Najib: Resolve Bible issue in accordance with law

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has urged the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) to discuss with the Attorney-General if it feels that the A-G's decision not to charge the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) over the Bible issue should be reviewed.

In a statement, Najib said the solution to the issue should be based on the provisions and spirit of the country's constitution and law so that it would be accepted by society.

The prime minister also said that the Selangor government, MAIS and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS), which had full responsibility over the management and administration of Islamic affairs in the state, should decide whether or not to return the seized Bibles.

"As enshrined in Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, Islam is the official religion of the federation and other religions can also be practised in this country.

"The Federal Constitution also safeguards the sanctity of Islam and Muslims from being influenced by the doctrines and teachings of other religions," he said.

Najib said Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution also gave the federal government the power to control and prevent the preaching of doctrines and other religions to Muslims in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, and the same power to the state governments.

On Jan 2, Jais raided the BSM premises in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, and seized 300 copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and the Iban language which used the word "Allah", hence contravening the Control and Restriction on the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment 1988.

However, on June 11, the A-G announced that no charges would be made in the Bible seizure case, rendering the case closed.

Earlier, at the opening of the 25th Congress of the International FedeĀ­ration of Surveyors (FIG), Najib said improvements must be made on information infrastructure to ensure that reliable date are used to chart comprehensive development policies.

Accurate information and measurement was central to the success of such policies and spatial information was vital for policy development, he said.