Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pak Lah's Explanation On Interfaith Conference Not Convincing

Only yesterday our PM very wisely observed that the Malaysian People Can No Longer Be Fooled. Alas only a mere 24 hours has elapsed since he spoke like a sage and now Pak Lah himself has gone back on his own opinion and is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

According to the PM an international Muslim-Christian dialogue, dubbed the "Building Bridges" Conference, scheduled to be held this week in Malaysia was postponed and not cancelled. Reading the Bernama report on it, one cannot help but feel angered at the weak reasons the PM has given for its 'postponement'.

He said he had asked the organiser to move the conference to a later date as he himself wanted to attend the conference, which he described as important. "I had to postpone it. We will find another suitable date," he added. Come now Pak Lah, do you honestly expect anyone to believe that such a conference was 'postponed' because it is sooo important that you just had to attend it? Common sense would demand that other less important events in his very busy diary should have made way for this conference if he actually had the intention of allowing it to be hosted here, let alone attend it. The simple truth is that the meeting has been disallowed and cancelled. Period.

Along the way someone either bungled in permitting the conference to be held in KL in the first place, or due to eleventh hour protests and objections from powerful religious and other hardline quarters, the government developed cold feet. Never mind that Persian Gulf Arab state Qatar had previously played host and had not lost its 'Islamicness'. But then again, Qatar like other genuine Muslim countries doesn't have to worry about what others think about their policies vis a vis Islam. Here, in religiously insecure and legally secular Malaysia with a 50% non-Muslim population, the government has to work extra hard and smart to be counted as an 'Islamic nation' although the Federal Constitution states otherwise. So if we have to outdo even Sunni Pakistan or Shiite Iran to secure our Islamic credentials, so be it. Illusions and external image alas have to be preserved and maintained too!

The "Building Bridges" Conference, chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, is an annual get-together of religious academics convened after the Sept 11 2001 terror attacks in the United States to foster interfaith dialogue.

Held so far in London, New York, Qatar and Sarajevo, the conference was set to be held in Kuala Lumpur this week but the Malaysian government reportedly cancelled the event at the 11th hour.

Replying to a question, Abdullah said a new date had not been fixed yet. "I have an important role. I don't want it to be held when I'm not around," he said.

This is one of those occasions in which one can't help but be disappointed with Pak Lah. Tun Dr Mahathir perhaps would have disallowed the same conference when he was in power but he would have done it in style and would not have resorted to pathetic unconvincing untruths to justify it.

Image - Source

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5 Comments:

Blogger freethinker said...

How smart the 4th floor boys will be challenged to c how they gonna "fix" this

5:51 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.

Plato
427 BC - 347 BC

10:55 PM GMT+8  
Blogger kittykat46 said...

The latest spin comes about after they realised the cancellation of the event has been heavily reported overseas, and foreign commentators have interpreted the cancellation as further sign of religous intolerance in Malaysia - very damaging to the country.

1:29 AM GMT+8  
Blogger MarinaM said...

I guess it will be postponed til after the General Elections?

9:32 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beg you to believe him. He has religious credentials. Remember?

9:00 AM GMT+8  

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