Friday, April 15, 2011

Do Sarawakians of the Christian faith still want to vote for the BN?

All the work done by Najib to campaign for the state BN will probably end up in the ditch. This news is going to spread like wild fire to Sarawak. To hold protests one day before voting day, must be stupidity personified.

Muslim groups will protest tomorrow [April 15] against Putrajaya’s release of Malay-language bibles, after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak promised yesterday that his administration would never again impound bibles.

The Muslim Organisations in Defence of Islam (Pembela)’s protest here would occur a day before Sarawak, where half of its population is made up of Christians, goes to polls.

“We are organising the assembly to express our opinions and the voices of Muslim groups who represent the Muslim community to defend the sanctity of Islam as the country’s official religion,” said Pembela spokesman Dr Yusri Mohamad.

“The assembly is to protest the government’s action in allowing Bahasa Malaysia bibles, including the usage of the word ‘Allah’,” he added.

Yusri said Pembela also opposed the Najib administration’s decision to release 35,100 copies of the Alkitab that the Home Ministry had impounded at the Port Klang and Kuching ports.

“We see there are efforts and an inclination to dispute the position of Islam, so what we are doing is just to express our protest,” said Yusri.

“We want to defend the position of Islam in the country so that it is not disputed,” he added.

Pembela, a coalition of 20 Muslim bodies, will organise the protest after Friday prayers at the National Mosque tomorrow [April 15], said Yusri.

The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) picked up its cargo of 5,100 copies of the Alkitab from Port Klang last month, but said they would be preserved as museum pieces as a reminder of what it maintains was a deliberate government move to deface their holy book.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala said yesterday that the remaining 30,000 copies of the Alkitab have been collected by its importer, The Gideons.

Pembela said recently that the decision to allow the Alkitab to be freely distributed nationwide showed that the government was being manipulated by Christian groups.

The Muslim coalition also threatened to challenge Putrajaya’s 10-point solution on the bibles row in court.

Malay rights group Perkasa warned Christians last Sunday against asking that bibles be printed in Bahasa Malaysia, saying Malays have allowed non-Malays to make “excessive” demands.

But the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) said today it was unconvinced with the Najib administration’s 10-point solution to the Alkitab row, calling it “ad hoc and short term” and pointing out that it still did not address the impasse over the use of the word “Allah”.

CFM president Ng Moon Hing said while the 10-point solution had dealt with the impounding of the Alkitab, it had failed to address the root cause of Christian discontent – the prohibition of publications containing the word “Allah”.

The government is still locked in a legal dispute with the Catholic Church over the use of the word “Allah” to refer to God by non-Muslims, as Islamic enactments in 10 states prohibit this practice.

With the Sarawak polls looming this Saturday, the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration had sought to pacify the Christian community by ordering the release of the holy books, and later drafting the 10-point solution early this month to resolve all future disputes in the matter.

The solution, however, stipulates two separate sets of rules for Christians living on either side of the South China Sea.

For those in the east Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, the distribution and printing of such books have been allowed, due to the large Christian community.

Sarawak is home to the country’s largest Christian population.

But the Cabinet insisted that Malay-language bibles in the peninsula be marked with a cross and “Christian Publication” on the front cover.

[Source: Malaysian Insider]

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