MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai serving tea to the old folks from various charity homes at the Caring and Sharing programme organised by Buddhist Maha Vihara on May 11, 2014. On his left is the Chief High Priest of Malaysia Venerable Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana. Sam Tham/Star
PETALING JAYA: More inter-faith dialogues should be held to create a fair and sincere platform to resolve differences among the people, said MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He added that it was not good to limit oneself to a particular religious sector in a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Malaysia.
“Every action is correlative and has a mutual effect, especially when it comes to enforcing the law.
“We firmly believe that interaction promotes understanding and this will help to ensure a harmonious and stable society,” said Liow in his Wesak Day message.
He also called on Buddhists to learn and understand more about other religions in the country.
This year’s Wesak Day theme is “New Dawn of Buddhism, Riding Tide of Mindfulness”.
Liow said Malaysia had been a multi-religious country and since Independence, MCA had been holding firmly to that principle to ensure the country remains a multi-cultural society and a secular state.
“We will reject any form of religious extremism, including any attempt to amend the Federal Constitution,” he said.
Liow said PAS’ attempt to table the private members’ Bill for the implementation of hudud in Kelantan should serve as a reminder that “a single spark can start a prairie fire”.
“To stop religious extremism, we should start from the root. We should act when the issue first surfaces,” he said.
“The PAS hudud issue has proven that people had taken it lightly because of some beautification works done by a certain political party for another political party.”
On Sunday, however, PAS announced it would postpone the tabling of the Bill to allow a state and federal technical committee to study the issue.
Meanwhile, the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) said although hudud law is only applicable to Muslims, enforcement of it would dictate the lifestyle of everyone including non-Muslims.
“This is like attempting to turn Malaysia into a theocratic state and it defies the very fundamental understanding that Malaysia is built on a wide diversity of ethnicity, culture and religion,” said YBAM secretary-general Wong Sook Kim in a statement yesterday.
Wong said if the Government was sincere in putting the people first, then it should focus on the assets of a multi-cultural society and abandon policies that divide and segregate the people.