Friday, March 18, 2011

Hishamuddin Must Apologise to Malaysians

DAP condemns the violation and defacement of the Al-Kitabs impounded by the Home Ministry in Port Klang and calls for the Home Minister to apologise to Malaysians nationwide on its complete lack of sensitivity

We read in horror in yesterday evening’s news in The Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini which reported that “Al-Kitab defaced” and “Port Klang’s BM Bibles ‘violated’”. The Bible Society of Malaysia has claimed that the 5,100 bibles which were seized two years ago have been stamped by the Home Minister with a serial number space and the text ‘“Al Kitab Berita Baik” ini untuk kegunaan penganut agama Kristian sahaja dengan perintah Menteri Dalam Negeri’.

The action above has been done without any consultation or agreement from the importer or the Church.

We condemn the complete lack of sensitivity of the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein in the actions taken by the Ministry which had added salt to injury already suffered by the Christian community in Malaysia. Firstly, their bibles have been impounded for no valid reasons, restricting their freedom of religion and now, their holy book is being treated as anything but holy by the authorities.

In addition, the insistence on serial numbers to “control” the circulation of these bibles are as if they are subversive documents which are a threat to national security. The titular head of the Malacca-Johor diocese, Catholic bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing have denounced the condition as “crass forms of censorship redolent of the communist era”.

The actions by the Barisan Nasional Government to date proves that the call for “1Malaysia” which promotes a multi-racial and multi-religious inclusive society under our federal constitution which guarantees freedom of religion under Article 11 which provides that every person has the right to profess and to practice his or her religion and (subject to applicable laws restricting the propagation of other religions to Muslims) to propagate it, is but an empty slogan.

We call upon the Home Minister to immediately apologise to all Malaysians for insulting the faith of the Christian community, and provide an unconditional guarantee that such incidences, including the arbitrary confiscation of Al-Kitabs will never again happen in the future.
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