04/05/2012 Malaysia (Malaysian Insider) – Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon has said the Cabinet will discuss last weekend’s “Christian threat” seminar in Johor but admitted the state government had the authority to organise the event that required the attendance of over 300 religious school teachers.
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told The Malaysian Insider what was important was that the Cabinet’s Special Committee to Promote Inter-Religious Understanding and Harmony had engaged the organisers.
“In a way, it has been resolved, the title has been changed,” the minister in charge of unity and performance management said, referring to the move by the Johor Education and Mufti departments to drop the reference to a “Christian threat” in the seminar’s theme.
But when quizzed over the fact that the Mufti Department refused to change the content of the seminar, Koh (picture), who is also Gerakan president, said “that is their prerogative.”
The government’s interfaith panel chairman, Datuk Azman Amin Hassan, had said the matter has been resolved after the Johor Education Department agreed to drop the reference to a “Christian threat” from the seminar’s title.
But the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) said Christian ministers should use their office to ensure the Cabinet takes a stand on last Saturday’s seminar after Datuk Seri Najib Razak failed to censure the seminar despite calls from non-Muslim groups for him to “walk your talk” of unity and moderation.
Some 300 religious teachers from Johor national schools attended the seminar entitled “Strengthening the Faith: What is the Role of Teachers?”, which was held in the state capital Johor Baru.
The seminar had attracted controversy among non-Muslims for focusing on the alleged threat of Christianisation to Islam.
But Muslim NGOs insisted that the government was duty-bound to address the “threat of Christianisation,” which they repeatedly profess to be real despite the absence of firm evidence.
Christians form 9.2 per cent of Malaysia’s 28.3 million-strong population.
Conservative Muslim groups have also accused Christians of attempting to convert Malays, resulting in heightened tension between followers of the two religions.