Christians say fed up with Najib administration

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
March 10, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Christians in Malaysia say they are angry and fed-up with the Najib government for what they see as a systematic move to deny their religious rights enshrined in the country’s highest law.

Spurred by the Home Ministry’s latest seizure of 30,000 Malay Bibles that cost US$26,000 (RM78,000) from Kuching port, the churches rallied together and issued a stinging rebuke today against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

They demanded he “prove their (the government) sincerity and integrity in dealing with the Malaysian Christian community on this and all other issues which we have been raising with them since the formation of the Christian Federation of Malaysia in 1985”.

“The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) is greatly disillusioned, fed-up and angered by the repeated detention of Bibles written in our national language, Bahasa Malaysia.

“It is an affront to them that they are being deprived of their sacred scriptures. Many are wondering why their scriptures are considered a threat to national security. All these actions in relation to the detention of the Bibles continue to hurt the Malaysian Christian community,” it said in a statement today signed by its chairman, Bishop Ng Moon Hing.

They demanded the government immediately release all Bibles detained.

The CFM is the umbrella body that represents over 90 per cent of churches in the country.

Malaysian Christians make up close to 10 per cent of the 28 million population; with the biggest numbers based in Sarawak and Sabah, where the main language used by the Bumiputeras in churches is Bahasa Malaysia.

The CFM noted that the federal government has been thwarting all attempts to import Malay Bibles from outside Malaysia since March 2009, “despite repeated appeals which resulted in the prime minister making a decision to release the Alkitab held in Port Klang in December 2009 which was reported to CFM leaders by several Cabinet ministers and their aides.

“This is notwithstanding that the government in its attempt to justify its position against the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Alkitab, the government had given the assurance that the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia will be freely available, at least in Sabah and Sarawak,” it said.

The Catholic Church had won a landmark judgment on December 31, 2009 that gives it the right to publish the word, but has effectively been barred from doing so pending the government’s appeal.

The group pointed to two separate shipments totalling 15,000 copies that had been seized by Home Ministry officials and left to languish for over a year at Kuching port and Port Klang in Selangor.

CFM said officials at Port Klang have steadfastly refused to release the 5,000 copies imported by the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).

“In absolute disregard of this decision, the 5,000 copies of the Alkitab remain detained,” CFM said.

It added that there were other shipments of Bibles and other Christian material before March 2009 that were confiscated by ministry officials that have yet to be returned to their owners.

One such case involves Sarawakian Christian Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, whose personal collection of Christian CDs — bought on a trip to Indonesia — were seized by Malaysian Customs officials at the airport here in May 2008 allegedly for being a threat to national security.

Jill filed to sue the Home Ministry at the High Court here but her case has also been languishing in the courts.

Her lawyer, Annou Xavier, told reporters in Putrajaya that the case was fixed to be mentioned today, but no hearing date was given.

CFM questioned if the government was powerless to act against these “little Napoleons” who substitute their own interests and agenda in place of the prime minister’s directives”.

“We would ask how the government’s transformation programme can be successfully implemented if civil servants can blatantly refuse to obey the prime minister’s order?”

Ng told The Malaysian Insider today that he had personally raised the hold-up of the Bibles with the prime minister during a Christmas open house last year.

“He said he was surprised and told me ‘I need to go back and check but I’ll look into it’,” Ng said, relating his conversation with Najib.

He added that the PM was likely told that the Kuching shipment has been released without knowing anything about the Port Klang shipment.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the first consignment of 10,000 copies detained at Kuching port was released on Christmas last year, after the prime minister stepped in.

Ng said the churches would continue to apply pressure on the Najib administration.

“We will not stop appealing. If we give up, it means the end of our religion,” the head of Malaysia’s Anglican church said.

  1. #1 by drngsc on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 5:39 pm

    Yes, my Christian brothers, you have rightly been patient enough. They are just playing a fool with you. It is time to take a stronger, NON VIOLENT, stand. I would suggest that you start a ” Save the Bible ” fund. Use it to publicize your cause. Use it in Sarawak and Sabah particularly. Start a prayer vigil weekly, say every first Sunday of the month. Hold talks, sell ” Save the Bible” buttons and T shirts. Basically make a lot of noise.
    It is very scriptural, to oppose corrupt government, and stand up for justice. Everything, NON VIOLENT please.
    If there is a “Save the Bible” fund, let me be the first to contribute.
    Enough is enough. It is time to change the tenant in Putrajaya.

  2. #2 by Winston on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 5:58 pm

    “We will not stop appealing. If we give up, it means the end of our religion,” the head of Malaysia’s Anglican church said. – End of quote
    Don’t just appeal!
    Tell your congregations to vote for the PR.
    Also, make sure that they spread the message among their friends and kin to get them to vote for the PR as well!
    It’s well past time for change.
    Meaningful change, not the cock and bull transformation programs that we are hearing about!

  3. #3 by jus legitimum on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 6:17 pm

    This country rots from Perlis to Johor and from Sarawak to Sabah.It is time to uproot the 54 year old BN regime from Putrajaya.Only then we shall see the light at the end of the tunnel.Stop listening all the lies and bs from people like mamak,ibrahim katak,najis and the like.gemos

  4. #4 by dagen on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 6:29 pm

    Awwww, you pooor poooooor christians. Come come. Its alright. I will ask tokku to show you his CIAU CIAU. Ok?

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 7:10 pm

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Christians must stand up and be counted. Raise your voice and be heard. Stop turning your other cheek. You will get slapped again and again by ‘Little Napoleons’ and the like.

    On earth, there are earth laws to be obeyed so follow these laws and stand up for your rights and put the wrong doers to pasture.

    Don’t forget that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution has a second part to it. Obey it. Apply it.

    Enough is enough.

    On the issue of BM bibles, I hope some enterprising fellow or the church will put the entire BM Alkitab on line so that all those who have been deprived of it can access it, readily read it or down load it. Come on do it.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 9:20 pm

    Religious fanantics and racists…are governing the country.
    Applying double standards…provocations and creating fear…by Najib. be confused..but at the back …laughing off their art of confusing Malaysians.
    These crooked hypocrites are waiting for angers and false moves by Malayians opposing the Govt.
    It is being applied to the extreme under Najib.
    Is this a People’s PM he claimed to be?

  7. #7 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 9:43 pm

    Maybe that is Najib’s secret weapon for the GE?
    Knowing how timid and peace-loving Malaysians are, I predict the bibles will be released and some minor officer will be paid to be the fall guy.

  8. #8 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 9:44 pm

    sorry typo:
    this will be done as part of the run up to the GE.

  9. #9 by HOHOHO on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 10:09 pm

    najis is just INCOMPETENCE peeM n OPPORTUNIST with many KARMA waiting to haunt him soon………………tuya…..altantuyaaaaaaaaaaaa……….huhuhuhuhuhuhh

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 11:06 pm

    NR n UmnoB no worry abt Christians 1, can bully them, suppress them, they still OK 1, slap 1 cheek, they give another cheek 2 slap, OK 1, they still continue 2 vote 4 UmnoB/BN So shiok n easy 2 govern M’sia mah, C what happened 2 d god/Allah issue, forgotten 1

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Thursday, 10 March 2011 - 11:07 pm

    NR n UmnoB no worry abt Christians 1, can bully them, suppress them, they still OK 1, slap 1 cheek, they give another cheek 2 slap, OK 1, they still continue 2 vote 4 UmnoB/BN

  12. #12 by tak tahan on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 12:24 am

    Part of the christians’s segment or group had already set the precedent example to worship Lord Najis more than Jesus by removing all religiously symbol and statue.So now,who is bigger,Najis or Jesus? Confuse or regret?I’m very very confused with those christians who helped to upstage their maker’s image with Najis n soldiers presence by removing their supposed sacred relic,statue and symbols.Respect needs to be earned more than demand.

  13. #13 by drago2008 on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 1:09 am

    If every Christian can read this report, then each one of them should know where to place their vote in the next GE. I mean 100% of them, not 50%, not 70% or even 90%. Just make it 100%.

  14. #14 by daniel on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 12:47 pm

    Yeah everybody very angry and disappointed . . . but I just wonder who the CFM officials voted for during the last general election.

  15. #15 by boh-liao on Friday, 11 March 2011 - 3:28 pm

    After what happened last year, d banning of d A.l.h term (can’t spell out in full here lah, moderator no like 1, so jia lak) n d confiscation of BM bi bles by gomen, Christians still happi 2 vote 4 UmnoB/BN
    Christians mudah lupa n forgive, NR so happi, so shiok n easy 2 govern M’sia mah

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