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Hannah Yeoh Addresses Claims Of Proselytising To Muslims Under Jom Ziarah Programme

Hannah Yeoh Addresses Claims Of Proselytising To Muslims Under Jom Ziarah Programme

The Jom Ziarah programme aims to foster an understanding of the different races, religions, and cultures in Malaysia.

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Impact Malaysia, the Youth and Sports Ministry agency, is accused of “evangelising” Muslim youths due to its upcoming Jom Ziarah programme to visit a church.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh addressed the accusations of proselytising Christianity to Muslim youth through the programme.

Yeoh referred to PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man’s comments in October 2018 which stated it’s not wrong for Muslims to visit other places of worship as long as they do not follow the worship practices, ceremonies, or attires.

She also pointed out that PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang visited a church in Miri, Sarawak, in October 2015.

Referring to a news report, Hadi allegedly said the two-way dialogue and the exchange of thoughts were interesting and served to strengthen the ties of a plural society.

To this, Yeoh advised PAS members to do their due diligence before bringing up issues and hurling accusations.

Moving forward, Yeoh said some of the programmes under the Youth and Sports Ministry will be “returned” to the respective ministries so that future programmes will not be attacked in a similar way.

Her political secretary has also lodged a police report against Bersatu leader Badrul Hisham Shaharin who made the accusation.

The Jom Ziarah Gereja post on Impact Malaysia’s Instagram has been removed at the time of writing.

What’s the Jom Ziarah programme?

The Jom Ziarah programme, under the initiative named Project Article 11, is aimed at exposing youths to the country’s multi-ethnic cultures and beliefs and cultivating an understanding of the various cultures and religions here.

The name Project Article 11 comes from Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, referring to every person’s right to profess and practise the freedom of religion. It’s not a CIA-sounding conspiracy.

Project Article 11 consists of two parts: the Jom Ziarah aspect and volunteering activities to assist vulnerable groups.

According to The Vibes, Impact Malaysia said the Jom Ziarah Masjid programme was held on 4 March at Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan. On 11 March, the Jom Ziarah Gurdwara was held at the Shah Alam Gurdwara Sahib.

Jom Ziarah Gereja and Jom Ziarah Kuil Hindu will (or were supposed to) take place on 18 and 19 March respectively.

Netizens criticised those who made baseless accusations about the Jom Ziarah programme and for not giving their audience the full picture in order to incite racial tensions.

They showed Impact Malaysia’s posts about Jom Ziarah’s invitation to visit other places of worship to cultivate understanding between the different races and religions.

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