Aim to be peace-makers and bridge-builders

THE Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) is truly disappointed and dismayed that after more than two months from disparaging the Holy Scriptures founding the faith of a third of the world, Pasir Puteh Member of Parliament Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Nik Salleh could not find it in himself to apologise sincerely and fulsomely for his appalling and unfounded charge that the Bible is distorted and altered.

Instead, under the guise of a classic non-apology – and even that tendered only at the prompting of the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat – he compounded his affront of Aug 26,2020 by claiming that he had then intended “to defend the original form of the Bible that was revealed to Jesus without any alterations”,

as reported on Nov 3 by a local daily in an article titled “PAS MP finally says sorry for alcohol and Bible remarks, insists only defending ‘original form’ as revealed to Jesus”.

Ignorant even as to the fundamental tenet that the Bible is about Jesus and is not a revelation to Jesus, the MP for Pasir Puteh’s further audacious and fallacious pronouncements fly in the face of a consensus of considered views of venerable, globally acknowledged, multi-lingual Bible scholars over centuries arrived at after critical study and analysis of thousands of ancient manuscripts and historically reliable texts, many on public display at national libraries and even online.

Notably, the MP has to date cited no authority and produced not a shred of evidence for his wild and grossly offensive and insensitive claims of “alterations” and manipulations of the Bible.

That he, an elected official, chose to engage in divisive discourse in the august House at a time when our nation needs to unite to overcome the challenges posed by a deadly and destructive global pandemic is an absolute disgrace.

That he now persists in making his unsubstantiated claims displays an utmost disregard not only for the well-being of the Christian community but also for the harmony and common good of the people of this country, and little understanding of nation-building and interracial and religious respect.

The CFM entreats all Malaysians to take the opportunity to study with humility and respect the scriptures of other faiths and to promote mutual respect for the faith of the other.

Respect begets respect. Let us be peace-makers and bridge-builders to each other’s communities of faith.

ARCHBISHOP JULIAN LEOW BENG KIM , Chairman and the Executive Committee The Christian Federation of Malaysia

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