Selangor state govt must set aside differences with federal govt: Bible Society Malaysia
- POSTED: 10 Jan 2014 21:10
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The Bible Society of Malaysia said the Selangor state government must set aside its differences with the federal government to resolve the "Allah" issue.
SHAH ALAM: The Bible Society of Malaysia have had their statements taken from JAIS, the state Islamic authorities, who seized more than 300 copies of Malay-language bibles earlier this month because they contained the word “Allah” to refer to God.
The Bible suppliers do not know when or if the holy books will be returned.
It is now up to the Selangor state government to find a resolution.
The Bible Society said the opposition-run state government must set aside its differences with the federal government.
It feels old state laws that ban non-Muslims from using “Allah” in religious contexts need to change to keep up with federal enactments -- specifically Prime Minister Najib Razak's 2011 10-point solution, which had allowed Christians to import and distribute Malay language bibles containing the word “Allah”.
Lee Min Choon, president of the Bible Society of Malaysia, said: "The federal government has kept to the 10 points. This problem is a problem of the state. If the Selangor state government is prepared to embrace the 10 point formally, we'll be happy to forget about legal action because that would be a good enough, in our opinion, a good enough securing of the rights of the Christian community.”
Three Bible society members, including its president Lee Min Choon, met JAIS officials accompanied by a representative from the prime minister's department.
After more than two hours of having their members’ statements taken, the Bible Society has urged the Christian community in Malaysia to remain calm.
The Selangor government had directed JAIS to defer to the Home Ministry.
But the federal government has passed the buck back to the state and the Sultan of Selangor, who also oversees religious affairs.
There remains strong opposition from certain Muslim groups, which marched to JAIS headquarters.
Jamal Md Yunos, spokesperson for Muslim groups, said: "The Home Ministry may have approved the Bibles in different languages but this is for states where there are now religious enactments.”
More than 100 people delivered a letter of support for JAIS, commending the body for seizing the Bibles, and also warning the Selangor government against defying the Sultan's wishes.