Bible seizures unconstitutional, says DAP

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — DAP charged the federal government today with violating the constitutional right to freedom of religion for having seized 35,000 Malay-language bibles since 2009.

“Depriving them of their holy scriptures is unconstitutional and clearly exposes the hype of 1 Malaysia is just mere rhetoric and propaganda,” secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today.

He added that it has been the longstanding practice of non-Muslim Bumiputeras and East Malaysians to learn and practise Christianity in the national language, as is their right under Article 11 of the federal constitution which protects the right to profess and practise one’s own religion.

The home ministry’s move to hold the bibles worth RM78,000 in the ports of Klang and Kuching has angered Christians in Malaysia, who are now lashing 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.

Yesterday the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), which represents 90 per cent of churches here, demanded that the government immediately release all Bibles detained.

“Further prohibiting the Bible just because it is in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) is also contrary to the position of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language,” said Lim, who is also Bagan Mp.