MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DAP wants ‘Allah’ Bibles returned to prisoners

Political parties in Sarawak have also been urged to state their stand on the seizure of bibles from the Sibu prison.
KUCHING: The issue of “Allah” and the Malay Bible is far from over. It has cropped up again when prison authorities seized hundreds of Malay and Iban-language Bibles with the word “Allah” from a prison in Sibu over the past few weeks.
This has not gone down well with the Christians who make up 44% of the state’s population.
And the Sarawak DAP has seized the opportunity to make political mileage by asking the candidates and political parties to make their stand.
Julian Tan, DAP candidate for Stampin, said that the Malay Bible has been published for more than 400 years in Sarawak. It is widely used in rural Sarawak especially among the natives.
“Why does this word ‘Allah’ suddenly become an issue?” asked Julian.
“The seizure by the authorities is an act of aggression infringing on our constitutional rights and freedom of religion as well as violating the rights of the indigenous Sarawakians who form about 44% of the state population,” he said.
“We condemn the Barisan Nasional government for this act of aggression and demand it return the copies of the Bible to the prison.
“The BN government must respect the rule of law and the Federal Constitution,” he said when commenting on the seizure of the Bibles.
The seizure was highlighted by FMT yesterday. According to the report, hundreds of Malay and Iban-language Bibles with the word “Allah” have been confiscated from a prison in Sibu in the past few weeks.
This is in spite of the Cabinet’s 2011 10-point formula, which allows the Bumiputera Christian population in Sabah and Sarawak to bring in and use their Bibles in Malay as well as in indigenous languages.
Major issues
Commenting on the issue, state DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen called on the seven candidates of Sarawak United People’s Party to make their stand on the seizure of the Bibles.
The SUPP candidates are Richard Riot (Serian), Yong Khoon Seng (Stampin), Tan Kai (Bandar Kuching), Ding Kuong Hiing (Sarikei), Vincent Lau (Sibu), Tiong Thai King (Lanang) and Sebastian Ting (Miri).
Chong specifically named his rival for Bandar Kuching, Tan Kai, to declare his stand as he (Tan Kai) is so concerned with hudud.
“He is so concerned about hudud, but not concerned about religious freedom. I think Tan Kai should make his stand on the seizure of the Bibles.”
Chong was referring to the challenge by Tan Kai who wanted to debate with him on the question of hudud – whether the implementation of Islamic law will affect the non-Muslims – at the Dewan Masyrakat, Kuching on May 2.
In rejecting the debate, Chong described the challenge by his rival on hudud as ridiculous.
“I want to debate with him on issues such as corruption, power abuses, wastages, education, high cost of living and national debts that affect the lives of the people,” he said.
“These are important issues affecting everybody. Tan Kai insisted that the debate should be on hudud alone and avoid major issues concerning the people,” he said.

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