Selangor Islamic Religious Council and Department 'not above law'

RAWANG - The reluctance of the religious authorities to return seized Bibles is setting a dangerous precedent in Malaysia, says MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the position taken by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) and Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) was unconstitutional.

"We have to abide by the Constitution; nobody is above the law," he said after the Selayang MCA annual general meeting here yesterday.

He said MAIS and JAIS should comply with the Selangor government's decision to return the Bibles that were seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia on Jan 2.

Liow also took Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to task for failing to resolve the issue after five months.

"Khalid had been promising that the Bibles would be returned after one month and then another month, so there is no justification in the delay," he said.

Similarly, Liow added that it was unfortunate that the police had decided not to enforce orders from the civil courts in cases involving custody battles between Muslim and non-Muslim parents.

"Police officers are law enforcers; they must obey the courts." he said.

Liow said the delay in returning the Bibles as well as in the enforcement of High Court decisions on custody were sending a wrong message to the people. "And, this does not bode well for national harmony."

He also called on all quarters to be sensitive towards the needs of all races and the nation as a whole.

Liow reminded the people to heed MCA founder Tun Tan Cheng Lock's philosophy that "Malaya should come first, before race".

"Now it should be Malaysia that comes first," Liow added.