PETALING JAYA - The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) do not want to return the Malay language Bibles that were seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) office six months ago.
Instead, they are asking the deputy public prosecutor to seek a court ruling to dispose of the Bibles.
Mais chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said the decision to not comply with the state government's order to return the Bibles was made at a meeting between the council and Jais on Friday.
He said it was decided that there was a case against BSM under the Non-Islamic Religion (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988. This contradicts Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail's announcement on Wednesday that no charges would be made against BSM and that his office considered the case as closed.
He said the seized books did not involve issues of national security.
Mohamad Adzib said: "The reason given by the Attorney-General for not prosecuting those involved will cause confusion among the Muslims.
"As the authorities on Islam in the state, Mais and Jais are very concerned over any attempt to tarnish the sanctity of Islam by misusing Quranic terms or names, a move we believe could be used for proselytising."
Later, in another statement, he said: "We have decided not to return the Bibles as the Selangor executive council has no jurisdiction to instruct Jais to return items seized during any investigation.
"We are adhering to the Criminal Procedure Code that says items seized in the course of an investigation can be referred to the court to be disposed of."
On Jan 2, Jais seized 321 copies of the Malay language Bibles (AlKitab) and Iban Bibles (Bup Kudus) in a raid on the BSM office here under the same enactment.
In response to the latest development, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the state government would meet all the parties involved to come to an agreement on the matter before presenting it to the Selangor Sultan for a final decision.
He said that state secretary Datuk Mohamed Khusrin Munawi had been directed to call for a meeting with Selangor Mufti Datuk Seri Mohd Tamyes Abd Wahid, exco member in charge of religion Salehen Mukyi, state legal adviser Datuk Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman and representatives of Mais and Jais next week.
He urged Jais to seek the advice of Salehan and Nik Suhaimi on procedural matters according to the law for any action it planned to take.