KUCHING, Feb 8: State PKR chief Baru Bian said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s recent statement that the caste system is practised in Christianity shows the latter’s ignorance about the Christian faith.
Labeling it as a shockingly reckless statement from a leader of a political party, Baru said this is especially so as PAS claims to promote Islamic values.
Citing the article published in the PAS newsletter Harakah Daily, Hadi claimed that Christianity practises a ‘caste’ system.
“If I may quote from the Bible, in Galatians 3:28, it is stated that all Christians are equal — ‘There is neither Jew or Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ Verse 29 further states that ‘all are Abraham’s seed,” Baru said in a statement.
“Abdul Hadi clearly has no knowledge or understanding of the Christian faith and should have exercised some wisdom and restraint instead of allowing his ignorance to become so glaringly obvious.”
He opined that two successive ‘illogical’ statements from Abdul Hadi — the first being on the two-tier federal cabinet — in the space of a day cannot be said to be an oversight on the latter’s part, but a calculated move with a political agenda in mind as the general election (GE14) draws near.
Baru added that the irresistible conclusion one could make from Abdul Hadi’s statement is that he is trying to portray other religions as being no good, unfair or unjust, or biased.
“By doing so, he has angered and/or hurt the feelings of Malaysians of the Christian and Hindu faiths. This remark borders on the seditious and reflects on Abdul Hadi as an irresponsible leader who does not seem to care whether his statements injure the feelings of others.
“Instead of playing on issues of race and religion and trying to score points by insulting other religions, Abdul Hadi could perhaps share his party’s manifesto for eliminating corruption and kleptocracy, improving the economy of this country and uplifting the livelihood of the people. His current tactics do nothing to engender any confidence that he and his party members are capable of governing a multi-racial and multi-religious country such as ours.”
Baru joined other Christian leaders in calling for Abdul Hadi to apologise to Christians and Hindus and to retract his statement.
However, it will not be a surprise to Baru if Abdul Hadi responds again with saying he was wrongly quoted by the media.
Meanwhile, Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general secretary Hermen Shastri also rejected Abdul Hadi’s remarks.
CCM took exception at the PAS president’s recent remark where he had said that Islam abolishs castes while other religions such as Hinduism and Christianity practises a caste system where the pastor is considered sacred.
“His reference to Christianity as a religion that practices “caste” is a gross misinterpretation. “Caste” is not intergral to Christian doctrine and practice, and “pastors” are not considered “sacred” and above reproof; albeit they are called to perform holy duties on behalf of the people of God and live holy lives,” Hermen said in a statement.
Hermen also called upon Abdul Hadi to retract the tenuous comparison he has made which is seen as unwarranted and bigoted, and if left unchecked will deeply hurt the religious feelings of Christians and impede harmonious interfaith relationships in the country. — DayakDaily