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Thread: Religion: Allah Issue - Cfm media statement - jais raid on bsm - final - 3 jan 2013

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    DAP, PAS assemblymen take aim at Putrajaya, Selangor over seized Bibles


    APRIL 09, 2014

    The Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government and Putrajaya drew criticism from two of its assemblymen over the handling of the Bible seizure by the state religious affairs deparment (Jais).

    DAP’s Damansara assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin said the Selangor government and Putrajaya did not seem to be committed to resolving the issue.

    "Both seem to be trying to wash their hands off the issue. The Bible seizure issue is not a racial or religious issue but something which involves basic human rights which is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution," Yeo lamented debating the royal address.

    Yeo said Article 11 of the Federal Constitution guaranteed Malaysians the freedom to practice their respective religions.

    "The Al-Kitab (pic) and Bup Kudus which were seized from the offices of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) has become an issue being kicked here and there by the state government and Federal government.

    "This is a moral issue and authorities should not try to avoid it.

    "A proactive and sincere approach should be adopted to ensure the return of the 321 seized Al-Kitab and Bup Kudus as soon as possible," Yeo said.

    PAS Taman Templer assemblyman Zaidy Abdul Talib chided the state government over the issue.

    "The state government should set the example in properly administering to the needs of the various religions and races in Selangor."

    He said if Pakatan Rakyat was committed in its march towards Putrajaya via the "Kajang Move", the issue of handling various religious and ethnic issues should also be dealt with by the state government.

    "After several decades of independence, it is impossible we still do not understand cultural and religious traditions," Zaidy said.

    Selangor Menteri Besar last week drew criticism when he told the BSM to write to the Federal government to get back the seized Bibles.

    The BSM said the Selangor government was washing its hands of the problem and insisted it would not write to the AG.

    In a statement, BSM said that the Selangor government had made many promises to return the Bibles.

    "This problem was caused by a department of the Selangor state government," the BSM said.

    "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 Khalid's office."

    Describing the original raid by Jais as an "assault by Selangor authorities against the rights of the Christian community in the state," BSM urged the state government to correct this unjust situation.

    The BSM said it adhered to the 10-point solution.

    "We have imported the Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia many times over the past two years, and the Federal government has kept its side of the deal by having the Bibles promptly cleared and released without delay," BSM said.

    "Therefore, the action of Jais in raiding BSM and the move by the state government today, washing their hands of their responsibility, is a clear statement to the people of Selangor that Selangor rejects the 10-point solution," BSM said.

    The society also expressed its belief that the MB's statement showed that the state government does not intend to accord Christians in Selangor, as well as the rest of Malaysia, access to their holy books in the national language. – April 9, 2014.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Where’s Putrajaya’s Promise On ‘Allah’ Now? Sabah Clergyman Asks After Court Ruling

    Details Published on Monday, 05 May 2014 16:27

    Rev Datuk Jerry Dusing, who jointly filed the suit with his church, insisted that the High Court was mistaken in adopting the appellate court’s ruling as their case was completely different from the Herald case. /pic: Yusof Mat IsaKUALA LUMPUR - The federal government owes the Malay-speaking Christians in East Malaysia an explanation after the High Court ruled “Allah” is not integral to their worship, a senior Sabah evangelical church leader said today.

    A frustrated Datuk Jerry Dusing, president of the Sabah Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB), noted that the government had repeatedly promised not to interfere in the religious practices of the two Borneo states and had even drafted a 10-point deal in 2011 to solidify its guarantees to the Christian community.

    “Today, it has become a major issue, which they will have to explain to their constituents,” he told reporters after receiving the written judgement from the High Court Registrar’s office here.

    Earlier today, the High Court struck out Sabah SIB’s 2007 lawsuit against the Home Ministry for confiscating three boxes of Christian publications that contained the word “Allah”, citing last year’s Court of Appeal decision against the Catholic Church’s bid to publish the word in its weekly newspaper, Herald, as precedent.

    The High Court said it was bound by the decision of the superior court, which ruled in October last year that the use of “Allah” —the Arabic word for God - is not an integral part of the practice and faith of Christianity.

    Dusing, who jointly filed the suit with his church, insisted that the High Court was mistaken in adopting the appellate court’s ruling as their case was completely different from the Herald case.

    “In our opinion, SIB’s case concerning ‘Allah’ is much more broader than just a publication for just information to its own members.

    “In our opinion, the use of the word ‘Allah’ is very integral to the faith and practices of the Bahasa Malaysia communities in Sabah and Sarawak,” the preacher said indignantly.

    Dusing stressed that by validating the Home Minister’s action in seizing the publications, the High Court has brought into question the legality of the use of the word “Allah” in the entire practice of their faith.

    He maintained that the Bumiputera Christian communities in Sabah and Sarawak —- who form the bulk of Malaysia’s Christian population — have used the Malay language, along with the word “Allah to refer to God”, in the practice of their faith for generations.

    “These books were for children, but this also touches on our songs, our liturgy, even our sermons,” he said, adding that with the High Court choosing to the Court of Appeal ruling, “that means we have to re-educate our whole BM community”.

    “If English was the mode of education right from the beginning, then it would not be a problem, but Malaysia chose that the national language was BM, without any restrictions (in its usage) at the start,” he said.

    Dusing added that freedom to practise their faith was reaffirmed in the 20- and 18-point agreements signed between Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak prior to the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963.

    The senior church leader claimed that one of the things taken into account when the agreements were negotiated was the position of Christianity in both Sabah and Sarawak.

    “It was among the Bahasa community that the faith was very much alive, and we were at that time using the Malay language at that time.

    “History also points to the fact that we had already been using (Bahasa Malaysia) very much earlier, even before Islam came into the country we were using our own translations of the bible... and Allah was used, as part and parcel of our faith,” he said.

    The Sabah Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church filed its lawsuit on December 10, 2007, seeking to quash the Home Ministry’s decision to seize three boxes of Malay-language Christian educational books that contained the word “Allah”.

    The books, imported from Indonesia, were seized at the international budget airport terminal in Sepang on August 15, 2007 while in transit. They were later returned to the Sabah church on January 25, 2008.

    Sabah SIB’s case is one of a string of legal challenges initiated by the Malaysian Christian community against the federal government over alleged infringement of their constitutional right to freely practise their religions.

    On March 5, a seven-man panel in the Federal Court heard the Catholic Church’s application for leave to appeal a lower court ruling preventing the Herald from publishing the word “Allah”, but has postponed its decision indefinitely.

    One other outstanding lawsuit is by Sarawakian Christian, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, against the Home Ministry for seizing personal compact discs (CD) containing the word “Allah” back in May 2008.

    Jill, a Melanau, filed her suit on August 20, 2008 seeking to quash the Home Ministry’s seizure of her CDs and a declaration that she has the right to own, use and import materials containing the word “Allah”.

    The court is scheduled to review the ministry’s decision on May 15, nearly five years after she won leave for a judicial review in 2009.

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