Hush-hush Selangor meet on seizure of Bibles

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia - A meeting between the Selangor Islamic Religious Depart­ment (Jais), Selangor Islamic Reli­gious Council (Mais) and Mentri Besar ended more than two hours later with none of them revealing what transpired behind closed doors.

When asked, Jais deputy director-general Ahmad Zaki Arshad refused to comment, only saying: "Buat pun salah, tak buat pun salah (Damned if you do, damned if you don't)."

Reporters were then told to seek comments from Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim at the state secretariat building lobby. However, after an hour or so, the mentri besar's car left without Khalid meeting the media.

The meeting with the relevant authorities, including Selangor Mufti Datuk Seri Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid, was to reach a consensus on the seizure of Bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) before seeking a decision from Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

Meanhile, Bernama reported that Gerakan has urged Khalid to exercise authority over Mais to return the seized copies of the Bible.

Party president Datuk Mah Siew Keong said it was high time Khalid ensured that Mais would return the confiscated Bibles to the BSM with a guarantee that similar incidents will not recur.

"He has two-thirds' support from the Selangor state assembly and the Attorney-General's Chambers has also cleared the legal hurdles for him to take necessary action, it is now time for him to show political will and set things straight again."

Following Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail's decision not to prosecute the BSM, Khalid instructed Jais to return the seized Bibles to the society.

Mais chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa, however, said it was outside the Selangor Government's jurisdiction to issue the directive.