Saturday, February 19, 2011

Press Statement by YB Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Selangor State EXCO and State Assemblyman for Seri Andalas

COMMITTEE FOR NON-MUSLIM AFFAIRS – SELANGOR & PENANG

I salute the move taken by YAB Lim Guan Eng and the Penang state government in forming an official portfolio for non-muslim affairs, it is an effort that is to be commended.

The central aim and objectives of the Committee for non-muslim affairs is to promote greater inter-faith understanding and build strong working relationships between all non-muslim religious bodies and the state governments.

For example, Selangor’s non-muslim committee is jointly chaired by myself, YB Teresa Kok and YB Ronnie Liew, along with four other ADUNs, 7 representatives of the main non-muslim religious bodies and various other government department representatives including reps from District Offices, JAIS, JKR, JPS and PTG.

The Barisan National government should welcome the initiatives taken by the Penang state government and not feel threatened. Furthermore, it was only 3 days ago that the “PM hailed the government’s interfaith sub-committee as key in creating a common understanding and having constructive dialogue among the different religious groups in the country.”(Malaysian Insider, 14, Feb 2011)

In light of his comments it is highly regrettable and irresponsible of the Government to allow the
Utusan to make such a racially provoking statement against the non-muslim portfolio established by a Pakatan Rakyat state.

It is the responsibility of everyone to promote greater comprehension and tolerance of all the different faiths in Malaysia. We must not resort to racial and religious politics in order to fulfill political aims.

Dr Xavier Jayakumar

17 February 2011
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