01/02/2019 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – It was reported that a group claiming to represent various political parties in Malaysia, including Sabah Heritage Party (Warisan), United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), as well as several Islamic groups, had issued a statement condemning the Christmas carnival in Tawau held on Dec 30 last year.
The group said that the event, which featured a choir performance and Bishop speech, was to spread Christianity and did not respect Islam.
In addition, a police report was lodged against Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew and other co-organizers of the event.
Malay Mail reports that Liew dismissed allegations that the event was an effort at proselytizing Muslims and added that the event has been held for the last two decades without any issues.
“What are these people protesting? This is an annual event that we have been organizing for the past 20 or 30 years without any problem. Suddenly we cannot do this anymore? Why?” She added that “there were leaders from other parties, like Kalabakan MP Ma’mun Sulaiman who was there. There were thousands of people of all races and religions, celebrating happily with us.”
Sabah UMNO chief Bung Moktar Radin also hit out at the group, saying that opposing Christmas and New Year celebrations showed how narrow-minded and intolerant some Muslims had become.
“Islam is a religion of peace that respects all people, irrespective of their beliefs,” he said, urging people to speak out against those who think otherwise.