Christian churches relent, accept invite to Sarawak Christmas event

Anglican Bishop Danald Jute (left) calls on the state and federal governments 'to send out a clear signal" that every religion must be equally respected. – Facebook pic, November 29, 2023.

THE “A Christmas Carol, Sarawak In Diversity Programme” is back on track after various Christian denominations grouped under the Association of Churches in Sarawak finally accepted the invitation to take part in the event in Kuching.

The ACS had earlier turned down the invitation after the organiser, TV Sarawak, rejected its request that a song on the December 3 programme be replaced by the carol “O Holy Night”.

Premier Abang Johari Openg was reported to have intervened in the dispute and ordered that the organiser accede to the request.

Anglican Bishop Danald Jute, who is the ACS chairman, said the earlier decision to withdraw from the event was not made lightly.

“Everyone knows Christmas is a Christian religious festival. Christmas is about Christ, whose birth we celebrate and retell.

“There is no Christmas without Christ, hence our suggestion to replace ‘Jingle Bells Rock’ with the more appropriate ‘O Holy Night’, which speaks about the birth of Christ.”

Jute said TVS’ outright rejection of the song request on the grounds of “religious elements” was utterly ludicrous.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil had clarified that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission had no part in the Christmas programme, contrary to ACS’ claims.

“We believe we are all equal and have the same rights as Malaysians. More so here in Sarawak, where we take pride in celebrating our cultural, ethnic and religious differences together.

“We are committed to doing our part to safeguard our harmonious relationships.”

He said TVS’ claim that “a miscommunication has transpired among the parties involved in the programme” was deceptive and mischievous.

“The ACS, as one of the parties involved in the programme, categorically denies that there ever was any ‘miscommunication’ on our part.”.

“The truth is clear and simple. ACS submitted our request. TVS rejected it outright. No miscommunication.”

“The truth is that the song is now included because YAB Premier had ordered for it to be included.”

Jute called on the state and federal governments “to send out a clear signal that all are equal and ought to be respected”.

He also said no government officers or agencies should make any arbitrary decision which will jeopardise the unity and understanding in Sarawak. – November 29, 2023.

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  • Thank goodness for Sarawak!

    Posted 7 months ago by Malaysia New hope · Reply

  • If the govt is serious about racial harmony (not equality) and progress for the nation, make this idiot an example and practically throw him under the bus. He is a small price to pay for a much bigger goal

    Posted 7 months ago by Brave Malaysian · Reply