Loh Seng Kok

Parlimen Malaysia

Barisan Nasional MCA

Loh Seng Kok 卢诚国
Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya
(2004 - Feb 2008)

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Don’t judge a person by how often they pray!

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10 July 2008


Press statement issued by Sdr Loh Seng Kok, MCA National Service Secretary and vice chairman of MCA Rancangan Integrasi Murid Untuk Perpaduan (RIMUP) in response to PAS proposal to enforce compulsory praying for non-Muslims



Don’t judge a person by how often they pray!


It was reported in Berita Harian dated 10 July 2008 that PAS Vice-President cum Chairman of the Economic Planning, Finance and State Welfare Committee Datuk Husam Musa had said that non-Muslims are also subjected to pre-requisites for prayer and religious practices when promotions for civil servants and recruitment of new civil servants are considered.


He said this in response to Nik Aziz’s proposal to enforce praying 5 times a day as a prerequisite for Muslim civil servants in Kelantan when considering their promotions and recruitment of new staffs in the state as reported in Sin Chew Daily dated 8 July 2008.  


Sdr Loh Seng Kok, who is MCA Youth National Service chief blasted such a move as “totally ridiculous.” Seng Kok shares the view that, “religion is a very personal matter between the individual concerned and their own God.” He added that different people with different faiths will pray using their own ways. “We cannot judge a person by their faith or by how they practice their religion in public.”


Loh reiterated that freedom of religion is enshrined in the Federal Constitution, “such a move has gone against the said provisions in the Constitution.” He said that, “there is no such thing as compulsion in religion and no one can impose observation of prayer in whatever form on people because different faiths have different rituals. It also does not mean that because a person fails to pray, he or she holds less morals. People can still pray yet are ill-intentioned like committing adultery or practise corruption.”    


He expressed that such a move would unfairly discriminate against law-abiding civil servants who are free thinkers working in Kelantan. He expressed the need to practise meritocracy. “We should be looking at a person’s work performance and other criteria rather than judging how and if they pray when deciding on promotions or even in recruitment of new staffs.”   


Seng Kok suggested, “if Kelantan state government is really serious in promoting respect of and understanding between different religions or enhancing the spiritual level of civil servants, they should allocate more money to other believers’ place of worships rather than focusing on the mosque as a place or worship for Muslims only.” He urges the Kelantan state government to be fair and more sensitive in allocating funds to the places of worship of all religions in Kelantan because Malaysia is a multi-racial country with different people practising different faiths.


He added that, “since the state government’s funds come from the taxpayer’s money in Kelantan, they should be more responsible in ensuring that all Kelantanese will benefit from the government’s policies and also in terms of allocation of funds to be used for religious purposes.”    




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Last modified:  Monday, August 10, 2009