“What is your problem, Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia?”: Voon

Voon Shiak Ni (File photo)

KUCHING, Jan 8:  Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) National vice woman chief Voon Shiak Ni called out Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) vice president and lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz for demanding a school in Puchong take down its ‘religious’ Chinese New Year decorations.

“The call by Putra for SMK Bandar Puchong 1 in Pusat Bandar Puchong (Kuala Lumpur) to remove all of its Chinese New Year decorations claiming complaints from Muslim parents is ridiculous and a joke.

“I personally perceived this demand as rude and ridiculous. It is a shame that the party is so ignorant of the fact that Chinese New Year is a cultural celebration for the Chinese and had nothing to do with religion definitely,” she slammed in a press statement issued today.

Voon also warned Putra that if their intention was to create racial tension in the country, Malaysians will not compromise nor accommodate any such party with elements of extremism and race-based agendas.

According to various national news reports yesterday (Jan 7), Mohd Khairul had threatened to report the school over the Chinese New Year decorations, claiming that Muslim parents had complained that the “excessive” Chinese decorations were an attempt to propagate non-Islam religion to students of the school.

Voon schooled Mohd Khairul that putting up Chinese New Year decorations was done to symbolically welcome the festivity which was observed in other festivals celebrated in Malaysia as well.

“It is a festival celebrated by the Chinese community together with all other races in the country. Similar to how we have observed any other festivals including Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai Dayak in Sarawak.

“Moreover, both private and public places like offices and especially shopping malls will be decorated lavishly. It was never a problem, so what’s your (Mohd Khairul and Putra) problem now?,” she questioned.

According to MalayMail, Mohd Khairul, in a letter sent to the school’s principal Rohani Mohd Nor and shared on his Twitter account, called the decorations as “unconstitutional” against Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution which states that “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”.

“Your actions in allowing these excessive decorations for celebrating a Chinese religious festival in a public school was also against Article 12(3) of the Federal Constitution which states ‘no person shall be required to receive instruction in or to take part in any ceremony or act of worship of a religion other than his own’.

“Your actions are also a method of spreading the teachings of other religions among the Muslim students which is against Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution. PUTRA gives you three days to remove all the Chinese religious decorations from the school beginning from the day of this letter,” he demanded.

Article 11(4) restricts the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.

It is understood that all the decorations at the school have since been removed under the instruction of the school’s principal, who said they were put up without approval. —DayakDaily