Saturday, 16 April 2011

PRESS STATEMENTS regarding the Bahasa Melayu/Malaysia Bible (Al-Kitab) issue in Malaysia in March and April 2011

For ease of reading, I've compiled selected press statements regarding the Al-Kitab issue.

Jason Kay


10 March 2011- Media Statement By CFM - Detention of Bahasa Malaysia Bibles Yet Again


The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) is greatly disillusioned, fed-up and angered by the repeated detention of Bibles written in our national language, Bahasa Malaysia. This time yet again at the Port of Kuching in Sarawak.

30,000 copies of the "Perjanjian Baru, Mazmur dan Amsal" i.e. the "New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs" are currently being withheld.

This is notwithstanding that the Government in its attempt to to justify its position against the use of the word "Allah" in the Alkitab, the Government had given the assurance that the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia, will be freely available, at least in Sabah and Sarawak.

Since March 2009, all attempts to import the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia, i.e. the Alkitab, whether through Port Klang or the Port of Kuching, have been thwarted.

The previous consignment of 5,000 copies of the Alkitab imported in March 2009 is still being held by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Port Klang. This is despite repeated appeals which resulted in the Prime Minister making a decision to release the Alkitab held in Port Klang in December 2009 which was reported to CFM leaders by several Cabinet Ministers and their aides.

In absolute disregard of this decision, the 5,000 copies of the Alkitab remain detained. The Prime Minister when told about the continued detention of these 5,000 Bibles at a hi-tea event last Christmas expressed surprise that the order to release the same held in Port Klang had not been implemented. However, nothing has been done by the authorities to ensure their release.

Prior to March 2009, there were several incidents where shipments of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia were detained. Each time tedious steps had to be taken to secure their release. It would appear as if the authorities are waging a continuous, surreptitious and systematic programme against Christians in Malaysia to deny them access to the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia.

Malaysian Christians, many of whom have grown up with Bahasa Malaysia as their principal medium of communication as a result of the Government's education policies, must have access to Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia in order to read, comprehend and practise their faith.

The freedom of religion guaranteed as part of the fundamental liberties under our Federal Constitution is rendered meaningless if adherents to a religion are denied access to their religious texts in a language that they can understand.

It is an affront to them that they are being deprived of their sacred Scriptures. Many are wondering why their Scriptures are considered a threat to national security. All these actions in relation to the detention of the Bibles continue to hurt the Malaysian Christian community.

We would ask how the Government's transformation programme can be successfully implemented if civil servants can blatantly refuse to obey the Prime Minister's order? Is the Government powerless to act against these "little Napoleons" who substitute their own interests and agenda in place of the Prime Minister's directives?

We call upon the Government to act now and prove their sincerity and integrity in dealing with the Malaysian Christian community on this and all other issues which we have been raising with them since the formation of the Christian Federation of Malaysia in 1985.

As an immediate step, we insist upon the immediate release of all Bibles which have been detained.

Bishop Ng Moon Hing
Chairman and the Executive Committee,
Christian Federation of Malaysia


23 March 2011 - Statement by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala - New stamp for Bible copies


Full text of the statement by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala is below:

PETALING JAYA: The 35,100 impounded Bahasa Malaysia Bibles will be released without the need to be numbered, but will be stamped “For Christianity”, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

The announcement is a major move as the Home Ministry had earlier used the stamp “For Christians Only” on copies of the Bible held at Port Klang and Kuching.

Church groups had protested against the decision, saying it would be unconstitutional and deprive people of other faiths from reading the Bible.

“The Government has agreed to issue a directive so that future Bibles in Bahasa can be brought in, as long as they have the words “For Christianity,” Jala added in a statement yesterday.

He said copies of the Bible were not being singled out and that imported copies of the Quran were also checked to see if they were authorised copies and stamped with serial numbers before they were released.

The minister, who is a Christian, said the Government urged Christian groups to collect copies of the Bible at the ports.

“The focus should be in getting the Bibles into the hands of people who want to read them,” he said.

Jala added that the groups could choose to put a sticker “For Christianity” over the serial number and the stamp “For Christians Only” in the impounded copies of the Bible, and the impound costs would be paid by Christian sponsors.

Alternatively, Christian sponsors would pay for the import of new copies with the words “For Christianity” printed at the source, he said.

“This is a fair and reasonable solution from the Government and with the help of Christian donors, all 35,100 copies are to be released at no cost to the importers,” he said.

According to the statement, a special Cabinet committee had met on March 17 to find a solution to the matter, taking into account the polarity of views between Christians and Muslims.

Jala said he and the Attorney-General had met with Christian groups the following day to present the proposed solution, adding that the Government wanted to resolve the issue amicably in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia.

On his role in helping to sort out the matter, Jala said he was requested to discuss with the Christian groups in his capacity as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (not as CEO of Pemandu), as a Christian and more importantly as the only Cabinet minister who was not a member of any political party.

THE following is the full press statement by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala on the Bahasa Malaysia Bible issue:

The Government wishes to reiterate that, since March 15, it had given the directive to release all Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia which had been impounded in Port Klang and Kuching.

However, to date, the Christian groups who imported the Bibles have yet to collect them because they do not accept the stamps and the serialisation on these Bibles.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein mentioned that the act of stamping and serialisation was standard protocol.

For example, Qurans imported into the country are also checked to ensure they are authorised, and are stamped with serial numbers before they are released.

Qurans which are not authorised are impounded and destroyed.

The act of stamping and serialisation of the Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and the Qurans should not be perceived as desecration of holy scriptures.

A special Cabinet committee on this matter comprising the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Home Minister, Unity Minister, Minister in the PM's Department

(Law and Parliamentary Affairs), Religious Affairs Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department/CEO of Pemandu and the Attorney-General (AG) met on March 17 to discuss the issues at hand and find a fair and amicable solution.

The solution should take into account the polarity of views between the Christians and Muslims within the context of the existing laws of the country.

Subsequently, on March 18, Jala and Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, the Attorney-General, met with representatives from the Christian Federation of Malaysia, the Council of Churches of Malaysia, and other relevant Christian groups together with their legal advisors.

At this meeting, Jala said: “AG and I presented on behalf of the Government what we believe is a workable solution for all parties.”

The solution put forward by the Government is as follows:
  • The BM Bibles currently impounded in Kuching and Port Klang will be released with the words “For Christianity” stamped clearly in Arial font, size 16, in bold. No other words or serial numbers will be stamped on the Bibles.
  • To ensure that there is no misrepresentation in its implementation by civil servants, the Government will issue a directive from the director-general of the Home Ministry. As with all similar directives, failure to comply with this directive will subject the relevant officers to disciplinary action under the General Orders.
  • To highlight the Government's commitment to resolving this issue amicably, the Government has received an offer from Christian donors who are prepared to pay for the cost of all the Bibles that have already been stamped and serialised.

These BM Bibles can either be released in their present state (with stamps and serial numbers) or arrangements can be made to put stickers with the words “For Christianity” to cover the existing stamps and serial numbers. The choice is for the importers of these Bibles.

In the event they do not wish to take possession of these impounded Bibles in the present state, the Christian donors will pay for the full cost of new Bibles to be brought in with the words “For Christianity” printed at source or stamped with these words “For Christianity” by the Home Ministry at Port Klang and Kuching.

At the end of this meeting, the representatives from Christian groups requested time to meet and discuss, and have advised the Government that they would revert on their decision as soon as practicable.

Jala said: “In presenting the above solution, the AG and I have been authorised by the Prime Minister and the special Cabinet committee to convey the Government's proposed solutions to the Christian groups.”

He further clarified: “I was requested to discuss this matter with the Christian groups in my capacity as Minister in the PM's Department (not as CEO of Pemandu), as a Christian and, more importantly, as the only Cabinet minister who is not a member of any political party.

“The Government wants this matter to be resolved amicably in a non-partisan manner and in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia. The AG's involvement is obviously necessary because we have to ensure that the solution must be in the context of the existing laws of the country.”

The Government urges the Christian groups to collect the Bibles immediately for three reasons:
  • The focus should be on getting the Bibles into the hands of people who want to read them; it has been established that the Home Ministry is not singling out the Bibles for stamping and serialisation because this is also the same practice as they appear in the Quran.
  • Notwithstanding (1) above, an arrangement has been made by the Government with the help of Christian donors to pay for the cost of all 30,000 impounded Bibles in Kuching and the 5,100 Bibles in Port Klang. The importer can take these Bibles completely free of charge. If the Christian groups do not wish to take the Bibles, then the Christian donors have agreed to pay for the cost of bringing in new Bibles as replacement and these will be printed or stamped with the words “For Christianity”.
  • The Government has agreed to issue a directive so that future Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia can be brought in as long as these have the words “For Christianity” in Arial font, size 16 either printed at source or stamped at the receiving port.
Finally, Jala said: “This is a fair and reasonable solution from the Government and with the help of Christian donors, all 35,100 Bibles are to be released completely free of charge at no cost at all to the importers. “In addition, by virtue of the Government directive, there is an assurance from the Government that future Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia can be imported and released with the words For Christianity'.” Bernama


30 March 2011- Kenyataan Media Pertubuhan-pertubuhan Pembela Islam (PEMBELA) - Mempertahankan Kedaulatan Islam di Malaysia dalam Menangani Isu Bible Bahasa Melayu

Kenyataan ini dibuat memandangkan sikap kumpulan-kumpulan Kristian akhir-akhir ini yang terlalu provokatif dan melampau-lampau dalam menangani isu Bible Bahasa Melayu. Sikap dan cara ini yang tercermin dalam tindakan membuat laporan polis secara berkumpulan serta pelbagai kenyataan-kenyataan kasar yang amat menghiris hati umat Islam di negara ini. Keadaan ini jika dibiarkan akan membawa kepada salah satu daripada dua kemungkinan yang buruk; sama ada, pertamanya, tekanan dan provokasi berterusan ini akan menyebabkan para pemimpin politik negara akan merasa lemah dan mengalah lalu memberi apa sahaja yang diminta oleh kumpulan ekstrimis ini tanpa mengira kedudukan dan kedaulatan Islam di dalam perlembagaan, sejarah dan budaya negara atau yang kedua, provokasi dan pelanggaran berterusan terhadap perasaan dan sensitiviti umat Islam ini akan mencetuskan ketegangan dan mengundang reaksi daripada kelompok Islam yang mungkin sukar dikawal dan dibendung oleh sesiapa.

Atas kesedaran ini, kami pimpinan-pimpinan pertubuhan-pertubuhan Islam utama dan arus perdana negara ini telah bersatu di bawah Pertubuhan-pertubuhan Pembela Islam (PEMBELA) yang berperanan sebagai platform penting dalam menyelaraskan suara umat Islam demi mengelakkan senario-senario buruk seperti yang dihimbau di atas.

PEMBELA menegaskan bahawa umat Islam di negara ini adalah umat berdaulat. Islam di Malaysia bukannya anak yatim piatu ataupun anak tiri yang tiada penjaga dan pelindung. Di samping perlindungan hakiki daripada Allah Rabbul Jalil, Islam di Malaysia sejak sekian lama dan sebelum Merdeka lagi telah menempati kedudukan yang istimewa dan dilindungi oleh perlembagaan, undang-undang, Raja-Raja Melayu, para pemerintah dan umatnya. Ini menjadi salah satu faktor asasi disebalik kestabilan dan kemakmuran negara walaupun berhadapan dengan komposisi kaum dan agama yang begitu rencam dan pelbagai. Walaupun masih terdapat sedikit-sebanyak kelemahan dan kegelinciran, umat Islam di Malaysia masih setia mempertahankan persefahaman ini demi keamanan, kemakmuran dan keadilan untuk semua. Tetapi harus diingat, jika formula ini hendak diganggu-gugat oleh sesiapa atau mahu digadaikan untuk kepentingan sementara mana-mana kumpulan, PEMBELA dan umat Islam tidak akan hanya berdiam diri dan akan berjuang untuk mempertahankan apa yang hak.

Khusus berkenaan dengan isu terkini iaitu sejumlah Bible berbahasa Melayu yang hendak dibawa masuk ke negara kita, PEMBELA menegaskan pandangan dan pendirian berikut :-

1. Kepada Pihak Kumpulan-kumpulan Kristian.

Kami ingin mempersoalkan sampai ketahap manakah mereka hendak memprovokasi dan memanipulasi isu ini? Adakah mereka tidak sedar bahawa tindakan mereka ini amat menghiris perasaan umat Islam?

PEMBELA menuntut agar kumpulan-kumpulan Kristian terbabit kembali menghormati persefahaman yang ada di kalangan penganut-penganut agama yang berdasarkan Perlembagaan negara, peruntukan undang-undang dan pelbagai keputusan-keputusan rasmi. Ini termasuklah Artikel 3(1), 11(4) dan enakmen-enakmennya, Keputusan Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan dalam isu kalimah Allah, larangan Mahkamah terhadap penggunaan kalimah Allah selagi rayuan belum diputuskan, dan Keputusan Kabinet 1986 tentang import masuk Bible berbahasa Melayu.

PEMBELA berpendapat bahawa kumpulan 35,000 Bible tersebut tidak patut dibenarkan untuk edaran kerana bercanggah dengan peruntukan-peruntukan di atas. Keputusan awal kerajaan sudah merupakan suatu kompromi yang sebenarnya sudah melampaui peruntukan-peruntukan ini. Oleh itu sikap keras dan degil pihak Kristian terhadap keputusan awal kerajaan ini adalah sangat-sangat mendukacitakan. Apatah lagi jika diambil-kira kitab Al-Quran sendiri dikawal cetakan dan sebarannya oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN). Ini adalah prosedur biasa dan menuduhnya sebagai suatu kesalahan besar yang mencemar kesucian Bible adalah suatu tuduhan yang liar dan tidak bertanggungjawab.

PEMBELA juga menyeru agar kumpulan-kumpulan Kristian menghentikan pendekatan konfrontasi dan sebaliknya menggunakan saluran perbincangan yang ada seperti Jawatankuasa Kerja Mempromosi Persefahaman Keharmonian Antara Penganut Agama (JKMPKAPA) yang ditubuhkan oleh kerajaan dan turut disertai oleh kami. Kami menegaskan, jikalau mereka berterusan hendak mengambil pendekatan konfrontasi dan garis keras, kami mungkin mengambil keputusan untuk menarik diri daripada jawatankuasa tersebut.

PEMBELA juga menuntut suatu permohonan maaf kepada umat Islam di atas pelbagai kenyataan dan tindakan yang sebahagiannya telah menggores hati umat Islam sepanjang isu ini.

2. Kepada Para Pemimpin Politik.

PEMBELA menegaskan kepada semua pemimpin politik tanpa mengira parti agar jangan sekali-kali menggadaikan kedaulatan Islam kerana tekanan sokongan politik. Kalaupun tunduk kepada tekanan politik boleh membawa hasil sementara, tetapi dalam jangka panjang ia akan meruntuhkan paksi pembinaan negara-bangsa dan turut merugikan semua pihak.

Kami juga sangat tidak selesa dengan pendekatan membiarkan para pemimpin bukan Islam yang ke hadapan menjadi jurucakap bagi pihak Kerajaan mahupun Pembangkang dalam isu ini. Oleh kerana ianya melibatkan isu Islam, sepatutnya pemimpin beragama Islam lebih terkehadapan dalam menangani isu ini. Pemimpin bukan Islam nampaknya sering berlebih-lebihan dan kurang berhati-hati dalam kenyataan-kenyataan yang dibuat. Sebagai contohnya kami merujuk kepada beberapa kenyataan yang dibuat oleh Dato’ Seri Idris Jala di pihak kerajaan dan terbarunya oleh YB Tony Phua, Ketua Publisiti DAP.

PEMBELA juga menegaskan pengundi majoriti di negara ini adalah umat Islam. Berdasarkan senario mutakhir ini, kami memutuskan untuk menggerakkan kempen kesedaran di kalangan pengundi Islam di negara untuk menolak mana-mana pemimpin yang terlalu berkompromi dengan prinsip kedaulatan Islam di Malaysia. Untuk tujuan itu, kami akan memantau serius setiap kenyataan dan tindakan setiap tokoh politik dalam isu-isu seumpama ini.

Akhirnya, PEMBELA akan mengemukakan satu memorandum khas berkenaan isu ini kepada pihak Yang Di Pertuan Agong dan Majlis Raja-raja Melayu. Kami amat berharap Duli-duli Tuanku sebagai Ketua Agama Islam di negara ini akan bertindak untuk mengawalnya dari sampai ke tahap yang lebih buruk dan tidak terkawal. PEMBELA juga menyeru kepada semua warganegara Malaysia yang patriotik dan cintakan negara ini agar kembali insaf tentang persepakatan tentang kedudukan Islam di negara ini dan menghentikan segala bentuk provokasi dan manipulasi isu-isu agama di negara kita ini.

Gabungan Pertubuhan-pertubuhan di bawah PEMBELA:

Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM)
Gerak Massa Malaysia (GESSA)
Ikatan Badan Amal Islami Wilayah Persekutuan (IKATAN)
Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA)
Institut Pengajian Tradisional Islam (IPTI)
Interactive Muslimah Association (IMAN)
Islamic and Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI)
Kesatuan Pondok Islamiyah Malaysia (ITMAM)
Persatuan al-Hunafa (Al-Hunafa)
Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM)
Persatuan Peguam Muslim Malaysia (PPMM)
Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM)
Persatuan Al-Hidayah (Al-Hidayah)
Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia (MUAFAKAT)
Pertubuhan Kebajikan Darul Islah Malaysia (PERKID MALAYSIA)
Research and Information Centre on Islam (RICOI)
Teras Pengupayaan Melayu (TERAS)
Yayasan Kubra
Yayasan Sofa


02 April 2011 - Statement from the Office of Datuk Seri Idris Jala

APRIL 2 — The government confirmed that it has been in dialogue with the Christian groups to look into their specific requests on the Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia Bible and also other religious issues. Taking into account the polarity of views of the different religious groups, including the Muslims, the government decided on a 10-point solution.

1. Bibles in all languages can be imported into the country, including Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia

2. These bibles can also be printed locally in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. This is a new development which should be welcome by the Christian groups.

3. Bibles in indigenous languages of Sabah and Sarawak such as Iban, Kadazan-Dusun and Lun Bawang can also be printed locally and imported.

4. For Sabah and Sarawak, in recognition of the large Christian community in these states, there are no conditions attached to the importation and local printing of the bibles in all languages, including Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia and indigenous languages. There is no requirement for any stamp or serial number.

5. Taking into account the interest of the larger Muslim community, for Peninsular Malaysia, bibles in Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia, imported or printed, must have the words “Christian Publication” and the cross sign printed on the front covers.

6. In the spirit of 1 Malaysia and recognising that many people travel between Sabah and Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, there should be no prohibitions and restrictions for people who bring along their bibles and Christian materials on such travel.

7. A directive on the Bible has been issued by the Ketua Setiausaha (secretary-general) of the Home Ministry to ensure proper implementation of this Cabinet decision. Failure to comply will subject the officers to disciplinary action under the General Orders. A comprehensive briefing by top officials, including the Attorney-General, will be given to all relevant civil servants to ensure good understanding and proper implementation of the directive.

8. For the impounded bibles in Kuching, Gideon, the importer can collect all the 30,000 bibles free of charge. We undertake to ensure the parties involved are reimbursed. The same offer remains available for the importer of the 5,100 bibles in Port Klang, which have already been collected by the Bible Society Malaysia last week.

9. Beyond the Bible issue, the government wishes to reiterate its commitment to work with the Christian groups and all the different religious groups in order to address inter religious issues and work towards the fulfilment of all religious aspirations in accordance with the constitution, taking into account the other relevant laws of the country. In order to bring urgency to this work, the Prime Minister will meet the representatives of the Christian Federation of Malaysia soon to discuss the way forward.

10. The Christian ministers in the Cabinet will meet on a regular basis with representatives of the various Christian groups in order to discuss their issues and work with the relevant ministries and PM in order to resolve them.

Datuk Seri Idris Jala said: “I hope this 10-point solution will be received positively by the Christian groups as being fair and reasonable. We have to look for a solution that deals with the Bible issues and also put a way forward to handle other issues raised by the Christian groups”.

“I think the Bible issue is very unfortunate, and in the spirit of Lent, it is time for sacrifice, reconciliation and forgiveness. In our history as a young nation, we achieved a lot in a short period of time, but we have our shortcomings. The government and our civil servants are not perfect as indeed all human beings are ‘beautifully imperfect’ in the eyes of God. And for all our shortcomings in handling the Bible issue, I hope the Christians would find it in their hearts to forgive us. In my church at SIBKL, we have been praying for a Christian revival to take place in our country. For all the hurt that exists as a result of our differences, I believe that we need healing, forgiveness and reconciliation in this country. The Bible says in Matthew 18: 21-22 ‘Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times’.”

Datuk Seri Idris Jala is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.


08 April 2011- CCM Youth press release - Uphold Democratic Principles: Full Freedom, Full Rights - No To 10-Point Proposal

Kuala Lumpur – 8 April 2011. CCM Youth issued a press release today expressing their views in response to the various press statements issued by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (“CFM”), the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (“NECF”), the 10-point solution as proposed by Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala (“10-Point Proposal”) Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, and comments made in the media by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and various parties.


The 10-Point Proposal presumed that Christians were only concerned with the Alkitab issue. That premise is incorrect. The 10-Point Proposal distracted both the public and the church leaders from getting to the heart of the matter, that is, the concern over the overt and covert manner which the government had discriminated against the Christian citizenry for close to forty (40) years that had resulted in the gradual deterioration of basic rights of Christians to freely exercise their faith.


CCM Youth denounced deplorable accusations that Christians were not being “fair” or “reasonable” in resolving the Alkitab matter. CCM Youth disclosed that the Malaysian government had unreasonably and unjustly acted in bad faith since the early 1970s to-date against the Christian community. Among some examples were:

  • Gradual erosion of the control of mission schools which included even the physical removal of words such as “Holy” and crosses from schools, even though the land, building and board of governors belonged to the church;
  • Removing or disallowing “Christian Fellowships” from being recognized as societies in schools and universities;
  • Harassing and transferring out Christian teachers found teaching Bible Knowledge, a legitimate examinable subject for the SPM;
  • Gazetting the AlKitab, the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, as a threat to national security under the Internal Security Act;Denying the use of the word “Allah” for the Christian God, even though it had been used by indigenous groups way before independence, and being the only Muslim country in the world to do so despite wide Arab usage;
  • Denying Christians land to operate churches or cemeteries.
And the list goes on.

CCM Youth was saddened that Christians today were openly abused, harassed and provoked in the media and encouraged by the government, with all sorts of erroneous information being placed on official government websites put up as decrees; linking activities from Valentine’s Day to ‘poco-poco’ to crosses on football jerseys, to Christian beliefs without so much as a dialogue or a clarification with the Christian community. So much so that even the Islamic government machinery, with nods from cabinet ministers, the Home Ministry and state governments, unashamedly encouraged over-zealous religious officers and Islamic-based NGOs, to propagate and sow seeds of hatred towards the Christian community.

CCM Youth was informed that recently a group of students went for an excursion to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, and were denied entry just because their uniform had a cross. After so many years of racial-religious polarisation under the hands of government machinery, religious and racial bigotry is now blatantly practised and widely nurtured in government departments against Christians.

CCM Youth believed that the 10-Point Proposal was superfluous as Christian citizens were not asking for anything extra, but for their basic constitutional rights, enshrined in the Federal Constitution, to be respected and honoured.


CCM Youth opined that it was ludicrous to deny Malaysian Christian citizens the right to use the country’s national language for the purposes of exercising their faith. On the one hand, non-Malay citizens are often criticized for their purported lack of loyalty when they did not speak Bahasa Malaysia, but when they did, like in this case in order to read the Bible, which they had been doing for generations, they were denied that right! CCM Youth reiterated that as citizens of this country, it was their God-given birthright, which “should not be given up, negotiated, traded away, nor ‘sold for a bowl of pottage’ ”, being simply rushed into just because Christian leaders were offered a “quick-fix” solution to the immediate problems that were originally created by unjust parties.


CCM Youth decried attempts to create a “Band-Aid” compromise solution that did not carry the weight of law. If the Malaysian government were truly sincere, there would not be a need for a 10-Point Proposal. Insofar as this matter was concerned, all the government needed to do was to instruct the Home Ministry to drop its appeal on the “Allah” issue, which the Catholic Church won on 31 December 2009 when it took the case to the High Court. This action would immediately lead to the withdrawal of the Allah and the Alkitab from any further restrictions in the country. CCM Youth urged the government to uphold democratic principles and not play games by taking a round-about route that did not reflect their sincerity.


The 10-Point Proposal served only to promote disunity amongst Christians, playing to the ruling government’s “divide-and-rule” tune. CCM Youth questioned how it could be plausible for a 1Malaysia, yet a 2-Bible and 3-Rule solution? If at all, it only cemented CCM Youth’s opinion that 1Malaysia had been nothing but political rhetoric. If Christian leaders had agreed to this proposal, the Orang Asal of Sabah and Sarawak would have one rule; while believers in the Peninsula, including the Orang Asli, would have another rule. Should Christians subject themselves to such confusion and be manipulated to accept such terms? Likewise, by agreeing to such terms now, would Christians then forfeit the right to resolve future outstanding matters beyond the Alkitab issue?


Time and time again, the Christian community have been given assurances but only to be disappointed later on. CCM Youth urged church leaders to be wise, for what had been dressed as compromise could turn out to be an entrapment – “Even the elect were deceived, if that were possible.” CCM Youth pointed out that they were well aware that there were many obstacles ahead, and they understood the “card game was in the hands” of the government. Even if the Federal government gave the impression of giving way, they could fall back on the state government machinery that would kick in and take that to another gear which involved harassing book stores, printers, forwarding agents, schools and so on, located in affected states.


CCM Youth urged church leaders to take their time and not to be in a hurry. It was imperative that they did not fail future generations, or act in a manner that could adversely undermine or enslave future generations from practising their faith freely. CCM Youth urged church leaders to remain faithful and to take as much time as they needed to ponder and to ask pertinent questions without compromising the faith. Otherwise, future generations would return to remind past generations of leaders of "compromises" made today, or that the church leaders held silent when they could have spoken up, having restrained themselves from pursuing justice when they had the opportunity to do so. CCM Youth urged church leaders not to worry about having to come to a decision by the CFM’s Biennial General Meeting on April 14, 2011, but to take ample time to pray and seek the Lord before coming to a decision.

CCM Youth reminded church leaders that even the youths today were still learning the full extent of the rights that had been eroded to-date as events unfolded, and CCM Youth would endeavour to support church leaders to their best of abilities to recover that which was lost, and hand over full freedom to future generations as their legacy.


With due respect to Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala, CCM Youth raised concerns that there were no assurances that he had the full weight of the cabinet behind him in this regard, given the underlying tones and lack of media support from cabinet ministers. Even the Prime Minister himself had been strangely silent. From remarks given by the Home Minister and various “shadow gatekeepers”, there had been no assurance that the relevant ministries would honour any form of agreement. What remained consistent so far had been the consistency of the government’s inconsistencies. The danger of flip-flops was not a probability, but a given. CCM Youth believed that this rush to force a solution was inadvertently linked to the outcome of the Sarawak elections and the potential impact from its Christian majority population. CCM Youth observed that it was this careless ‘short-term opportunistic’ attitude of the government for political expediency that had made them wary of such overtures and advised church leaders to exercise greater caution under such circumstances. If the government were sincere in addressing the grievances of the Christian community, CCM Youth believed that nothing less than the coming together of a task force from the Prime Minister’s Department, the Home Ministry, the Attorney General, the Education Ministry and all state governments and Islamic departments had to take place.


CCM Youth pointed out that it was Datuk Seri Idris Jala who apologized. So far, no official statement of apology had been offered by any ministry, especially none was forthcoming from the Home Minister, the main protagonist who directed the stamping of the Bibles. The public ought to know that this entire episode of the desecration of the Christian’s Holy Scriptures happened during the holy month of LENT which precedes and commemorates the Lord Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and celebrates His resurrection. If an opportunity presented itself for reconciliation and restoration to properly right the grave wrong committed, CCM Youth would certainly offer forgiveness. Obviously, the situation had yet to present itself.


CCM Youth noted that except for Datuk Seri Idris Jala, many Christian cabinet ministers have kept silent. One cabinet minister even called Christians foolish for holding prayer rallies. CCM Youth challenged cabinet ministers to be faithful and to choose today whom they served – whether God or man.

CCM Youth reiterated that they were not being unreasonable, audaciously demanding or stirring trouble. CCM Youth regretted that for a long time, the Church had remained silent, having compromised when it should not have. In good faith, church leaders had been drawn into endless unproductive closed-door meetings, given verbal promises and handshake agreements that never materialized. Unfortunately for the Church, Christian goodwill had not been reciprocated, and closed door agreements never honoured. The recent desecration of the AlKitab was the last straw.

CCM Youth called upon all Christians today to rally firmly behind their Christian leaders as they worked towards a resolution for the community. CCM Youth urged the Christian community to uphold their leaders in prayer more fervently.

CCM Youth reiterated that they remained committed to nation-building and bringing about justice, peace and reconciliation for all Malaysians and migrants, and would stop at nothing to bring about change for the betterment of all peoples regardless of creed, race or religion, through proclaiming truth and bringing about justice and transformation to the nation.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Chai
CCM Youth
April 8, 2011
Media Contact details:
Persons to contact – Daniel Chai 012 3986776 and Elaine Teh 016 221 7894


14 April 2011 - CFM Media Statement - 10-Point Solution Ad Hoc And Short-Term Resolution


The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) takes note of the Prime Minister's letter dated 11 April 2011 in relation to the collective decision of the Cabinet on the 10-point solution to address the Alkitab or Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia Bible and other related issues.

We consider the 10-point solution to be an ad hoc and short-term resolution to the two consignments of Alkitab which have been impounded at Port Klang and the Port of Kuching.

We reiterate that the Bible is our Holy Scripture and it is our right to read, study and pray with it in the language of our choice as freedom of religion is enshrined under our Federal Constitution.

The 10-point solution deals with the impounding of the Alkitab but not with the prohibition of publications containing the word "Allah". The root cause of the problem of the impounding of the Alkitab lies in the following:

1. The 1982 prohibition of the Alkitab and the 1983 prohibition of the Perjanjian Baru under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) on the grounds that the Alkitab is prejudicial to national interest and the security of Malaysia.

2. The 1986 administrative order prohibiting the use of the term "Allah" in Christian publications on the grounds of public order and prevention of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.

3. The Garis Panduan of the Bahagian Kawalan Penerbitan dan Teks Al-Quran of the Ministry of Home Affairs prohibiting the use of the word "Allah".

In this regard we refer to item 9 of the 10-point solution which reiterates the Government's commitment to address religious issues. The Government, therefore, should take immediate steps to remove the root causes by revoking the orders made under the ISA and the administrative order and to amend the Garis Panduan to remove the prohibition.

The "one country two policies" approach is confusing and unacceptable. We look forward to working with the Government to address other long standing issues affecting the Christian community including the relevant provisions in the State Enactments.

Yours sincerely,
Bishop Ng Moon Hing
Chairman and the Executive Committee,
Christian Federation of Malaysia


March 31, 2011- Bible Society collects stamped Alkitab — as museum piece

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Despite denouncing the federal government for “desecrating” 5,000 Malay bibles with the Home Ministry’s seal, the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) has finally picked up its two-year-old cargo worth RM70,000 from Port Klang.

The importer said the stamped and serialised bibles, which it collected yesterday, cannot be sold and will instead be preserved as museum pieces and a reminder to future generations of Malaysian Christians of what it maintains was a deliberate and unjustified government move to deface their holy book.

“The 5,000 copies of the Alkitab that has been defaced by KDN (the Home Ministry) cannot be sold to Christian buyers.

“Instead, they will be respectfully preserved as museum pieces and as a heritage for the Christian Church in Malaysia,” the BSM said in a statement last night.

It was silent on the present location of the holy books and the Christian museum.

When contacted, the society’s general secretary, Reverend Simon Wong, told The Malaysian Insider the details would be disclosed later, but gave no date.

BSM said it decided collect the bibles because it feared the ministry may carry out what it considered further acts of desecration or disrespect on the bibles which it had seized from port on March 20, 2009.

The society pointed to the ministry’s officials who hastily moved to stamp and serialise every copy without first consulting its organisation two weeks ago.

BSM also rejected the Cabinet’s offer for certain Christian donors to reimburse BSM for the costs of the marked cargo, valued at RM70,000.

The government’s Christian minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, in his statement on March 22, said that certain Christian donors had also offered to fully replace, free of charge, the two marked cargoes at Port Klang and Kuching, which had been seized and detained by home ministry officials.

“Concerning the offer to compensate BSM for the costs of this shipment, BSM wishes to make its stand clear that BSM will only accept a cheque from KDN and will not accept any money from so-called ‘Christian donors’,” it said.

Earlier yesterday, the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) rejected the federal government’s overture in the Alkitab row, saying it did not resolve the core issue which is the erosion of basic human rights protected by the Federal Constitution.

The umbrella body representing over 90 per cent of churches here was referring specifically to Putrajaya’s offer to mask the Home Ministry’s stamp and serial numbering of 35,100 copies of the Malay bibles shipped in from Indonesia last week, as laid down last week by Jala, who is in charge of government and economic transformation.

“Our position is that there should be no restrictions, proscriptions or prohibitions whatsoever on the bible or the use of the language of our choice in the practice of our religion, as it was in the days before and after the formation of Malaysia,” CFM said in a statement here today, adding that the Alkitab issue was not the only restriction.

It noted that there has been a “systematic and progressive pushing back” of Christian rights — dating back to the 1980s — namely the right to practise, profess and express their faith.

It pointed to a series of restrictions imposed on Christians, such as the freedom to wear and openly display religious symbols, like the cross; the building of churches; and even what words can be used in a Christian religious context.

CFM, however, had said it would leave the decision on what to do with the marked cargoes to the two Alkitab importers in Selangor and Sarawak.

The Sarawak importer, a local branch of global Christian group, The Gideons, has yet to announce its decision.

Malaysia’s biggest state with a majority Christian population will head to the ballot box for its state polls on April 16.


April 09, 2011- Putrajaya says importers agree to collect impounded Alkitab

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

UPDATED @ 07:07:43 AM 10-04-2011

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — The Malay bible importers have now agreed to collect the 35,100 copies impounded in Port Klang and Kuching, the Najib administration said today of the issue that has touched-off a firestorm across the country.

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said the 10-point solution proposed last week had “paved the way” for the importers, the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and The Gideons, to collect back the books.

“The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) has already collected the 5,100 Bibles in Port Klang,” he was quoted as saying today in an official statement from Pemandu.

“BSM deeply appreciates the Government’s 10-point solution which is not only an affirmation of the 2005 agreement but also include additional safeguards to ensure that incidents that have recently been the bone of contention should not happen again.

“BSM is also deeply touched by the Government’s humility in admitting to shortcomings in the handling of the Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and Indonesia issue and their request for forgiveness. BSM, without hesitation, forgives,” said BSM president Lee Min Choon in the statement by Pemandu, the Performance and Management Delivery Unit within the Prime Minister’s Department.

The statement today said that The Gideons has officially informed Datuk Seri Idris Jala and officials of Home Ministry (KDN) officials that they will collect all the 30,000 Bibles impounded in Kuching.

Jala is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Pemandu chief executive.

He announced the 10-point solution last week but Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said a day later that the formula had not been finalised.

The Gideons have also asked the Home Ministry to invalidate the previous stamp on the Alkitab, a act described as stupid today by Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is campaigning in the state election set for April 16.

The latest breakthrough is expected to help the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) keep its two-thirds legislative majority in Sarawak, which has a dominant Christian population.

According to the statement today, BSM has agreed to release the government of any obligation, legal or moral, to compensate BSM for the 5,000 copies of the bible that cannot be sold and leaves the matter to the “goodwill and judgment” of the administration.

BSM however stressed that the government should consult them on any issues pertaining to the Malay bibles as they were the principal importers.

The Home Ministry officials are currently stamping all the 30,000 Bibles with the words “Invalidated by KDN”. Once this is done, The Gideons will collect the bibles, the statement said.

The statement added that Jala had met up with the Association of Churches of Sarawak (ACS) in Kuching earlier today to explain the 10 point solution put in place by the government. During the meeting, he confirmed to the Christian group that the 10 point solution was the collective decision made by the Cabinet.

“In Sarawak and Sabah, there should be no issue at all. No stamp, no serial numbers. The bibles can be printed and can be imported without any restriction whatsoever,” Jala was quoted as saying during the meeting.

The Pemandu statement also quoted Hishammuddin expressing appreciation to the importers for resolving the issue.

“This is indeed a positive development. I appreciate the positive and considerate attitude taken by the Bible Society of Malaysia and Gideon in dealing with this matter.

“I wish to confirm that the 10 point solution is a collective cabinet decision,” Hishammuddin said.


Compiled and annoted at

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