Bishop: 'NFA' Finding On Christian Plot Predictable

Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing said today he was not surprised the brouhaha last May over a Christian conspiracy, allegedly hatched in Penang, to dethrone Islam as the federation’s official religion has now become another instance of “much ado over nothing.”

Referring to a report in Malaysiakini that Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had given a written reply in Parliament to the effect the Penang case is now classified as “NFA” (no further action), the titular head of Catholics in the diocese of Melaka-Johor commented:

“Those old enough to recall things in the aftermath of the May 13, 1969 riots would remember such terms as ‘rumor mongers’ and ‘undesirable elements’ – two commonly employed phrases used by the authorities to denounce disseminators of false and inflammatory stories and those who hoped to exploit people’s fears by spreading them.

“Well, I hate to resurrect old cliches but those two phrases would do nicely to describe the people responsible for the conspiracy stories that stemmed from blog and press reports last May.”

The Jesuit-trained prelate said the authorities should do something about these “rumor mongers and undesirable elements that spread false stories about one set of believers conspiring against another religion rather than harass critical and independent-minded law professors who point out absurdities in the authorities’ logic.”

Bishop Tan, who is concurrently president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, was referring to the questioning of UIAM law professor Abdul Aziz Bari by the Communications and Multimedia Commission for supposedly disrespectful remarks over a statement issued by the Sultan of Selangor last week on alleged proselytization of Muslims in Damansara last August.

“Heaven forbid that the people are led to believe that government is rapidly becoming an ass because of a tendency for it to go after people who call out the troublemakers rather than the troublemakers themselves,” he lamented.

“The authorities should not underestimate the intelligence of the people and neither should they think that their patience is elastic,” he cautioned.

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