By John Martin
Soon after returning from the Canterbury Primates’ meeting, Archbishop Bolly Lapok of the Province of South East Asia, responded bluntly to Abdul Hadi Awang, president of the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party, a radical local Islamicist movement.
Awang made local headlines with claims that Christian missionaries in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak used fraud to plant churches and the missionary movement emerged in response to the rejection of Christianity in Europe. Awang added that Christianity is no longer attractive to people in countries like Germany, France, and Britain who have high levels of education.
“I do not know what sort of books he is reading, what sources he is quoting, or how he reached that observation,” Archbishop Bolly said in an interview with The Malaysian Insider. “He is a person of no substance and has no right to talk about Christians or the Dayaks in Sarawak.”
He said Sarawak’s history showed that Christians in the state, the majority of whom are Dayak people, would disagree that they had been exploited. “Humans are imperfect, but to dismiss the whole missionary movement as rejected in Europe is completely arrogant and mischievous,” Bolly said.
“With due respect to him as one of the political leaders, Hadi [should] put all of his condemning words in a basket and throw it into our Sarawak river. He plainly mischievous.”