Dewan Rakyat : Conference cancelled due to PM’s absence
THE prime minister could not attend the “Building Bridges” Islam-Christianity Inter-faith Conference on the day it was scheduled and that was the reason it was cancelled.
It was not because the government did not want the conference to be held in the country.
This was stated by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz at the parliament lobby yesterday.
He said the government did not have any problem with the conference which sought to promote understanding between both faiths.
“It is not against Islam Hadhari,” he added.
Earlier in the Dewan Rakyat, Nazri said that there was no point in holding an inter-faith conference when the prime minister was unable to attend or participate.
“He wants to be present in such a conference to show his commitment,” he said in reply to Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) who asked what was being done to repair the damage to the country’s international reputation as a model multi-religious nation for cancelling the conference.
Nazri said the country had its own mechanism to maintain peace and harmony.
“The prime minister had spoken about Islam Hadhari in different ways to various people.
“Following his lectures, Muslim and non-Muslim participants are free to have a dialogue or raise questions on religious practices,” he added.
To a supplementary question by Salahuddin Ayub (Pas-Kubang Kerian), Nazri said the government was always monitoring inter-faith and religious conflicts in the country.
“We realise that some people are trying hard to provoke racial intolerance.”
The cancellation of the Muslim-Christian inter-faith conference, which was supposed to be held from May 7 to 11, drew criticism from various parties including religious groups and the opposition. (NST, 19/6/07)