Monday, June 16, 2014

Stubborn Mais comes under fire

PETALING JAYA: The MCA and DAP have joined forces in urging the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) to return the Malay- and Iban-language Bibles it seized six months ago to the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).

On Jan 2, Jais confiscated 321 copies of the Malay language Bibles (Al-Kitab) and the Iban Bibles (Bup Kudus) in a raid on the BSM office here.
The MCA said that it was only right and proper that the seized Bibles be returned to BSM following the decision of Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail.

Gani had said recently that the Bibles did not breach national security and directed Mais to return the books to the rightful owner (BSM).
But Mais has stubbornly refused to return them and wants instead to dispose them.
Said MCA Youth legal bureau chairman Choo Wei Sern: “This (disposing off the Bibles) is a serious threat to the administration of justice in this country.”
“There is a serious disrespect for the rights of every Malaysian to practise and preach their religious beliefs in accordance with the laws and the Federal Constitution,” he added.
Choo added that as law enforcer, Jais must uphold the laws of the country and comply with the decision of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
The DAP took a swipe at the Selangor state executive councillor in charge of Muslim affairs, Sallehin Mukhyi, for making “excuses” to delay the return of the Bibles.
Its Serdang MP, Dr Ong Kian Ming, said Sallehin should work with Jais to ensure the Bibles are promptly returned to BSM without needing to consult Gani.
Sallehin reportedly said yesterday that he would seek an appointment with Gani to get verification on the lawful ways to return the holy books to BSM.
“It puzzles me as to why Sallehin needs to see Gani since the latter had declared that the confiscated Bibles must be returned to BSM,” said Ong.
He pointed out that Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim had announced that Sallehin, together with state legal adviser, Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman, would help Jais hand over the holy books to BSM.
“No mention was made that there is a need to consult Gani (to seek verification),” he said.
“As such, Sallehin should not find excuses to delay the return of the Bibles. He should use his discretion to work with Jais to give the (holy books) back to BSM,” said Ong.
He added that if the Bibles were handed over to BSM, it would show the sincerity of the Selangor government in wanting to promote harmonious ties with adherents of the various faiths in the state.