Saturday, May 12, 2007

State Funds and the Unfairness of State and Federal Government Directives

There is no real freedom of religion in Malaysia. It’s all a whitewash to paint a wonderful picture - of old - basically saying that we are a multicultural, multireligious nation where everyone gets along, when in actuality, there are racist undertones driven by matters such as these. I believe that the people are getting tired and having the wool pulled over our eyes.

I don't think people of other faiths have issues with the spreading of the word of Islam. But why are they constantly being prevented from exercising their religious rights?

Unless you have ever been involved or close to the establishment of a religious society, temple / church premises you will never see and understand what our government does to prevent it from happening.

Some examples:

1. The catholic church in Shah Alam, property was given to the church by the Sultan of Selangor for the parish to gather their funds to build the Church. Just after the ground breaking, and construction begins, the state government comes in and revokes the right to build the church.
2. Buddhist Monks and Priests always seem to have problems gaining entry into the country. Their Visa’s are never more than 1 month and usually they are not allowed to extend their stay. How then will qualified religious scholars preach?
3. The Catholic Church has a shortage of priests, so much so that they have old and aged priests, one who is a stroke patient, having to perform Mass.

In other cases, even if you had the money, you can’t build your Church or Temple as it wouldn’t be approved by the state government. However, mosques are everywhere. Just look at the Wangsa Maju and Ulu Kelang area, why need there be so many? Also, mosques are built using state funds and state funds are gained from taxes not only paid by Muslims, but by those of other faiths.

Sure, people don't mind if you want to build mosques that cost tenths of millions of ringgit, a real waste if you ask me. Just see the Jalan Duta mosque that is built on prime property that was sponsored by the Ministry of Finance. But what people won’t accept is the inequality and the misuse of public funds to build these mosques whilst you denying other faiths their right to more churches and temples. The best part, we aren’t even challenging the fact that the government doesn’t subsidise the building of our places of worship.

So in the meantime, while you build another enormous mosque in Wangsa Maju (near Jusco), the money spent by the project sponsors - DBKL, fails to address the poor road conditions that are used by thousands of residents and the public every day.

In the case of the Goddess of Mercy project, what does it matter what distance it is from a mosque? Is it because it stands taller than a mosque and therefore some small minded individuals feel that it represents a greater faith than Islam? Well, if this is so, then it is the government’s duty to educate these people because it isn’t the case.

Isn’t it unfair that everyone, accept the state government’s “bulldozing” decision to build cemeteries in prime areas like Kota Damansara and Desa Kiara (Along the NKVE), even infringing the law by demolishing forest reserve land and by doing so, destroying property values. While the same people impose upon us that we cannot build our places of worship here and there.

Consider this, the non Muslim cemetery's now have to be built far out in the “boonies”. Such as the Nilai Memorial Park that is a great distance from the city. If some people can have the convenience, some others would like that too.

It’s time for these issues to come into the open, there is only so much and so long people can tolerate this.

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