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Thursday, June 12, 2014

BIBLE ISSUE BACKFIRES ON SELANGOR

By SSK

In January this year, Jabatan Agama Islam Negeri Selangor (Jais) raided the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seized more than 300 Bibles that were published in the Malay and Iban languages.

This raid did not happen by chance based on ‘spot check’ (what the Malays would call kebetulan) but was done on purpose (which means it was a planned operation). Hence the only logically explanation would be that JAIS acted based on information or a tip-off.

Last week, the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, said that the Pakatan Rakyat Government of Selangor would give the Attorney-General (A-G) another month to resolve the controversy regarding the seizure of the Bibles by Jais.

This was certainly a most puzzling stand since JAIS is a Selangor agency that acts under the authority of the Selangor government and it acted according to Selangor state laws, not Federal laws. So why was the ball kicked to the A-G, metaphorically speaking?

Now the A-G’s Chambers (AGC) said that BSM has not committed any crime and that there will be no prosecution. The AGC also said that after reviewing the investigation papers submitted by JAIS, it believes that Section 9(1)(a) of the Non-Islamic Religion (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 does not apply to the items seized.

In short, according to the A-G, the BSM did not do anything wrong and the party that is in the wrong is JAIS. So JAIS would now have to apologise to BSM and return the seized Bibles.

This is certainly an interesting turn of events because over the last few months since January the opposition has been blaming the Federal government and has been criticising Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for ‘doing nothing’. In other words, the Federal government and the Prime Minister are at fault.

Today, it is clear that it is the Selangor state government or the agency under the state that erred, not the Federal government or the Prime Minister. And Selangor state is under Pakatan Rakyat, not Barisan Nasional.

The opposition always seeks to point fingers and blame the Federal government for everything that happens, even when what happens is the fault of Pakatan Rakyat. Maybe now Malaysians can see the shallow and immature politics being played by the opposition.

Will Pakatan Rakyat admit that they were wrong and publicly apologise to BSM? Most importantly, is it even within the opposition culture to admit their mistakes whenever they are mistaken?

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