Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Grinch - Stole Malaysian Christmas

The Bamboo Desk

It’s farcical, but carol singing is a national security issue in Malaysia from this year.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s spanking new Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 that was passed last month has bared its teeth and caused astonishment and fright in equal measure.

The law is being put to use to control Christmas carollers and the places they visit during the run-up to Christmas, making them spies and government informers all rolled into one.

According to Christian groups in the country, they have been notified of strict new conditions imposed that they need to satisfy before they are granted a police permit to visit households and sing Christmas carols.

The new rules have alarmed civil and religious rights activists and church carolling groups are in a quandary over how to fulfill the conditions to gain the police permit needed to go carol singing.

Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing described the new conditions as turning the country into “very nearly a police state”, local news portal, Malaysiakini reported.

“The Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 is vexing if things have come down to this,” the bishop who is head of the Catholic Church for the Malacca-Johor diocese and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia told the portal this week.

Up to last year, carolling groups visiting Christian homes during the Christmas season were required to apply for a police permit for the visits and approvals were never a problem.

However, under provisions of the recently passed, highly controversial Peaceful Assembly Bill, Christian authorities must furnish the names of the main occupants of homes the carollers intend to visit.

“If parish priests have to furnish the names of the main tenants, then we have become very nearly a police state. This is a bureaucratic requirement that is so vexing,” said Tan.

“We are a church that periodically conducts a census of our members, but we do not go around asking our members details of where exactly they stay and if they own their residences or are merely tenants.

“We generally know where they stay but we don’t keep a ledger of their addresses. We don’t snoop and we respect the privacy of individual members of our congregation. We don’t believe we should be Big Brother or Nanny to them,” he added. Read more.


Freddie Kevin said...

Salam HL,

Don't know about Bamboos posting but surly if were true, I too would not take such rubbish kindly.

But surely even though there are religious connotations to carolling some are not for eg Jingle bells or the evergreen White Christmas.

To say that it is another restriction to freedom of religion would be a bit stretching. Don't get me wrong, I am talking about politicising the matter.

If it were true it would more idiotic rather than political.


KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 11, 2011): Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said yesterday there was no need for Christmas caroling groups to obtain a police permit for their activities.

He said such groups were free to carry out carolling.

"There is no need to get a permit but as in past years, we urge them to inform the police in their area.

"This too is not compulsory but we suggest this, and it will be good if they can do so.

"This has been a long standing practice over the years, merely to seek police assistance especially for traffic control," said Ismail

Thank you

kittykat46 said...

Headline - Wall Street Journal.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 22nd 2011

Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and two overweight middle-aged men dressed as Santa Claus have been arrested by Malaysian police for carolling without a police permit. They may be fined up to RM 20,000 or jailed if they cannot pay the fine.

Anonymous said...


Freddie Kevin said...


Would appreciate very much if you would provide the link

Anonymous said...

Even though am no a christian I don't mind the carolling in my neighbourhood cos it brings feelings of cheer and festivities .

kittykat46 said...

Its umm...Dec 22 headline...future prediction...

Freddie Kevin said...


Your comments on blogs can be traced back to 2008.

You should blog.

There are many who take the middle path who I am sure are the silent majority.

Share your views of your ideals you feel would be consructive.

At the end of the day, we all want what is the good, for the nation and for our future gens.

In the meantime, compliments of the season.