Political scientist: TVS no locus standi to invite, ‘least of all organise a Christian gathering’

Professor Dr Jayum Jawan

KUCHING, Nov 25: TV Sarawak (TVS) has no locus standi (right or capacity) to invite and, least of all, to organise a Christian gathering for their lack of understanding of what Christmas stands for in the first place, opines political scientist Prof Dr Jayum Jawan of University Putra Malaysia.

Jayum, in a statement today, said, however, TVS should also be forgiven as they, the organisers, are perhaps not Christians and therefore lack sufficient knowledge and understanding of other religions and practices, especially of Christianity.

“Secondly, it was not necessary for the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) to question why the song ‘O Holy Night’ was excluded by the organiser of the programme or gathering, and more so for ACS to stoop so low as to appeal to TVS that the song be included.

“ACS should simply decline the invitation, and there was no necessity to give a reason for such a decision, and if ACS felt that the programme organised by TVS was insulting to them because of the exclusion of that song, ACS churches should simply issue a call to their members to refrain from attaining the function.

“That would have raised the integrity of ACS and its members in the eyes of the public,” he said.

Jayum said the issue Christians and ACS faced was that one song usually sung during such Christian gatherings or worship, ‘O Holy Night’, was excluded from the list of Christmas and Christmas-related songs.

“We were told in various media reports that the song was expunged from the list that would be played or sung because it would touch on the religious sensitivity of others.

“I thought this thing only happened in Malaya where the people there are less tolerant of each other, and never thought that this would or could happen in Sarawak, which has been touted by many as the model State of high tolerance in many aspects including religion, culture, and ways of lives,” he added.

He said the change forced upon TVS to accommodate ACS’ request does not endear both sides as bad blood was already created, and it was best to leave it at that.

He also said that TVS should be allowed to proceed with what they want, and as it does not fit into the bill of a Christian Christmas, members of ACS should, therefore, distance themselves from the event and not attend.

“The about-turns confuse members. Leadership must be firm, and what is right must be held, and that which runs counter to the basic principles of your organisation must be upheld with equal conviction.

“Only then will you gain and be respected by your opponents, especially your members,” he said. — DayakDaily