Thursday, January 23, 2014

Putrajaya stands by ‘Allah’ agreement, passes buck on Bible seizure to Selangor

BY TRINNA LEONG
JANUARY 23, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: JANUARY 23, 2014 04:31 PM
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin says that Putrajaya is upholding the 10-point solution signed in 2011 allowing the use of the word Allah in the AlKitab. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, January 23, 2014.Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin says that Putrajaya is upholding the 10-point solution signed in 2011 allowing the use of the word Allah in the AlKitab. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, January 23, 2014.The Cabinet remains committed to a 2011 agreement that Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia can use the word Allah but has left it to Selangor to resolve the seizure of such Bibles under state law, a minister said today.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Putrajaya wants to "bring down the temperature" of the “Allah” debate although it upheld the 10-point solution signed in 2011 with Christian leaders allowing the use of the Malay-language Alkitab.
"The less we comment on this, the better. Of course, the federal government is committed to the 10-point solution and that is very clear that the solution stands.

"When it comes to state law, it's entirely the state's jurisdiction," Khairy said after speaking at the 16th Malaysia Strategic Outlook Conference 2014 in Kuala Lumpur today.
Putrajaya has kept mum over the issue as religious tension escalates over the use of the word Allah by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking non-Muslims in sermons and publications.
He also said that in order to discuss Pakatan Rakyat's offer to dialogue on this, and several other issues, the Allah row had to be dealt with first by the Selangor state government.
Khairy said the Cabinet had discussed the Allah debate in its meeting yesterday.
Khairy said Selangor re-ignited the Allah row with the raid by Jais (Selangor State Religious Department) on the Bible Society of Malaysia earlier this month.
In that raid, the religious department seized more than 300 copies of the Malay and Iban bibles which were meant for distribution mostly in Sabah and Sarawak.
"That issue has to be resolved first before any dialogue between BN and PR. There's nothing that we can do," Khairy said.
"In the case of BSM, the raid was undertaken by a state religious authority so, of course, the 10-point solution cannot supercede the state law."
The Sultan of Selangor had renewed the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 in November 2013 which forbids non-Muslims from using 35 Arabic words including "Allah".
Khairy pointed out despite Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim advising Jais to refer to the 10-point solution, the religious authority said they could not do it because they are bound by the state enactment.
"The Selangor state government has to consult with the Selangor Islamic Council and try to resolve this issue," Khairy added.
The minister also said Putrajaya has to respect the various state laws that are present since Malaysia is a federation.
"Different states have different laws. We have to respect that states have their own laws," he said, adding that when Malaysians from the peninsula visit Sabah and Sarawak, they need to present their identity cards. – January 23, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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