Wednesday, August 17

Association of Churches lauds 10-point solution

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KUCHING: The Right Reverend Datuk Bolly Lapok, chairman of the Association of Churches in Sarawak and Anglican Bishop of Sarawak and Brunei describes the 10- point solution in the bible issue as “surprisingly exuding in generosity and sensitivity that characterises the Sarawakian culture”.

In a press statement yesterday, Bolly added that the Christian community here welcomed it even though it was “just an ointment for a symptom”.

“Our prayer is that the level of understanding and harmony amongst adherents of the different faiths in Malaysia would rise above the root-cause that ignited the dispute.

“Even more heartening is the government’s commitment to work with the churches to address inter-religious issues,” added Bolly. The consignee and importer of the bibles, James Redas, thanked Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala and the government for their understanding in settling the issue.

“We are also grateful to the media especially The Borneo Post for assisting us in highlighting the matter and getting the message through to the government,” added Redas.

He said it has been a challenging time for the Gideon community in Sarawak as it was very uncertain about the fate of the 30,000 bibles which it has imported from Indonesia.

“It has been sleepless nights for us and finally we are able to collect the bibles for our work among the local people who need them most,” he said.

They were commenting on the government’s 10-point solution which was released by Idris on Saturday and published by major newspapers yesterday.

With the 10-point solution, Bibles in all languages can be imported into the country, including Bahasa Malaysia.

Bibles can also be printed locally in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah.

Besides, the solution also provides for printing and import of bibles in the indigenous languages of Sabah and Sarawak such as Iban, Kadazan-Dusun and Lun Bawang.

In Sarawak and Sabah, there would be no conditions attached to the importation and local printing of the bibles in all languages.

Gideon, the importer can collect all the 30,000 bibles free of charge.

The Christian ministers in the cabinet will meet on a regular basis with representatives of the various Christian groups to discuss their issues and work with the relevant Ministries and Prime Minister in order to resolve them.

Idris had hoped that the 10-point solution will be received positively by the Christian groups as being fair and reasonable.

He also asked for reconciliation and forgiveness in the spirit of Lent.