Perkasa to move thousands in rally to support Mais, Jais next week

Abu Bakar Yahya

(The Malay Mail) – Selangor Perkasa announced plans today to amass between 3,000 and 5,000 members in a rally next Monday to show the group’s undivided support for the state religious authorities’ handling of the seized bibles issue.

The Malay group’s Selangor branch said participants will gather in front of Istana Kayangan here at 11am, after which a memorandum of support will be delivered to the Selangor Sultan.

“Perkasa will fight for the position of Islam to be defended. Mais (Selangor Islamic Religious Council), Jais (Selangor Islamic Religious Department) did not do anything wrong in the seizing of bibles, they were doing their job.

“This gathering will also be a show of support towards the Sultan, and how His Highness has addressed the matter wisely,” Selangor Perkasa chairman Abu Bakar Yahya said at a news conference here.

“Not only do we feel that Mais, Jais are doing what is right, we also feel that they should have given more powers, empowered to safeguard the interests of Malays and Islam.

“If they are given more power, they can catch offenders who drink, gamble…and do other things which run contrary to the teachings of Islam,” he added.

The gathering will also be an avenue for Perkasa’s state chapter to demand that action be taken against PAS leaders who recently called for a review of Jais’ powers, following the seizure of 300-odd Malay and Iban bibles earlier this year.

“Jais is under Mais which is under the purview of the Selangor Sultan. Why are they (PAS) questioning this?

“Do not let politics take precedence of religion…Perkasa will fight this to the end,” Abu Bakar stressed.

The Sultan of Selangor has instructed the state’s religious authorities to use the courts to settle the imbroglio stemming from their refusal to return over 300 copies of the bible seized from a Christian society in the state earlier this year.

According to the Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s private secretary, Mohamad Munir Bani, the legal avenue would allow the matter to be resolved amicably and without perception of bias.

“The legal procedures pertaining to the disposal of items seized in raids and investigations may be referred to the courts by the public prosecutors to obtain an order either for their return or disposal,” according to a statement from the Sultan as issued by Mohamad Munir yesterday.

“The move would be in line with the Attorney-General’s statement that the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) should take the ‘next step’ in accordance with the law.”

The state Ruler also insisted that he has not acted “above the law” in the matter.

On Wednesday, Mais claimed that the Selangor Sultan consented to their decision against returning over 300 bibles that the state’s religious authorities seized from a Christian group in January.

Mais and its enforcement unit Jais are now seeking a court ruling to enable them to dispose of the Christian holy books.

The council has insisted that there are grounds to “prosecute” BSM under the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988, contrary to AG Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s decision not to press charges against the Christian bookstore.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak previously urged Mais to refer the matter to the AG if it believed the decision not to prosecute BSM should be reviewed, but insisted that Abdul Gani’s decision on the issue should prevail.

Jais seized the bibles during a raid on the BSM headquarters in the state on January 2, and has kept possession of the copies since then.