MCCBCHST Statement: Special Prayers for the Restoration of Religious Freedom

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism on behalf of our respective religious communities is disappointed and feel aggrieved by the recent majority decision of the Court of Appeal on the Shubashini case which in effect requires the non-Muslim party to seek recourse through the Syariah Courts.

The fact that the wife has since been granted a temporary respite by the Court does not detract from the seriousness of the original decision.

As the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the country, a person of one religion should not made subject to laws of and governance by another religion.

MCCBCHST urges all fair-minded Malaysians irrespective of their religion to voice their grievances against this injustice through the proper and peaceful channels.

Let us do all that is possible and also pray that justice and freedom of religion be restored.

Accordingly, MCCBHST hereby calls on all fair-minded Malaysians to pray for the restoration of freedom of religion. All the component religions of MCCBCHST will launch special prayers throughout the country during the first week of April 2007. The launch dates are as follows:

March 31: Sikhs
April 1 : Christians
April 3 : Taoists
April 6 : Hindus
April 8 : Buddhists

At there special prayers, a brief statement of concern will be read to the congregations followed by a prayer for the restoration of religious freedom. Each of our component bodies will word its prayers according to its own religious requirements and customs.

In summary, the prayers will be to the effect that “ governments and authorities may respect the God-given religious freedom to every person and that no external constraints or demands will be placed on individuals or groups in seeking redress of their rights to live according to the tenets of their own faith”.

From its inception, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism has never neglected to convey the necessity and correctness of religious freedom as enshrined in the Federal Constitution numerous memoranda press releases meetings with the Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers, and dialogues with religious authorities including those who represent the religion of Islam.

In this quest, MCCRCHST has always maintained the centrality of genuine dialogue and mutual consultation as the best means for the achievement of consensus on issues of consequence to national unity and harmony. Accordingly, our basis of action is and will always be peaceful and respectful of others.

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Dato’ Chee Peck Kiat
President
02.04.2007

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