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Friday, 26 February 2016

Proham: Give inter-religious committee more bite

PETALING JAYA: The newly formed inter-religious committee must be given powers to inquire and mediate disputes involving individuals and communities, says Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) secretary-general Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria.
“While this is a timely set-up, Proham recommends that this new committee be given the resources to carry out its mandate,” he said.
He said the 32-member committee to promote understanding and religious harmony, which was started by the Government, should be given powers to mediate between disputing individuals and communities.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the setting up of the committee, which would serve as a mechanism to find solutions that were fair and just towards strengthening Malaysia’s multi-faith and multi-racial society.
Former National Unity and Integration Department director-general Datuk Azman Amin Hassan was appointed as chairman while Council of Churches of Malaysia’s general-secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri is the deputy.
The others include Proham’s founding chairman Tan Sri Datuk Seri Simon Sipaun, Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism president Datuk Seri Jit Heng, Archbishop of South-East Asia’s Anglican Church Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok, Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Datuk Mohan Shanmugam, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia president Mohammad Raimi Abd Rahim and Christian Federation of Malaysia executive secretary Tan Kong Beng.
In a statement yesterday, Dr Denison called for strong political and administrative support for the committee, adding that there should be little interference to its works.
The committee’s findings should be respected and implemented accordingly, he said.
“We recognise that the cross-section of representatives from religious, academic and community organisations is a strength.”

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