Archive for April 3rd, 2011

Christians want Putrajaya to prove sincerity over Alkitab

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 03, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — In Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia, Christian clerics greeted with caution Putrajaya’s latest 10-point formula to resolve the bible impasse, saying action alone — and not words — can convince the community the pledges will be honoured.

Kuching-based Anglican bishop, Bolly Lapok, said he was surprised by the apparent generosity and sensitivity of the federal government’s latest overture to the Christian community’s 30-year-old-dilemma.

“The Christian community here welcomes it even though it is just an ointment for a symptom,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.

In its 10-point resolution released last night, the Cabinet through its minister Datuk Seri Idris Jala, assured the huge Bumiputera Christian population in Sarawak and Sabah they are free to bring in and use their bibles in Malay as well as in indigenous languages; and that no restriction will be applied.

Jala also said that the bible can now be printed locally in any language, including in Iban, Kadazan-Dusun and Lun Bawang.

Lapok said he was heartened to see the federal government showing commitment to resolve long-standing interfaith disputes.

“It’s an assurance, but we have been given such assurances before,” he said, and noted with concern another set of rules for believers in peninsular Malaysia, requiring the holy books here to be stamped with the words “Christian Publication” and a cross on the cover. Read the rest of this entry »


Bishop denounces “divide and rule” policy

Terence Netto
Apr 3, 11

Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing has denounced as “insidious” and “evil” the imposition of two sets of rules – one for Sabah and Sarawak and the other for Peninsular Malaysia – with regard to the dissemination of the Malay Bible, Al-Kitab.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department, Idris Jala, had announced yesterday a formula for the resolution of the controversy over the impoundment since January of thousands of copies of the Al-Kitab in ports at Kuching and Port Klang.

The formula allows for the dissemination in Sabah and Sarawak without conditions of the Al-Kitab, but for Peninsula Malaysia, copies of the Al-Kitab have to be stamped with the cross and have the words ‘Christian Publication’ on them.

Speaking to Malaysiakini in his capacity as the titular head of the Melaka-Johor diocese, Bishop Paul Tan, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, said:

“If the policy is one for Sabah and Sarawak and another for Peninsula Malaysia, this is tantamount to using the insidious tactic of ‘divide and rule.’ I adamantly condemn and reject such means.” Read the rest of this entry »


Putrajaya backs down over Alkitab for Sabah and Sarawak

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 02, 2011

The government has retracted all conditions previously imposed on the use of the Alkitab. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, April 2 – Faced with an unyielding Christian community days ahead of a crucial state poll in Sarawak, the federal government has retracted all conditions previously imposed on the use of Malay bibles there, but appear to have separate rules for believers on the other side of the South China Sea.

The Cabinet, through its Christian minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, offered today a new list of suggestions to put an end to the month-long stand-off, in a bid to head off a possible backlash against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in Malaysia’s biggest and most Christian state on April 16.

Nearly half the state’s one million population is Christian. Read the rest of this entry »