“Malaysia is clearly a failed state”, said the – equally clearly – politicized message of DAP on Christmas eve, delivered by the evangelical party’s belligerent secretary-general.
DAP sec-gen Lim Guan Eng charged that Malaysia is a “failure” when assessed under four fundamental freedoms criteria, including freedom of worship.
Guan Eng, a born-again Christian, could not resist injecting his signature mix of politics and religion into the toxic Christmas greeting. He just had to – even when extending the DAP’s good wishes for the festive season – take a swipe at the PAS-Umno amendment proposal which DAP characterizes as “hudud-like laws”.
Needless to say, such a politicized Christmas message would court controversy. And sure enough it did.
Rising to his son’s defence, DAP spiritual advisor Lim Kit Siang pointed out that even churches are being political by speaking up on the 1MDB issue — see his tweet below.
It is not only the church that has been bitten by the DAP belligerence bug. Fervent churchgoers from the English-language media fraternity are similarly displaying their antagonism.
Pro-DAP tabloid The Star had screamed “rogue” – in a banner headline on its Dec 9 front page – directing the rebuke at the Perlis state government for permitting one parent to alone convert his or her child to Islam.
Likewise, Guan Eng in his Christmas message also took at a potshot at Perlis for allowing the move. DAP and The Star look to be setting up a clash between their brand of liberalism and the Sunni majority’s conservative Islam.
The confrontational tone in relation to ‘culprit’ Perlis that has been adopted by both Guan Eng and MCA’s name-calling newspaper is ratcheting up religious tensions.
Instigating interfaith friction is however nothing new to Guan Eng as his previous Christmas message, asserting the right of Christians to use kalimah ‘Allah’, had sparked outrage among Muslims too in 2012.
Christians emboldened in their political activism
Indeed, over the last decade and more, evangelical churches have become visibly vocal as evidenced by their endorsement of Christian candidates in the general elections, their politically flavoured sermons from the pulpit, and their support for and participation in the recent Bersih rallies.
In lockstep with the politically galvanized churches, Malaysian Christians in the peninsula have been increasingly at the forefront of the opposition onslaught, acting under the rubric of DAP’s new vanguard.
Political Christianity is actually not an alien phenomenon in our region. Back in 1986, the church in the Phillipines – led by Cardinal Jaime Sin – had been responsible for helping push forward the Yellow Revolution that ousted President Ferdinand Marcos.
Evangelical Christianity played a big part as well in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution not too long ago.
As one example of the DAP Christian influence, the Selangor official Christmas open house started only in 2008 when the state government was taken over by Pakatan Rakyat.
At federal level, there is the Christmas highlight that is the star-studded high tea hosted by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM).
During the CFM X’mas tea on Sunday Dec 25, DAP evangelical leaders (see pix above of Teresa Kok and Hannah Yeoh) were seated at the table immediately next to the country’s most prominent Christian clergy.