PETALING JAYA - Sabah and Sarawak leaders joined in the chorus of criticism against Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS) and Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) over seized Bible copies, with Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing saying that it is clear there was a "a blatant dis-regard of the laws of the nation".
"These two organisations are putting themselves above the law. To my understanding of the law, it is in contempt of court and as such, they are treading on a very dicey area where persecution is a possibility," he said.
Dr Masing added that Malaysia was stable and harmonious because people abided by the laws of the country.
"If anybody or organisation thinks they are above the law and act in any manner they deem fit, and the authorities are incapable of enforcing the law, then God help this country," he said.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup also appealed to Mais and Jais to return the Bibles for the sake of religious harmony and friendship.
"I am sure the Bibles will be used for good and noble intentions," said Kurup, who is the minister over seeing the National Unity Department.
MAIS chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa had said they would not return the Bibles because the Selangor executive council had no jurisdiction to instruct Jais to return items seized during the course of an investigation, and that the materials in question remained "evidence".