Christian issue: Denial won’t help DAP

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Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji, one of DAP’s five new vice chairmen, has responded to Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff’s public musing about the ‘strange’ over abundance of Christians in the party top leadership.

Zulpuri – appointed on Sunday to fill the Malay quota among the vice chairmen – asked, “Apa yang peliknya sehingga dia (Dr Kamarul) terus menjaja isu ini?”

Dr Kamarul also came under fire over the same issue from Zulpuri’s predecessor Dr Ariffin Omar, a DAP Penang senator.

To recap, Dr Kamarul observed today in his Berita Harian column:

“Jadi, pemang pelik cara DAP berpolitik. Pada saat ia hadapi krisis keyakinan serius dalam kalangan pengundi Melayu, dan diserang dengan isu Kristianisasi, tokoh Kristian juga jadi pilihan utamanya untuk dilantik ke dalam CEC sedangkan ini hanya akan memperkuatkan lagi dakwaan bahawa DAP mempunyai agenda Kristianisasi.”

To be more precise, Dr Kamarul is noting that seven, or perhaps maybe eight, out of the DAP’s ten newly appointed CEC members are Christian. Is this not a curious fact to Tengku Zul?

To deflect Dr Kamarul’s perfectly legitimate observation, Zulpuri nonetheless accused the UUM academic of “rehashing a stale Umno script” in the run-up to GE14. The DAP leader’s allegation is reported in a Roketkini article today headlined ‘Agenda Kristian’: Pengulangan skrip lapuk Umno menjelang PRU14’.

⇓  It’s PAS – not Umno – that is opposed to ‘evangelis Kristian DAP’

Not at all an Umno script

Zulpuri’s accusation is off the mark. Dr Kamarul’s most recent analysis was not even reported in the official Umno Online or by the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) website or in the popular MyKMU, the Umno supporters’ portal.

Dr Kamarul’s view on the strong Christian element in the DAP was, however, yesterday given coverage in the PAS party organ – see ‘Komposisi baru DAP bukti agenda Kristianisasi?’, Harakah Daily.

This Christian factor is of great interest to PAS. Harakah Daily also carried an article querying ‘DAP dikuasai Kristian?’ previously on 30 May 2017.

Umno is actually quite indifferent to the matter. A Christianization agenda is concerning to PAS, not to Umno.

The following was reported in the alternative media: ‘PAS keluar dari Pakatan kerana sedar DAP adalah evangelis Kristian’ (Utara News, 5 June 2017), ‘PAS tuduh DAP perkasa Kristian’ (Malaysia Dateline, 21 May 2017), ‘Evangelis Kristian DAP, punca PAS batal tahaluf siyasi – Dr Zuhdi Marzuki’ (Menara, 4 June 2017), and many others in the same vein.

As early as two years ago, Isma first raised the red flag with its 11 June 2015 editorial ‘DAP dikuasai pemimpin berbahaya Kristian evangelis’.

This DAP-Christianization issue is rarely, if ever, touched on by mainstream Malay media linked to Umno ownership or media considered pro-establishment.

Umno does not want to rock the boat seeing that its fixed deposit votes are in Sabah and Sarawak – both states having a significant Christian population.

⇓  ” tak kira mana-mana individu pemimpin yang kuat agama”

Most reasonable to highlight DAP’s Christian factor

Contacted by Roketkini, DAP’s senator Dr Ariffin brushed off Dr Kamarul as making a wild and baseless accusation (“tuduhan semberono”).

Dr Ariffin further advised Dr Kamarul, “Nak cari pasal pun carilah yang munasabah sikit,” while adding “DAP dari dulu parti sekular berlandaskan perlembagaan, tak kira mana-mana individu pemimpin yang kuat agama atau tak kuat agama; Islam atau bukan-Islam, siapa-siapapun boleh sertai DAP”.

It is true that anybody is free to join the DAP.

But Dr Kamarul’s question – one which Dr Ariffin signally failed to address – is why the DAP appointed seven or even eight Christians to its 10-member unelected but co-opted CEC.

Let’s do a fact check first:

  1. Is Stephen Wong Tien Fatt a Christian?
  2. Is Thomas Su Keong Siong a Christian?
  3. Is Yeo Bee Yin a Christian?
  4. Is Ong Kian Ming a Christian?
  5. Is Jannie Lasimbang a Christian?
  6. Is John Brian Anthony a Christian?
  7. Is Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan a Christian?

From his research, Dr Kamarul is convinced that they are. Indeed the evangelical activities carried out by several of the seven aforementioned individuals is on public record.

Is Wong Kah Woh a Christian? Dr Kamarul believes, very possibly.

Eight of ten… Pause and think about that number for a minute.

Clearly no Hindus were appointed, and only one Muslim, i.e. Tengku Zulpuri to the CEC.

Why then stack the deck with that very many Christians?

Dr Ariffin claims DAP is a secular party. “Elok dia fikir dulu sebelum bercakap” (to borrow and return his own words to him) … pray tell, why are leaders of a supposedly secular party so preoccupied with camping in the mosques?

Is it “munasabah” that eight Christians should be appointed to fill the ten available exco slots in a party that professes itself multi-religious? Tak pelik?

PAS has “seen the light” with regard to the DAP’s hidden nature and wants to have nothing to do the Christian-dominated party.

This evangelism narrative remains a ‘no go zone’ in the Umno sphere. It is laughable for the DAP’s Malay window-dressing to be taking personal potshots at Dr Kamarul and deceptively calling (what he has rightly highlighted) it as an “Umno script”.

This latest move by DAP will not go unnoticed by PAS.

What is being weighed in the balance is who – PAS or Umno – is reading the Malay ground better?

Umno is harping on the lack of Malay representation in the DAP leadership. Is this anything new?

PAS, on the other hand, will have realized that there is an over representation of Christians in the DAP upper echelons. Is this fact something worth pointing out?

Next question: What is the DAP agenda for not picking Malays (and Hindus) to have a stronger role in steering the ship? Duh.

What is the DAP agenda for picking an overwhelming number of Christians to sit in its highest council? Which of the two questions is more pertinent?

Despite that Umno steadfastly refuses to glance at this relevant question, don’t think that the Malay general public won’t.

 

 

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