Our Blow Hot And Cold PM Freezes On IFC Issue.
Although there are Muslims involved in the IFC it is slowly turning into an 'us versus them' situation and that is not going to do anyone any good. There is no use flogging something which is dying or perhaps is already dead. This is the time to weigh the pros and cons of continuing on the current path and to decide if it would be wiser to back down and take up the cause another day. Paramount should be the continued stability of the nation.
When there is not even a semblance of understanding from the government on the matter, to prolong the stalemate is not a very clever move. But life is dynamic, there will be change as time passes and education opens up closed minds. If we are lucky we may in the not too distant future even get a truly progressive and receptive leadership which places democratic and egalitarian principles above narrow, short-term popularity. Until such time, 'blow hot and cold' will be the order of the day. But hey, look at the bright side; it could have been worse. We could have been in Somalia.
Read the full report below......
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Tuesday told all parties to stop any discussion that questioned the status of Islam as the country's official religion as provided in the Federal Constitution. He said discussion of the issue, if not kept in check, would create a tense situation among the country's multi-racial and multi-religious people.
"The issue of religion is very sensitive, more sensitive than the issue of race, so the press should be responsible and not blow it up. "They should not report news that could cause anger or tension, and result in something undesirable," he told a news conference after chairing a meeting of the Umno Supreme Council here. He advised all parties, especially the media, to be careful in this matter.
Abdullah, who is the Umno president, reiterated his call to stop immediately all discussions on establishing the proposed Inter-Faith Council (IFC). He said the Cabinet had put off a decision on the establishment of IFC and there was, therefore, no need to discuss it. This was because any discussion would create undesirable happenings since every party would want to give its views, he said.
"The Umno Supreme Council's stand is that it would be better not to have the IFC at all although we understand the feelings of the followers of other religions in the country but the situation has reached a stage that worries all of us," he said.
He urged all parties not to carry out activities relating to the IFC so that no one would do anything about it. The government, he said, was observing closely the present developments and would make a decision on the IFC.
So you have been cautioned. When the government cannot differentiate between cabinet decisions and that taken by the Umno supreme council, it speaks volumes of the commitment of the administration to democratic practices. Like the Soviet Union of yore, the party politburo decides and the masses had better obey, or else.....