UiTM seminar discredits my alma mater, says Kit Siang’s aide


(Malay Mail Online)- The controversial seminar on the threat of Christianisation in Malaysia not only “demonised” Christianity, but also discredits the government-funded university where it was held, a former student and currently Lim Kit Siang’s political secretary Dyana Sofya said today.

“UiTM should have organised an inter-faith seminar highlighting shared basic principles across religions to show how our differences are superficial and our similarities are deep, encouraging understanding among different religions and strengthen unity and togetherness.

“Sadly, unity and togetherness were obviously never in their agenda.

“This incident discredits my alma mater and I, along with many of my UiTM brothers and sisters are definitely not happy with it,” she said in a statement today.

The full-day seminar on the word ‘Allah’ and Christology in the Malay Archipelago held at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on Tuesday saw several Indonesian Muslims, academics and converts, lecture on the use of the Arabic word for God, “Allah”, in the Malay archipelago and their interpretation on the life of Jesus Christ.

A speaker told the thousand-strong audience — which included former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi — that the New Testament gospels, which recount the life of Jesus, were falsehoods as the prophet was only “a human slave to Allah” and not a divine being.

Another said that Christians should convert to Islam as they would be “betraying Jesus” and his principles otherwise.

One of the speakers also saluted Malaysia for banning Christians here from using the word “Allah” in their worship, even as the world casts a spotlight on the rights of religious minorities in the region with Southeast Asian nations adopting increasingly fundamental Islamic principles in their government.

The seminar was organised by the Contemporary Islamic Studies Academy (ACIS), Warisan Ibnu Aaby, and Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS) and supported by Utusan Malaysia, Karangkraf Group of Companies, TV al-Hijrah, Zikay Group and Pantai Group of Companies.

Dyana, a graduate from UiTM, said she was initially surprised with her alma mater’s “openness to discuss a very sensitive issue” and “encourage intellectual discourse among the participants” but was sorely disappointed after finding out that the content of the seminar was to “demonise Christianity”.

A book published by MAIS entitled ‘Pendedahan Agenda Kristian’ (Exposing the Christian Agenda) was also distributed to about 1000 undergraduates who attended the seminar. The book alleges that Christians were on a campaign to convert Muslims.

“If the institution has the noble intention to promote understanding and strengthen Islamic beliefs, the right way is definitely not by demonising another religion.

“UiTM as a respected institution is not supposed to stand so low just to satisfy the agenda of certain parties who are closed-minded, full of hatred and obviously very backwards,” she said.

She also went further and called for action to be taken against the seminar organisers, instead of a UiTM student, Mohd Fathihie Gadius who is facing disciplinary action and possibly expulsion for posting an anti-GST statement on Facebook.

In the student’s defence, she said he was merely exercising his right without breaching the limitation of personal liberty as stated in the Constitution.