Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian condemned former minister of information Zainuddin Maidin’s statement labelling State Land Development Minister James Masing as a tool of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for criticising the latest seizure of Christian VCDs and books which contain the word ‘Allah’, as a ‘disgrace’.
"I wholly support Masing’s statement on the seizure, not because he is a PR tool but simply because what he said was right.
"He took a stand on the side of moderation and justice against extremism and religious bigotry, unlike the majority of the UMNO/BN ministers who have chosen to remain silent.
"It is obvious to all right-minded Malaysians that UMNO/BN leaders like Zainuddin are fanning the odious flame of religious extremism for political gain," said Baru (left), who is also the Ba'Kelalan assemblyperson in a statement.
“I will do so regardless of who stands up for it – whether it is a BN politician or a PR politician, just as I will speak up against what is wrong and unlawful regardless of who the transgressor is,” said Baru.
He also called for more BN ministers to emulate Masing in speaking up for the people.
“Zainuddin’s laughable response to Masing’s statement has done nothing to change the truth. If Zainuddin has no logical or rational rebuttal, it is perhaps best for him not to say anything rather than to resort to childish name-calling," he said.
No checking at KLIA
Meanwhile, Masing, who is the president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak said that he had checked with the customs department and was told that goods on transit to the next destination in Malaysia need not be checked by customs in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
In this instance, he said, the Christian books were brought by Pastor Maklin Masiau from Medan enroute to Kota Kinabalu and was only transited in KLIA.
"Therefore, there was no necessity nor was it required by laws as explained by Zainuddin for these Christian books and CDs to be checked by customs officers at KLIA.
"It is either I have been wrongly informed of standard operation procedure (SOP) in KLIA or Zainuddin was misled.
"Whatever is the case, those in authorities must come out clean, otherwise the Christian communities in Malaysia will think that there are hidden agendas in checking those Christian materials.
"For transit goods to be checked by customs officers at KLIA, there must be instructions from the top to make it happen," he said.