Bersih’s activities will divide the catholic community as its original cause has been hijacked by politicians, claims Malacca Portuguese community head Joseph Sta Maria.
Speaking to Malaysia Outlook, Sta Maria said he’s sad with the ‘character assassination’ against those who object the Bersih campaign.
Sta Maria himself has been heavily criticised by Bersih loyal supporters for calling the Malaysian Catholics to refrain from street demonstrations.
“The attack via social media by Bersih keyboard warriors is shameful and unbecoming of a respectful Malaysians.
“We are peace loving people brought up by our respective rich culture and none of this teaches us the manner.
“Bersih supporters are misbehaving and urged them to be a respectful Malaysian as well as respect right to voice out and give opinions
“Is that too much to ask from the Bersih leadership?” questions Sta Maria.
Respect the rule of law and allow anti Bersih voices to be heard. This is true democracy, he pointed out.
“My objections are clear and straight which I’m concerned that the involvement of the Church would divide the Catholics.
“We must be untied with our teachings. I’m telling them the Bersih is dividing us and the Church should stay out of politics.” he added.
However, Sta Maria hopes amid the church leaders call it’s believers to join Bersih demonstration on Nov 19, the majority of Catholics would stay out because as they believe religion and politics must never be mixed.
“This is my concern when I first spoke out against religious institution working with Bersih.
“This is not the first time I have said this. When the Bersih 4 was being organised I held a press conference together with several important Malacca Portuguese community leaders and had expressed our concern of the Church being drag in this political arena.
“We had then also maintained that politics and religion should not be mixed.” he added.