The suggestion by Majlis Agama Islam Selangor’s (MAIS) to destroy 321 Malay bibles which it seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia is unconstitutional, said Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming. MAIS had requested that the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) in Selangor obtain an order to destroy the evidence in the case which has been ongoing since January this year.
“Not only has MAIS refused to ask Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) to return these bibles, they have taken the extra step to ask for these bibles to be destroyed. MAIS has released 2 statements in three days to defend the unconstitutional actions of JAIS in raiding the offices of Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and not returning the bibles after the AG’s announcement,” said Ong Kian Ming.
Four days ago, Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail had declared that the case was closed and that the books did not pose a threat to national security.
“On the issue of the seized Bibles, I expect Jais to do the necessary according to the law,” Gani said.
However, MAIS has used Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution and the Non-Islamic Religions Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims Enactment to justify its continued insistence on not returning the bibles. These laws allow the state to control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.
Neither MAIS, JAIS or IGP have produced evidence to show that the bibles were used to propagate Christianity amongst Muslims.
“Without any proof that the BSM bibles were going to be used to propagate Christianity among Muslims in Malaysia, MAIS is acting unconstitutionally by not requesting JAIS to return the bibles to BSM,” said Ong.
He added that the AG had specifically written that the confiscated materials are not writings that would fall under the aforementioned enactment. As such, the publication of the BSM bibles cannot be prosecuted as an offense, Ong said.
The Serdang MP said MAIS and JAIS must see to the safe return of the bibles to BSM. He also asked that the Islamic bodies show that the bibles are in good condition and are not destroyed or damaged.
BN Selangor supports MAIS decision not to return bibles
While MAIS refuses to comply with the AG’s decision to close the case, its unwillingness to return the bibles was seconded by Barisan Nasional State Assemblyman for Sungai Burong, Shamsudin Lias (pic) in Shah Alam today. The Selangor Opposition Assemblyman said today that the move by MAIS not to return the bibles to BSM is meant to prevent apostasy which he must support as he is a Muslim himself.
“Whatever Jais does to protect Islam from apostasy, I, as a Muslim state assemblyman, support it.
“We do not stop other religions but when there are rules that prohibit (them from certain actions), I support Jais’s actions unless the rules are amended or abolished and Jais has no power,” said the Selangor BN State Assemblyman. -The Rocket