Thursday, May 8, 2014

Christianisation: Sabah bristles with anger

 | May 8, 2014
Conversion is a sore issue in Sabah which has seen its once majority native communities now marginalised as a result of a covert 1990s operation to keep Umno-BN in power.
remaja sabahKOTA KINABALU: Controversy shrouding a recent lecture in Universiti Technologi Mara (UiTM), which “bullied” Christians and warned Muslims about the threat of Christianisation, on the back of another incident in Sarawak involving a Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (Mara) scholarship interview has got Sabah leaders bristling.
Conversion is a sore issue in Sabah which has seen its once majority native Christian communities – Kadazan Dusun Murut – nuetralised and marginalised by legalised illegal immigrants under the infamous 1990s Project IC to ensure Umno and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) stay in power.
Following reports of the incidence, Sabah BN partner, United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun MurutOrganisation (Upko), has demanded that Putrajaya act against bigots and extremists.
“Enough with the warnings. It is very difficult to explain the injustice to people,” said Upko Information Chief Albert Bingkasan.
“The policies of the government have always been good and beneficial for Malaysians as a whole.
“But for some reason, when it’s passed down to the lower levels, there tend to be many ‘little Napoleons’ who misuse and misinterpret the policies.
“Everybody (Muslims and Non-Muslims) should be equal under the constitution.
“Now when a non-Muslim commits an offence action is swift but the same cannot be said for Muslim offenders,” said Bingkasan.
He said Putrajaya should deal  a swift and harsh hand on all those who committed offenses against the federal constitution.
Bingkasan was responding to a Mara scholarship interview involving top scorer Nigel Unchart Jeremiah and the latest report of 12 Christian students from Sabah allegedly being pressured into converting following a forum in UITM which also warned Muslims about Christianisation.
In the case of Nigel, he was plied with questions on Islam by the interviewer despite him declaring that he was a Christian. Nigel had applied for a scholarship to do mechanical engineering.
Muslimisation in Sabah 
Earlier this week during a seminar held in UiTM, a speaker claimed that Christians were using fundamental knowledge in both religions to convert Muslims.
President of Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia (MUAFAKAT) Abdul Karim Omar had ‘warned’ the 1,000 strong crowd comprising secondary and university students of the Christianisation of Muslims in Malaysia.
Karim cited a thesis, “Religious identity and life of Malay Christians of Malaysia” by John Cheong. In his 2012 thesis, submitted to the Trinity International College of Illinois, Cheong revealed the existence of ‘cloaked Christians’.
These individuals are Malays who perform the obligations of a Muslim such as fasting and going to the mosque, but they are in fact believers of the Christian religion,” said Karim.
Just before Karim, another speaker, a former Catholic priest from Indonesia named H. Insan LS Mokoginta, had used basic messages in both religions to convince Christian students that every follower of Jesus should convert to Islam otherwise it would be a betrayal to him.
Meanwhile Bingkor assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan has dismissed claims of ‘Christianisation’ of Muslims.
If reports are any gauge it’s more the other way round in Sabah.
“Christians do not blatantly go around converting people. There is still the constitution guaranteeing the freedom of religion, and the rights extend to the Muslims,” he said.
Last December, it was reported that abject poor  Christian natives in Pitas were converted for Rm100 each. The natives claimed they were not aware that they had been converted.
According to a pastor, the situation is widespread in rural Sabah, which is the poorest state in Malaysia according to a World Bank Report.
In January, the Protestant Church in Sabah (PCS) president Rev Jensey Mojuin reportedly said the church was concerned over “unofficial” reports of what was happening in the parishes of Kudat, Kota Marudu, Kanibongan, Paitan and Pitas.
He said there were also unconfirmed reports of forced, coerced or induced conversion in north and east coast of Sabah.

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