Wong Chun Wai on Taman Medan: Ignorant, prejudiced bigots
Wong Chun Wai’s column today in The J-Star is titled, ‘No room for intolerance‘. I’ve excerpted parts of his article below and reproduced the paragraphs in red italics.
My own comments on Chun Wai’s views follow.
Wong Chun Wai (WCW): “Like most Christians in this country, I am sad rather than angry over the protest staged by about 50 people demanding the removal of a cross at a church in Taman Medan in Selangor.”
Helen Ang (HA): Like Hannah Yeoh’s staged sorrow …
WCW: “In fact, if some of the protesters have their way, they would want the church to leave the area because of its predominantly Muslim population.”
HA: Some of the Taman Medan residents also said there are Hindu and Sikh temples in the vicinity. Why have they not protested against the temples but are protesting against this church?
WCW: “This flawed argument feeds on the fears of these people, and we are not even sure if they actually represent the views of the majority as they claimed.”
HA: Why are these people fearful of Christians and not of Buddhists who are a bigger group?
Do the anti-cross protesters “actually represent the views of the majority”? So ingenuous of Chun Wai. After all, his paper’s report featured four Malay interviewees – three of whom were quoted in the Star Online article as saying they have no problem with the presence of the church.
WCW: “The demonstration may well be the work of some local politicians.”
HA: Now Chun Wai sounds like Guan Eng who said in his April 20 press statement that Umno Selangor leaders were the culprits guilty of “the barbaric act”. Guan Eng also added:
“This disgraceful act of barbarism by the extremist Selangor Umno-led protesters against a church in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, has made news around the world.”
WCW: “But it is clear enough that some of the remarks made at that demonstration last Sunday seem to stem from ignorance, prejudice and even plain bigotry.”
WCW: “They include the claim that the sight of a cross in a Muslim area challenged Islam and could influence the young.”
HA: Taman Medan is in Petaling Jaya. The DUMC (Damansara Utama Methodist Church) controversy also occurred in Petaling Jaya. Is Chun Wai willing to categorically deny that there was no proselytization by the DUMC of young Malays?
WCW: “It was revealed later that their fears were unfounded, or rather false, as the developer, the Selangor State Development Corporation, confirmed that the majority of bookings were by the Malays.”
HA: To borrow the line from Tun, show us the money.
Where is the accounting for the Taman Keramat-Jelatek Datum condo project? Were the booking fees paid up or was it just a claim made by The J-Star, like how its pro-Christian soul sister TMI makes all kinds of imaginary and extravagant claims?
WCW: “Although it is wrong to play the racial card, we must acknowledge that the fears of the urbanites being pushed aside by development in their own areas are real.”
The Christians play the religion card too – “We’re only a 9 percent minority” and always persecuted.
WCW: “Still, incidents like these, which smack of racism, have left many Malaysians, especially non-Malays, wondering about the state of affairs in this country.”
HA: The J-Star is telling many Malaysians, especially non-Malays, that the state of affairs in this country smacks of racism and that the non-Malaysian Firsters are the racists.
WCW: “We love this country, like the rest of our brothers and sisters, regardless of their race and religion. Malaysia remains our country and our only home.”
HA: I thought Chun Wai “loves London”. That’s what he states in his Twitter profile – see below.
As for the rest of his kumbayah-love family, sister Hannah Yeoh had wanted to UBAH and make Tasmania, Australia her home. Sadly, her application for Permanent Residence was rejected.
WCW: “There is nowhere else to go. Just because we are of ethnic Chinese and Indian origin does not mean we can just pack our bags and head to China and India, as some ignorant ones think.”
HA: Relatives of the J-Star editors did not pack their bags for China or India. They had headed to the Christian white countries.
WCW: “Our hearts bleed when such incidents happen.”
HA: A little earlier I said that Chun Wai sounded like Papa Dapster. Here he sounds like Mama Dapster with her achy, breaky heart.
WCW: “Worse, despite the inflammatory racial remarks made at Taman Keramat, no one has been arrested or charged over that incident so far.”
HA: EvangeliSTAR, MCA and DAP are all on the same page in desiring the Malay protestors to be charged under sedition.
WCW: “Can cynical Malaysians be blamed if they assume that no one would be arrested or charged over the Taman Medan protest as well?”
HA: EvangeliSTAR, MCA and DAP are all on the same page in desiring the Muslim protestors to be charged under sedition.
WCW: “We salute the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Cabinet for their strong stand against what had taken place.”
HA: We congratulate Chun Wai for getting the ear of the Prime Minister.
WCW: “Our politicians, as well as some individuals and groups, should stop harping on the wrong belief that Malays and Islam are under siege in our country.”
HA: Your evangelista politicians, as well as some individuals and groups, should stop harping on the wrong belief that Chinese and Christians are besieged and persecuted in our country.
WCW: “The statistics themselves already prove that this is not possible. The Malays are the substantive majority, and their fertility rate is such that their numbers are growing.”
HA: The statistics themselves already prove how strong the small minority are. The Malays are the substantive majority and yet only one out of the Top 10 billionaires in Malaysia is a Malay compared to eight Chinese super duper rich tycoons.
WCW: “In contrast, both the Chinese and the Indian communities are shrinking.”
HA: There are only 2.8 million ethnic Chinese living in Indonesia who account for 1.2 percent of the population. Yet how rich and powerful they are. A Chinese Christian Ahok is the governor of Jakarta.
WCW: “As for religion, Islam is firmly entrenched as the religion of the country, even as the freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Constitution.”
HA: Yes, Islam is firmly entrenched despite all of the DAP and The J-Star‘s efforts in promoting the concept of separation of State and Mimbar.
WCW: “The official statistics reveal that Muslims constitute 60.4% of the population, Buddhist (19.2%), Christian (9.1%) …”
HA: Quite amazing how the 60.4 percent can be so spooked by the 9.1 percent. What is the secret of your success, pray tell?
WCW: “It is unfortunate that so many issues today are still seen through racial and religious perspectives.”
HA: You have the Malaysian CHINESE Association (MCA) representing – kononnya – the community of Anak Malaysia (“no Chinese, only Malaysians” – says Anak Malaysia Hannah). You have the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in all the states and even a joint Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce. You have Chinese schools. You have everything Chinese-Chinese-Chinese.
You have DAP leaders saying that any Chinese who votes for the BN is a traitor to his community. And you ask why so many issues today are still seen through racial and religious perspectives?
WCW: “Those who are prepared to point out the flaws in some of the extreme arguments of their own communities are often condemned.”
HA: Not only condemned but character assassinated. Guess who conducts vicious smear campaigns against those who are prepared to point out the flaws in some of the extreme arguments of their own communities?
WCW: “And many just remain silent.”
HA: Given the kind of harassment against those who repudiate the DAP evangelista ideology, how many among the 90 percent Chinese will dare to speak up?
WCW: “But talk of moderation would remain hollow if we are not able to take the internal pressures.”
WCW: “Our conscience requires us to speak up against those who cannot draw the line between right and wrong.”
WCW: “How can we remain silent when something that is so fundamentally wrong happens in front of our eyes?”
HA: The scissors is aimed at the back. So tak nampak, kot.
WCW: “Coming back to Taman Medan, the argument that a place of worship belonging to a minority cannot be set up in a Muslim-majority area is deeply flawed.”
Get your society properly registered as a religious organization first. And don’t have the city council citing one law and the state exco saying a different thing.
WCW: “Everyone is entitled to profess and practise his faith freely. That is clearly defined in our Federal Constitution.”
HA: Please tell Alvin Tan to stop provoking those who want to profess the Muslim faith without being mocked by his stunts.
WCW: “No one should tell Muslims to pray elsewhere in areas with more Muslims, for example. That would surely be unacceptable. The protesters in Taman Medan obviously never thought of this angle.”
HA: At the same time, can the minorities think (of the angle) of being better citizens?
WCW: “What has happened in Taman Medan should open the eyes, the ears and most importantly, the hearts of all Malaysians on the predicament faced by Christians in this country.”
HA: Like I’ve been saying, the MCA-owned media is a Nest of Evangelistas. The J-Star does not show the same concern for the predicament faced by Hindus.
WCW: “The traditional churches, with all their architectural grandeur, are relics of the past. These were churches built during the British colonial days and they cannot accommodate many of the new Christians who have their own denominations.”
HA: The traditional churches are mainline Christianity (Catholics, Anglicans, etc). The new Christians indeed have their own new denominations such as City Harvest and other Gospel of Prosperity cults.
WCW: “Today, Christians have to fight bureaucracy, mostly at council level, and other obstacles, just to set up a church where they can pray and worship the God they believe in.”
HA: The bureaucratic process would be considerably eased if the Christians stopped calling their God ‘Allah’.
WCW: “But the incident has certainly put this relatively unknown Tamil language church located in a shoplot in the national spotlight.”
HA: Previously the Kampung Medan clash between Malays and Indians that cost the lives of a score of residents was on account of Race. Now the Malays and Indians of Taman Medan are in conflict over Religion. Kampung Medan, where the race riot unfolded in 2001, is only a short distance from the Taman Medan shoplot where the present
Beacon of Hope Community of Praise church is newly located.
WCW: “The future of the church is not clear. Obviously, the congregation does not want any controversy or conflict with the local community. That is not the Christian way.”
HA: The Christian way is supposedly to turn the other cheek. Yet the Christians shouting in the media and social media are slapping the G50 with all kinds of nasty labels. Where is the love?
WCW: “The fact that they were quick to take down the cross, as demanded by the protesters, shows that they are peacemakers in line with the teachings of their faith. But the action itself must have broken their hearts.”
HA: Learn from Hannah. Her perpetually broken heart mends very quickly.
WCW: “We all need to understand the religions of fellow Malaysians. We must not be suspicious of each other because there is beauty in all religions.”
HA: Okay but don’t learn how to recite the azan like sex blogger Alvin and then perform it bare-chested.
WCW: “No religion teaches bad things. We need to emphasise on the common values such as compassion, tolerance, patience, forgiveness, mutual respect and acceptance.”
HA: Also follow the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not steal. This means thou shalt not covet what belongs to thine neighbour, i.e. the ‘Allah’ word.
WCW: “It is dangerously selfish of anyone, especially small time politicians, to use race and religion to win votes.”
HA: I don’t hear the J-Star ever telling off the small-mind evangelista politicians – who use tudung, hashtag #sahur, sloganeering “Insya Allah” / “Amar makruf nahi mungkar” and mispronouncing ayat-ayat Quran – that it is dangerously selfish of them to use Islam to win Malay votes.
WCW: “And when such personalities spew racist and religious rhetoric freely, without the fear of facing the wrath of the law, it only emboldens the extremists to continue what they are doing. And others will join in believing they have the superior right to do so.”
HA: Not only that but these personalities who trade in the religious coin also get tweeted 10 times in the @staronline Twitter timeline over the span of 24 hours when they are elected to political high office.
WCW: “Those on the receiving end will assume, rightly or wrongly, that there are different sets of laws for different people, or worse, different communities.”
HA: Or different media treatment for different sets of politicians.
WCW: “Our leaders must understand they represent all Malaysians. A government of one faith or one race has no legitimacy in multi-racial Malaysia.”
HA: MCA leaders must remember that they represent all Malaysians, including the Malays who are the majority in their constituencies. From their rants over this Taman Medan issue, it appears the MCA leaders have forgotten that their Parliament and DUN wards are multi-religious with the majority being Muslim.
WCW: “Any political party that assumes it does not need the support of other races is simply arrogant. Such a belief is surely a recipe for disaster at the polls.”
HA: And MCA is guaranteed to lose all the seats it contests in the next election. The BN war room had better take this very seriously.
Sack the backstabbing party already!