LETTER | At a panel discussion recently, Khairy Jamaluddin made reference to a “Jesus Christ mentality” with reference to the ego of the Pakatan Harapan government which resulted in the failure to ratify the Icerd covenant. I am not getting into the substantive discussion on Icerd here but would like to make some comments on the illustration used by Khairy and its implications, whether he realises them or not.
Making a flippant comment on Jesus Christ is offensive to Christians especially when it is used in the wrong and negative way. Imagine if I made a similar reference to the founder of Islam. I don’t think Khairy will have to worry if what he said will cause a riot and protests from the Malaysian Christian community. The question is why did he make the reference to Jesus Christ?
He could have spoken of ego and the over-optimism of Pakatan Harapan. But why bring Jesus Christ into this political discussion? Khairy could have made the same point without reference to Jesus. Was this just a passing thought as an illustration or a sinister comment to equate Harapan as pro-Christian? Only Khairy will know.
However, now that Jesus Christ is in the public domain, let me state that Christians, especially Bible-believing ones, recognise that what Khary said contradicts Christian teaching and the general understanding of who Jesus Christ is. I must confess that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and my views also come from a faith experience.
Jesus Christ did perform many miracles like healing and supernatural manifestations which will be dismissed in the rational world. These include the Gospel narrative of Jesus walking on water on the Sea of Galilee. It was Peter, his disciple, who on seeing Christ, tried to walk but began to sink. However, as he kept his eye on Jesus he, too, walked. There is definitely an experience of God’s supernatural healing and works of miracles experienced by so many that it will be difficult to dismiss as false.
Jesus Christ is the anti-thesis of ego as he gave himself up. Therefore, whether it was Khairy or the media concerned who highlighted this dimension needs some clarification.
This example of the way a founder of a major religious movement is used by a politician and then the media to popularise the thought illustrates the need for all Malaysians as a whole to have a better understanding of religions and their founders. It will be good to view the religion from the shoes of the believers so as to have an appreciation as to why so many people devote their lives and how their daily living is inspired by the teachings of their founders.
Political leaders and journalists must be cautious when references are made so as not to provide a distorted portrayal and negative connotation. We live in a multi-religious society. Respect and appreciation are most crucial. But on the issue of Icerd and why Harapan changed its decision is a matter for another discussion.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.