Selangor says not following Pahang non-Islamic books ban


(Malay Mail Online) – Despite a controversial bible seizure in the state this year, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim today insisted Selangor will not take Pahang’s lead in banning hotels from carrying non-Islamic holy books.

Brushing off the suggestion today, Khalid said his administration has not entertained the such a more.

“No, we have not even thought of that subject,” he told reporters briefly after the Sesi Bersama Rakyat at the Klang City Hall.

On Wednesday,  Pahang Islamic and Malay Customs Council (MUIP) deputy president Datuk Seri Wan Abdul Wahid Wan Hassan said the council has issued a letter to 147 hotels in the state to prohibit them from putting any materials on non-Islamic religions in public reading places especially hotel rooms.

In the March 6 letter obtained by The Malay Mail Online, MUIP said putting such materials in hotel rooms could amount to spreading other faiths to Muslims “as part of the public” residing in hotels, with such an offence punishable in the civil courts by a maximum fine of RM5,000 or a maximum two-year jail term or both.

The move has been criticised by lawyers, saying the ban signals another step on the path towards further erosion of Malaysia liberties.

The lawyers had told The Malay Mail Online failure to speak up now would see religious bodies steadily take on a bigger role in regulating the daily conduct of non-Muslims and Muslims.

Selangor is locked in its own religious imbroglio, after the state’s Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) raided a Christian group and seized over 300 bibles over suspicions of proselytisation to Muslims.