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Carol 'exclusion' issue: Sarawak churches back in Christmas event after Abang Jo steps in
Published on: Wednesday, November 29, 2023
By: FMT
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Carol 'exclusion' issue: Sarawak churches back in Christmas event after Abang Jo steps in
Association of Churches in Sarawak chairman Danald Jute says TVS’s claim of a miscommunication over the song choice for an upcoming Christmas event is ‘deceptive’. (Facebook pic)
PETALING JAYA: The Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) will participate after all in a Christmas event backed by the Sarawak premier’s department following intervention by Abang Johari Openg over the selection of songs to be featured in the programme.

According to The Borneo Post, ACS chairman Danald Jute said both the Sarawak premier and his deputy, Douglas Uggah Embas, had stepped in.

Specifically, he said Abang Johari “directed (O Holy Night) to be included” in the list of carols to be sung at the event.

“Both (Abang Johari and Uggah) are keen for the programme to proceed and to include ‘O Holy Night’. We deeply appreciate and honour their support,” he was quoted as saying.

Danald also rubbished the claim by state-owned broadcaster TVS that there had been a miscommunication over the matter, saying ACS “will not allow the public to be misled or deceived by misinformation”.

He added that TVS’s statement in response to the issue was merely “an effort to do damage control”, and that the claim of a miscommunication was “deceptive”.

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

“It is quite laughable that TVS should now claim they have ‘no intention of excluding the said song from the programme’.”

Last week, ACS said TVS had refused to allow “O Holy Night” to be sung at the event in place of “Jingle Bell Rock”.

The association said “Jingle Bell Rock” had nothing to do with Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, and that it would not take part in the event.

It also claimed TVS said it could not accede to the request as “O Holy Night” contained religious elements, and that this was in line with the protocol of the Film Censorship Board and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil later said MCMC had nothing to do with the decision-making for the event.

TVS also said there had been a miscommunication over the matter and that it had no intention of excluding the carol and was working to include the song at the event.

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Keywords:
religious freedom





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