Baru (second right) and other state PRK leaders during the press conference yesterday.
KUCHING: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state liaison chief Baru Bian welcomes the statement made by the Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman that the state government will not seize Bibles from Christian organisations or churches.
“We welcome that kind of assurance. We are very fortunate in Sarawak because our leaders (BN and opposition) are very aware of the rights.”
However, he underlined that it was foolhardy to think that this issue was only confined to Peninsular Malaysia.
“The banning of certain words including Allah from being used by non-Muslims is a decision that has been made at the federal level”
Sarawak and Sabah Barisan National (BN) leaders in the federal government and cabinet must take a strong stand and voice out to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that the recent seizure of Christian Bibles by Selangor religious authorities had “gone beyond the line,” he told reporters during a press conference at the party’s office here yesterday.
“We urge the BN leaders representing Sarawak and Sabah at the federal level including cabinet ministers, especially the Sarawakians and Sabahans, to tell the PM that this has gone beyond the line.
“Second, not only the federal MPs, but the state government as a government within the federation, the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak must make it very clear to the federal government that this (religious freedom) is a guaranteed right when we formed Malaysia. The chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak must tell the Prime Minister.”
Baru pointed out that Christians were not demanding for any new rights because the right to freedom of worship was guaranteed in the constitution when we formed Malaysia.
“It is not by coincidence that the first point in the 18 and 20 point agreements is religious freedom,” he emphasized.
Supporting Baru’s comments was state PKR election bureau (JPRN) secretariat official Baharuddin Mokhsen who said seizing the Bibles was not only harmful to non-Muslims but to Muslims as well.
“As a Muslim leader in PKR, it is doing a disservice to Islam to portray Islam as such because it was never in the teachings of Islam, all these nonsensical things which the UMNO leaders and federal Islamic NGOs are saying. It is not Islamic, full stop.
“We appeal to all political leaders to cross political lines to support this issue. This is more than a political issue – it an issue of humanity and rights, and it is a global issue. It is not a partisan or political issue,” he emphasized.