PETALING JAYA - The Malay language Bibles seized by the Selangor Religious Department (Jais) from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) cannot be returned because they are proof of the misuse of the term Allah, said state Mufti Datuk Mohd Tamyes Abd Wahid.
They were "strong evidence" that BSM had contravened the state enactment on the use of the word Allah, said Mohd Tamyes, who was present in the meeting between the Selangor Religious Council (Mais) and Jais when the decision not to return the Bibles was made.
"How can we return something which has been classified as evidence?" said Mohd Tamyes when contacted.
Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim recently directed Jais to return the Bibles following the decision by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail not to proffer any charge against the society as the Bibles were not considered a threat to national security.
When contacted yesterday, Abdul Gani said people were entitled to their opinions and "I have already said my piece".
Reacting to the development, MCA Youth legal bureau chairman Choo Wei Sern said the state Islamic authorities' decision was a serious threat to the administration of justice in the country.
"Given the clarification by the A-G that the Bibles did not breach any legislation, it is only right that they be returned.
"It is a serious disrespect for the laws and for the rights of every Malaysian to practise and preach their religious beliefs in accordance with the Federal Constitution," he said.
Syariah law practitioner Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Ahmad said Mais and Jais did not have any reason to hold on to the Bibles.
He said the decision to initiate criminal prosecution lay with the A-G and since Abdul Gani had decided not to pursue the matter, the Bibles could no longer be regarded as evidence.
"If there is no prosecution, how can the Bibles be regarded as evidence?" Dr Abdul Shukor said.
Meanwhile, the Malay Islamic NGO Alliance has come out in support of Mais and Jais.
Its spokesman Muhammad Mustaffa Hamzah said the alliance felt that Gani's decision not to prosecute the BSM did not take seriously the need to protect the sanctity of Islam as the nation's official religion.