Monday, April 7, 2014

Jais seizure of Bibles was to prevent apostasy, says Selangor Barisan leader

APRIL 07, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: APRIL 07, 2014 03:50 PM
Selangor opposition leader Datuk Shamsuddin Lias says he will raise again the action by Selangor Islamic Department in seizing the Bibles, this week. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 7, 2014.Selangor opposition leader Datuk Shamsuddin Lias says he will raise again the action by Selangor Islamic Department in seizing the Bibles, this week. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 7, 2014.The Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) seizure of Alkitab and Bup Kudus was a move to prevent apostasy among Muslims, said Selangor opposition leader Datuk Shamsuddin Lias.
He said all Barisan Nasional assemblymen supported the Jais action and the state BN 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.
“We are disappointed. It is of public interest and there has been much debate on this,” said the Sungai Burong assemblyman.
On January 2, a team of Jais officers and two policemen went to the BSM offices in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, and carted away copies of the Bible. Since then, the society has been looking to get an explanation from the state over the seizure.
Last Wednesday, the state government was accused of washing its hands off the affair after Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim advised BSM to write to the Attorney General for the return of the Bibles.
"We suggest this as under the present circumstances it would be best for them to write to the Attorney General. This is also to show that the BSM is keen to get back the seized copies," he had said.
BSM, however, said it would not write to the AG, and accused the state government of "washing their hands of their responsibility", adding it showed that Selangor rejects the 10-points solution drawn up by Putrajaya allowing Christians to import and print Bibles of all languages locally.
It claimed that the Selangor exco had promised to return the Bibles, and said the state step in to correct the situation.
"BSM was raided by Jais, a Selangor government department. The Bibles are held by Jais in their office in Shah Alam, a stone’s throw from the menteri besar’s office.
"So, this problem was caused by a department of the Selangor state government," it added.
Selangor's exco on religion, Sallehan Mukhyi, said the case was referred to the AG's office by Jais after it had completed its investigation earlier.
Today, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) called on the AG to clarify whether BSM or its office bearers had committed any offence when Jais seized the Bibles.
LFL executive director Eric Paulsen said although Jais conducted the raid, it was for Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as the AG to decide on the prosecution.
"It has been more than three months the raid and seizure was carried out and everyone is wondering what the next move by the authorities is," he told The Malaysian Insider.
He called for a closure to the issue because non-Muslims were waiting to know the decision on the matter. – April 7, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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