Hannah Yeoh’s Reference to Faith is a Positive Contribution to Public Discourse in Secular Democracy

Faith and Public Discourse in a Secular Democracy. Part 1

Dr. Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, a lecturer in political science has accused Ms. Hannah Yeoh, the Speaker of the Selangor Assembly of hypocrisy because she acknowledges her support from Christians when she entered politics. She also encourages young people to join politics with the goal of returning integrity, justice and fairness to governance in Malaysia. Kamarul further finds DAP guilty of prejudice against Islam since it readily participates in religious festivals like Wesak and Deepavali and Thaipusam while it champions a view of secular democracy which ‘excludes’ Islam. “Kamarul claims that for DAP, “separation of politics from religion should only be done if it is about Islamic matters. But if it involves other religions such as Christianity then they (DAP) are okay.” [See, Hannah Yeoh’s book more about personal than political growth – The MalaysianInsight 16/05/2017]

It is evident that Kamarul has maligned Hannah Yeoh and misunderstood DAP given that their political commitment is to a form of secular democracy that is enshrined in the National Constitution. More significantly, Kamarul’s accusation is surprising as we would have expected a lecturer in political science to display a nuanced understanding of the relationship between of religion and politics in a secular democracy like Malaysia. While Kamarul personally has no problem going beyond his duty as an academician to initiate political action against Hannah Yeoh, nevertheless he demands that politicians like Hannah Yeoh dichotomize their faith and personal convictions from social-political engagement. Continue reading ‘Hannah Yeoh’s Reference to Faith is a Positive Contribution to Public Discourse in Secular Democracy’ »

Prominent Sabah-Sarawak Leaders Reject Hadi’s Bill

Sabah and Sarawak leaders: Reject Hadi’s Bill – The Star Online 8 May 2017

Prominent lea­ders in Sabah and Sarawak have refuted claims that amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Juris­diction) Act, or RUU355, will not affect non-Malays and Muslims in the two states.

Writing in an open letter, they urged the people to preserve the country as a secular state and to reject Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill to amend RUU355. The letter, signed by 20 leaders including politicians, former civil servants and the G25 group of eminent Malays, was made available in four languages – English, Malay, Kadazandusun and Iban.

Malaysia, they said, was founded together with Sabah and Sarawak as a secular federation, in which Islam as the “religion of the federation” only played a ceremonial role.
“Lest we forget, religious freedom was stressed and assured in the merger negotiations of Malaysia. Hudud punishments were never placed on the agenda. “Had hudud punishments been on the cards, the Malaysia project would have likely been rejected by the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak,” they added.

Introducing hudud, they warned, would breach both the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Federal Constitution…“Together with the dispropor­tionality of the offences and punishments, the introduction of these three hudud punishments (in Kelan­tan and Terengganu) will qualitatively alter the secular nature of the legal system,” they said. Sabahan and Sarawakian Muslims working and living in Peninsular Malaysia would also be subjected to hudud, they added…

“For Malaysia’s sake and to preserve our country as a secular fe­­deration, we must say no to Bill 355,” they said.

FULL STATEMENT  GIVEN BELOW:

Continue reading ‘Prominent Sabah-Sarawak Leaders Reject Hadi’s Bill’ »

Denial of PSA – The Most Serious and Severe Departure from Biblical Faith in our Day?

Christian theology springs from worship. This is especially true for the Christian understanding of Christ’s death on the cross. For the believer whose faith is nurtured on a diet of classic hymns, nothing is more assuring than knowing that Christ bore God’s punishment for our sins and secured pardon for us through his blood when he died on the cross. A few examples from the hymns would suffice.

Man of Sorrows! What a Name (Philip P. Bliss, 1838–1876)
2. Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood,
Sealed my pardon with His blood:
Halellujah! What a Savior! Continue reading ‘Denial of PSA – The Most Serious and Severe Departure from Biblical Faith in our Day?’ »

NEW PH.D. PROGRAM FOR CHRISTIAN LEADERS FROM THE 2/3rds WORLD

Repost 29/04/2017

Many effective and proven leaders in growing churches of the 2/3rds world are unable to take time off to pursue higher academic degrees because they occupy vital ministry positions in the field. If you are one of these leaders, you may be interested in and wish to take note of a new doctoral program offered by the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life,UK.

This program allows you to pursue your academic degree without needing to take extended leave from your leadership/ministry position as the program typically requires a total residency of only 4 months spread over a period of 4-5 years. Effectively this works like a part-time study program.

** Best of all, part-scholarship is available.

Complete program details are available in the attached brochure:

OR Download directly from Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life – Doctoral Program Brochure
Official websites:

 

How a Minority Church Impacted Wider Society

The early church avoided active engagement with Roman politics, where the contestation for power was brutal and political fortune was fickle, brutish and short. The bedraggled religious community was already leading a precarious existence since it lacked political patronage. As such, it would be wise for it to avoid getting entangled with mighty Caesar who would not hesitate to snuff out any potential challenge to his throne. However, political realism did not mean that the church retreated into a cocooned existence in the ghetto. Instead, it sought to serve wider society by building effective social-economic networks for social renewal.

A Social Message of the Power of Love in Action
Continue reading ‘How a Minority Church Impacted Wider Society’ »

Another Rumor of the Death of Adam

Scot McKnight’s latest book which he co-authors with Dennis Venema promises to deliver a combination “left-hook, upper cut” knockout punch to demolish the traditional doctrine which teaches Adam and Eve to be historical figures.

Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science (Brazos Press, 2017)
Authors: Scot McKnight and Dennis Venema. ISBN – 9781587433948

A new post in McKnight’s popular blog Jesus Creed, Adam According to Jesus” offers several reasons to reject belief in Adam and Eve to be historical figures. While I disagree with Scot McKnight’s misreading of the Bible on grounds of theological hermeneutics, I admire his honesty in going public with his rejection of orthodoxy – unlike other scholars who portray themselves as ‘progressive’ evangelicals despite rejecting several central doctrines of the Bible. Perhaps, this only confirms my suspicion that many ‘progressive’ evangelicals are really closet liberals with no guts.

But readers may echo Mark Twain and rest assure that the report of the death of Adam has been greatly exaggerated. I refer readers to two accessible critiques of McKnight-Venema: Continue reading ‘Another Rumor of the Death of Adam’ »

Claim that Homosexuals are “Born that Way” not Supported by Scientific Evidence

A new study in the United States says that homosexuals are not ‘Born that Way’ as sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are “born that way”—is not supported by scientific evidence.
The 144-page study is written by Dr. Lawrence Mayer from the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Dr. Paul R. McHugh who is a renowned psychiatrist and former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Link to the Executive Summary of the Study

Homosexual Study New Atlantis Executive Summary

Excerpts:
Part One: Sexual Orientation

  • The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are “born that way”—is not supported by scientific evidence.
  • While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviors and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation. While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified by researchers, such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether these differences are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors.

Continue reading ‘Claim that Homosexuals are “Born that Way” not Supported by Scientific Evidence’ »

Disney’s Delicate Homosexual Moment

According to the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia, Walt Disney’s movie, Beauty and the Beast “has been approved…with a minor cut.” But it was the “most unkindest cut of all” for Disney.  So it decided that it will simply pull its latest movie from Malaysian distribution rather than allow the movie’s so-called “gay moment” to be censored.

Beauty and the Beast Postponed or Banned?

Hmm, one wonders: Is Disney saying that the “gay moment” is so essential to the movie that it must not be touched? This would only confirm the suspicion that Disney has a homosexual agenda. It would add satisfaction to the Malaysian Film Censorship Board that it has indeed got the cut right. Continue reading ‘Disney’s Delicate Homosexual Moment’ »

Black Magic and Beauty Contest. Shariah will be Applied to non-Muslims. No Thanks!

Non-Muslims Decline Invitation to Have Tea in Shariah Parlour

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to shew when you are there.”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

PAS and UMNO politicians are quick to reprimand non-Muslims for refusing to support their proposal to amend Act 355, despite being given assurances that the Act will not affect non-Muslims. These politicians ignore the fact that non-Muslims have good reasons to be wary of enhanced shariah courts since their freedom has been violated many times by Shariah officials. See Shariah Law has no Consequences on Non-Muslims? HUMBUG (HAM-BAK)!

Non-Muslims are eminently reasonable when they argue they should have a genuine say in drafting laws that impact their lives, and that it is the civil court rather than the shariah court that should be enhanced since only the civil court can provide a fair and natural platform to ensure equal protection under the law for citizens from diverse religions seeking to forge a common life in a plural society.

Non-Muslims remain wary of Muslim legislators who have demonstrated that they are prepared to act unilaterally as they press ahead with Shariah-complaint laws with a view of imposing them on non-Muslims. Given below are two further examples of disturbing rhetoric from Muslim legislators who insist that Shariah law should be applied to non-Muslims. This rhetoric can only heighten the anxieties of non-Muslims.

Note that the proposed law to abolish black magic will be applied to non-Muslims. More disturbing is the proposal that the special body of Islamic experts advising (supervising?) the court are exempted from cross examination, and that its judgment in a trial will be accepted by the court as conclusive. Continue reading ‘Black Magic and Beauty Contest. Shariah will be Applied to non-Muslims. No Thanks!’ »

CFM Hudud Fact Sheet on Amendment to Act 355

While the proposed amendments does not mention the word “hudud” nevertheless, the far-reaching provisions would permit the introduction of hudud law and hudud-prescribed punishments in Malaysia

Excepts from CFM Fact Sheet on Hudud Amendmenet Act 355:

7. The current proposed amendments deal only with the increase in the existing punishments. It is proposed that the current maximum sentences of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years, a fine not exceeding RM 5,000, or not more than 6 strokes of the cane, or a combination thereof, be increased to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 years, a fine not exceeding RM100,000, or not more than 100 strokes of the cane, or a combination thereof.

8. “It is clear that while the proposed amendments to Act 355 again do not mention the word “hudud”, the fact is that the increase in the maximum punishments will allow for hudud-compliant punishments to be meted out. Continue reading ‘CFM Hudud Fact Sheet on Amendment to Act 355’ »