Current Affairs

Bible banning in Pahang hotel rooms unacceptable, says Seputeh MP

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok has called on the Pahang Mentri Besar Adnan Yaakob to intervene in the Islamic and Malay Customs Council’s (MUIP) unacceptable banning of Bibles in Pahang hotel rooms.

MUIP’s deputy director Wan Abdul Wahid Wan Hassan revealed two days ago that a letter of prohibition on the matter had been sent to 147 hotels across the state since March 6 and those who defied the directive could be subjected to legal action.  The letter of prohibition was issued under the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions among Muslims Enactment 1989, in line with Article 11 (4) of the Federal Constitution.

“MUIP’s action is extreme and unacceptable and it has acted beyond its jurisdiction”

“In fact, MUIP’s action has violated the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religions,” said Teresa Kok.

She explained that bibles placed in hotel rooms are stamped with the words “for non Muslims only” and therefore, MUIP’s view that it is an act of spreading other religious beliefs to Muslims is wrong.

“Malaysia’s international image as a moderate nation has been affected by the recent Allah word issue,” she said, adding that MUIP’s extreme action will again put the nation under the scrutiny of international media for the wrong reason.

The move by MUIP also drew criticism from Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh who said that Muslims would not be easily lured out of their faith if exposed to the bible.

“Islam teaches us ‘amar Ma’ruf and  nahi munkar’, which is to promote good and prohibit evil”

“So instead of prohibiting what they perceive to be evil, they should also promote good values,” said Fuziah.

According to MUIP’s deputy director, he or she who is found guilty of placing non-Muslim religious materials in hotels could face a fine of up to RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both.

The Seputeh MP urged the Pahang MB to immediately intervene and get MUIP to revoke its directive to the hotel operators as it would not be in line with the Prime Minister Najib Razak’s assurance that the government would continue to defend the constitutional rights of all Malaysians; which embodies religious freedom and cultural diversity. -The Rocket

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