Harping on the controversial issue of an "apostasy movement" by Christian groups, Malay language daily Sinar Harian today stepped up its criticisms and accused the movement of encouraging free mingling between the sexes and permitting prostitution.
Yesterday, the daily gave extensive coverage to a so-called "apostasy movement" in its regular Monday column, Bicara Isnin.
In the second part of the column published today, scathing allegations were levelled against the 'Christian movement' and were listed in an information text box titled Matlamat gerakan Kristian (Objectives of the Christian movement).
Sinar Harian listed four items that it said are among other programmes afoot "to destroy Muslims":
1. Social movement: encouraging free mingling between the sexes;
2. Moral degradation: damaging moral values with wild activities;
3. Permitting prostitution as a service occupation; and
4. Films and music: inserting negative or extreme elements and excessive music that leads to heedlessness and negligence.
The daily did not elaborate on these allegations.
On the same page, Sinar Harianpublished two reports quoting Islamic NGO Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) president Zaid Kamaruddin and Malaysia Syariah Lawyers Council president Isa Ralik respectively.
Zaid (left) called on the authorities to establish a research centre to detect apostasy at early stage, before it got worse, while Isa said preaching non-Islamic religions to Muslims was a violation of the federation constitution.
Yesterday the daily reported on its front page that the "apostasy movement" was getting bolder and was being done openly.
In a related development, former information minister Zainuddin Maidin, in an article published in Utusan Malaysia today, urged the Malay rulers' council to focus on the rise of proselytising by Christian groups.
Zainuddin (right) said the proselytising activities exposed recently had been done in a "subtle, intelligent, bold, aggressive and provocative" manner with the purpose of turning Malaysia into another Indonesia.
"Their objective is to erase the image of 'Malaysian Malays - One Religion' and they want Malaysia to become Indonesia, where 'one race is not one religion'."
Comparing the preaching approach of Christian and Islamic groups in the country, the karyawan tamu(visiting fellow) of Universiti Utara Malaysia said Christians were more dynamic and progressive while the Islamic groups were old-fashioned, not creative and not responsive to the current demands.
Therefore, Zainuddin added, the Malay rulers' council, which oversees the nation's religious agencies, should address the issue immediately.
UPDATE: Sinar Harian has apologies for this article but they called
what they did as "information given was inaccurate". I hardly call that a sincere apology!
Still we are waiting for the Home Minister to act!!