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Let be sensitive toward religious issue

Datuk Hardev Kaur, be free from any religious symbol meaning you are embracing communism or atheism. Don’t over zealous to please your boss.

My heartfelt regret

In response to news reports on a purported instruction from the Prime Minister’s Office that religious artefacts be removed at a Christmas function attended by him, his special officer Datuk Hardev Kaur has issued a statement to clarifiy the matter. The main problem is that the orginiser of the event had not been responsible enough to deny or refute the misleading reports when they were first published.

Following is Hardev’s statement:

Special Officer to Prime Minister

During my discussions with church officials for the Christmas tea party on 25 December 2010, I did not give any instruction whatsoever to remove crosses or crucifixes from the church or the vicinity of the function.

There was also no directive not to sing carols at the function.

As the prime minister’s schedule was tight on that day, I had suggested that in the interest of time, the guests could be entertained by the carollers while waiting for his arrival. At no time did I instruct that carols should not be sung or that scriptures should not be read at the function. There was in fact a choral presentation and grace was said.

To avoid unnecessary misunderstanding either way, I had suggested that preferably the rostrum from which the prime minister was to deliver his speech be free of any religious symbol. I had made it clear that it was a request and not an instruction.

In fact, there was no cross or any religious symbol at the venue of the tea party, the car park near the archbishop’s residence.

I made the request out of good intention, at my own initiative without any instruction from the prime minister. If my request has led to any misinterpretation and misunderstanding, I express my heartfelt regret.

Datuk Hardev Kaur
Special Officer to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak
Thursday 6 January 2011

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