Tuesday, June 15

Mais must discuss with Attorney-General over Bible seizure case — PM

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KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday urged the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) to discuss with the Attorney-General if it feels that the AG’s decision not to charge the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) over the Bible issue should be reviewed.

In a statement, Najib said the solution to the issue should be based on the provisions and spirit of the country’s constitution and law so it would be accepted by society.

“And then all quarters must respect the decision made,” he added.

The prime minister also said that the Selangor government, Mais and Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) which had full responsibility over the management and administration of Islamic affairs in the state, should decide whether to return the seized Bibles (to BSM) or otherwise.

“As enshrined in Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, Islam is the official religion of the federation and other religions can also be practised in this country.

“The Federal Constitution also safeguards the sanctity of Islam and Muslims from being influenced by the doctrines and teachings of other religions,” he said.

Najib said Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution also gave the federal government the power to control and prevent the preaching of doctrines and other religions to Muslims in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, and the same power to the state governments.

On Jan 2, Jais raided the BSM premises in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya and seized 300 copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and the Iban language and which used the word ‘Allah’, hence contravening the Control and Restriction on the Propagation of Non-Islamc Religions Enactment 1988.

However, on June 11, the Attorney-General announced that no charges would be made in the Bible seizure case, rendering the case closed. — Bernama