitutional role as non-partisan arbiter, has stooped to partisanship in this matter, it doesn’t mean the state minister of religion can ride pillion.

“The let-off his party afforded him when it did not take disciplinary action has become a licence for him to disport as he wishes. So much for a higher standard of conduct by a senior PAS legislator,” mused Bishop Paul Tan.

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