MCA: Order return of Bibles

Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai

KUALA LUMPUR - MCA has called on the Pakatan Rakyat-ruled Selangor government to order the immediate return of the Bibles which were seized from the Bible Society of Malay­sia (BSM) by the state Isla­mic Religious Department (Jais).

Its president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the move would be seen as a gesture of goodwill to promote greater religous harmony.

He also urged the Opposition to walk the talk of wanting to do away with racial and religious politics by watering down their differences instead of actively triggering conflicts by their repeated acts of aggression and trespass.

"Throughout the years, we have laid out the foundation and built a united nation living in harmony since independence by practising tolerance among our diverse cultural and religious practices.

"The nation should exercise restraint and take a step back when facing conflicts or challenges due to our racial and religious differences," he said in a statement yesterday.

Liow said Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's move to shift the responsibility of deciding on the return of the Bibles to the Home Ministry would prolong and intensify the conflict.

"The state government should bear collective responsibility over this issue as Jais falls under its jurisdiction," Liow added.

He said the Selangor government should do the right thing in the interest of seeking racial and religious harmony instead of only attempting to score political points against Barisan Nasional and the Federal Government, which is trying its best to ensure fair administration while walking the political tightrope of race and religion in Malaysia.

MCA's religious harmony bureau chairman Ti Lian Ker said the Selangor government should not try to score political brownie points against the Federal Government.

On Jan 2, Jais raided the Bible Society of Malaysia's premises, resulting in the seizure of 321 Bibles in Malay and Iban after suspecting an infringement under the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Pro­pagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 that prohibits non-Muslims from using the word Allah.