Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Bibles' Release: Do I hear an "encore" happening soon?

"Stupid being what stupid does, they do it "to avoid conflict",
then cause a conflict which has to be controlled with laws which can get you arrested
- even as you are thinking of responding to the conflict!! (very crever, eh?)"
-Because "WE" ARE STUPID- and Proud Of It, dammmit!!


Government orders release of Malay bibles

KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — The Najib administration ordered the release of 35,000 Malay-language Bibles which were seized at the ports of Kuching and Klang, bowing to pressure from Christian churches and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians.

“This is a reasonable compromise in managing the polarities of views between Christians and Muslims in the country,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala in a statement this evening.

The Cabinet was set to discuss the issue on Friday with one eye on the Sarawak polls set to take place next month.

But with the seizure of the bibles drawing protests from Christians nationwide, a majority of whom live in Sabah and Sarawak, the federal government was forced to act today.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia, which represents 90 per cent of churches in Malaysia, has said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made a decision to release the Alkitabs but so far, the home ministry, which controls customs, has refused to hand over the bibles.

Christians, who make up close to 10 per cent of Malaysia’s 28 million population, use Bahasa Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak churches to preach to the multi-ethnic congregation who each have a distinctive tribal language.

But evangelist churches there, such as Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB), have crossed the South China Sea to preach to the growing number of Sarawakians and Sabahans who are settling down in the peninsula after furthering their studies or finding work here.

Jala, who is a Sarawakian Christian, said that the government had decided on the release of the Alkitab in line with a 1982 gazette under the Internal Security Act which allows its limited and controlled importation and circulation on condition that the books are stamped: “For Christians Only.”


Abim demands Najib clarify stand on Bibles
March 11, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — Citing fears of apostasy among Muslims, the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) has called for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to verify the claim by Christian groups that the prime minister has said that there is no ban on Malay-language Bibles.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) said yesterday that Najib had confirmed that there was an order to release 5,000 Bibles being held in Port Klang.

“As the chief executive of this country, any statement reflects the stand and policy of the government.

“In this context, the claim by CFM appears to say that the government has agreed to the distribution of Malay-language Bibles despite no official public notice,” said Abim secretary-general Mohamad Raimi Ab Rahim.

He added that any enactment governing the spread of other religions to Muslims must be adhered to and respected.

Mohamad Raimi asked the prime minister to clarify the matter to avoid any misunderstanding that can disrupt racial harmony.

The Home Ministry’s move to hold 35,000 Bibles worth at least RM78,000 in the ports of Klang and Kuching has angered Christians in Malaysia.

They have lashed out at the federal government for what they see as a systematic move to deny their religious rights enshrined in the country’s highest law.(emphasis, mine)

The CFM, which represents 90 per cent of churches here, demanded yesterday that the government immediately release all Bibles detained.

In a statement today, Abim said it viewed seriously CFM’s claim that Najib had agreed to the unrestricted distribution of the Bibles in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Abim takes the view that freedom of religion should not overstep the provisions of the federal constitution where Islam is the official religion of the federation.”

The influential Muslim group also called for the dispute to be resolved through closed-door discussions between religious leaders and for parties involved not to apply undue pressure on the authorities due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has a Christian community that makes up nearly 10 per cent of the 28 million population, with the biggest numbers based in Sarawak and Sabah, where the main language used by the Bumiputeras in churches is Bahasa Malaysia.

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