Bishop under fire over his unwarranted Bersih campaign

 |Oct 20, 2016
PCM vice-president Huan Cheng Guan questioned Bishop Bernard Paul wisdom to campaign for Bersih 5.0 rally.
PCM vice-president Huan Cheng Guan questioned Bishop Bernard Paul’s wisdom to campaign for Bersih 5.0 rally.

Malacca and Johor Catholic Diocese Bishop Bernard Paul came under fire from Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) today for mixing religion with politics with his campaign for Bersih 5.0 Yellow Shirt rally.

As a Bishop, said PCM vice-president Huan Cheng Guan, Bernard should focus more on church matters rather than meddling into political matters that were irrelevant to religion.

“Don’t bring religion into politics. It’s unwarranted. I think this is a half past six Bishop. Why urging the people to participate in #Bersih rally?

“A religious figure like him should not encourage the public to go for demonstration or rally. A highly respected religious figure, but he talks like an idiot,” blasted Huan when contacted today.

On Thursday, Huan also posted part of his comments on his Facebook page alongside an image of Bernard’s Bersih campaign digital flyer, in which the bishop had allegedly called on Malaysians to join the Yellow Shirts street demonstration scheduled on Nov 19.

In the flyer, which has gone viral in the social media networks, the clergy has urged Malaysians to light up and place a lamp on their house gates from Nov 14 until the rally day.

“Fill the nation with yellow lights. Overcome darkness,” Bernard has allegedly rallied on Malaysians, adding that participating in the Bersih demonstration was a citizen’s right, not party politics.

In declaring the church support to Bersih, he said the Yellow Shirt street march was not in support of either Barisan Nasional or divisive opposition.

Huan however, questioned on Bernard’s wisdom to support the Yellow Shirt rally when then the opposition Pakatan Rakyat in collaboration with Bersih had disseminated lies to the public in the last general election.

He pointed out that then the Pakatan Rakyat-Bersih axis lied to the public about 40,000 Bangladesh voters and about a non-existent blackout at a polling station during counting.

He recalled on an incident where an Indian Malaysian voter with a Chinese name, as he was adopted by a Chinese family, was beaten up by a group of the axis supporters on the polling day as the opposition spread lies in the social media that the voter was a Bangladesh national.

“Later the opposition elected representative apologised for the ugly and violent incident,” recalled Huan.

During last year’s Yellow Shirt Bersih 4.0 demonstration, the PCM leader recalled that Bersih activists were unruly and disrespectful as they stepped on the portraits of Prime Minister Najib Razak and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

He said the Yellow Shirts used broom to sweep and shoes to hit portraits of Najib, Hadi and even the First Lady Rosmah Mansor.

He pointed out that the Yellow Shirts had also conducted mock Chinese funeral rites for Najib and Rosmah complete with tombstones, funeral processions and hell-notes.

The Yellow Shirts, he said committed violence, including damaging a police patrol car during Bersih 3.0 rally.

Huan questioned on whether Bernard found out all these truths before he commented and campaigned for Bersih, implying that the churchman could be looking for political mileage.

“He should not use the church for political gain. Do not exploit religion for personal selfish gain,” said the former Batu Kawan MP.

“If the church supports the Yellow Shirts and in turn, ulamas and muftis support the Red Shirts, there will be no end to this.

“If this bishop really believes in God, then he should realise that God already decided for BN to control the federal government, Pakatan to control Selangor and Penang, and PAS in Kelantan.”

Malacca and Johor Catholic Diocese, Bishop Bernard Paul's Bersih campaign digital flyer that had gone viral in the social media.
Malacca and Johor Catholic Diocese, Bishop Bernard Paul’s Bersih campaign digital flyer that had gone viral in the social media.
Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.