Disclaimer: The following post contains elements of politics and religion. If you are offended (or are easily offended) on topics such as these, I suggest you do not continue reading. You have been warned.
As reported by Malaysiakini yesterday, a consignee assigned by a church organisation to collect the 30,000 copies of the Malay-language Bible has decided not to do so, because of the two conditions imposed by the Home Ministry. This issue has already been brought to light in the past few weeks for those following the current issue at hand.
Although the bibles we’re released, many Malaysians question the Home Ministry’s actions behind the seizing of the bibles. First and foremost, know that the bibles are in BM and were imported from Indonesia for the Christian communities in East Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak) as a good number of them are non-English speaking use Malay as a means of communication. So just what is government trying to say? Is the government saying that non-Christians who are not Muslims cannot read the Bible in BM? Why is that? Would Muslims be happy if similar restrictions were placed on the Quran?
A reader of Malaysiakini called Singa Pura Pura said that there is absolutely no legal basis or foundation for such an action by the home minister to prohibit the possession and/or reading of the Malay Bibles by Malaysians of any religion or to restrict their use to Christians only. Be it an advice, it would have been acceptable but it seemed more of an order than an advice.
According to Article 11 of the federal constitution, it gives non-Muslims the right to practice, administer and propagate their religion except to Muslims without any restrictions or qualifications whatsoever.
Even Parliament under Articles 149 and 150 cannot abrogate or limit the fundamental rights under Article 11. Any state Islamic enactment that seeks to do so is ultra-vires the federal constitution and unconstitutional. Only the propagation of non-Muslim religions to Muslims can be restricted but not the propagation of non-Muslim religions amongst non-Muslims themselves.
Reader Quigonbond asks why can’t Muslims read the Bible for knowledge if they want to? Is the government concerned that by reading the Bible alone, the Muslim reader will lose his/her faith in Islam? It’s rather insulting to Muslims. As I tweeted earlier this evening, if one has a strong faith no one can shake your belief. Bibles be it for whatever religion are meant to educate all human beings to practice good values of life. For people to treat the book of God with such disrespect is actually beyond my understanding. From what I understand, the first verse of the Rukunegara is ‘Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan’ which means ‘Believe in God’.
Wasn’t the government’s policy to ‘amalkan’ our national language, Bahasa Melayu? Oh so sorry, I meant Bahasa MALAYSIA. So now they’re against the use of printing the bible in Malay. What next? Are they’re gonna prohibit the printing of the Buddhist and Hindu scriptures in Malay? 1Malaysia indeed. As stated by Geronimo, first, they ban it. Then they want to label it. If these were not enough, one BN leader even suggested to have it printed locally with close supervision. If this is still not enough, now they want to serialise it. For Heaven’s sake, this is the Book of God. How could Umno leaders come to this level of humiliating God? I simply cannot understand.
Whatever your prediction of when the general election will be held – variously estimated as likely to happen in three months’ time (June 2011), or eight months’ time (November 2011), or 11 months’ time (February 2012), the precise dates doesn’t matter now. When the time comes, who will you vote for? Will you stay silent and let the current UMNO-led government suppress and repress the people? Or will you vote for change?
An insult to both Christians and Muslims [Malaysiakini]