Selangor MCA breaks ranks with Barisan, says against Bible confiscation


Diyana Ibrahim TMI

Selangor MCA has reiterated its opposition to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) seizing Bibles in the state, expressing shock that the state Barisan Nasional (BN) yesterday announced its support for the seizure of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus.

Jais confiscated the Malay and Iban-language Bibles in January, sparking a firestorm over the religious rights of non-Muslims and state Islamic laws that state some 40 Arabic words can only be used by Muslims.

“This is not right. From day one, we were against the seizure of the Bibles. How can they now say that the state BN supported the move,” Selangor MCA deputy chairman Datuk Donald Lim told The Malaysian Insider.

“From the very start, we objected. We even demanded the state government explain why it had allowed this to happen. The Bibles for Christians should never have been seized,” he said yesterday.

MCA has no representative in the Selangor assembly as it was wiped out in the May 5 general election last year. However, MCA is still in the state BN.

Yesterday, Selangor opposition leader Datuk Shamsuddin Lias said that Selangor BN supported Jais’ seizure of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus as it was pre-emptive move to prevent apostasy among Muslims.

He said all BN assemblymen supported the seizure and the state coalition had submitted two motions to support the Jais action and another to support the exclusive use of the word “Allah” by Muslims.

However, Shamsuddin said both motions were rejected by Speaker Hannah Yeoh but he would raise the matter while debating the Sultan of Selangor’s address to the assembly this week.

Lim said the state BN had never discussed the two proposed motions.

“We were never told of this. This must have been an initiative of Selangor Umno. I have to check for more details,” he said without elaborating further.

On January 2, a team of Jais officers and two policemen went to the Bible Society of Malaysia’s office in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, and carted away more than 300 copies of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus. Since then, BSM has been looking to get an explanation from the state.

Last Wednesday, the state government was accused of washing its hands of the affair after Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim advised BSM to write to the attorney general for the return of the Bibles.