Religion

10 posts

Call on all Malaysians to support Religious Freedom for Minorities all around the world

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 3rd of July, 2014

Call on all Malaysians to support Religious Freedom for Minorities all around the world

It was reported yesterday that the central government in Beijing, China, has banned civil servants, students and teachers in the majority Muslim Xinjiang region from taking part in Ramadan fasting.[1] By preventing civil servants, students and teachers who are Muslim from fasting during Ramadan is to force them not to follow one of the five pillars of Islam. This goes against the freedom of religion which includes the freedom of an individual to carry out the religious practices of his or her faith.

I strongly condemn the persecution of the Muslim minority in China through the directive forcing civil servants, students and teachers, including Muslims, not to fast during the holy month of Malaysia.

I call upon all Malaysians to support the right of the Muslim population in Xinjiang to have the right to fast during the month of Ramadan. In particular, I call upon all non-Muslims in Malaysia to stand in solidarity to support freedom of religion for all minorities around the world by fasting for one day during this holy month of Ramadan together with our Muslim friends.

Today is the fifth day in which I am fasting during Ramadan and the 2nd year in a row which I am doing so. I value the opportunity and the right to be able to fast during Ramadan, as a non-Muslim, in order to share the experience together with my Muslims friends.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

[1]http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1544914/china-bans-xinjiang-officials-and-schools-participating-ramadan

MAIS has acted unconstitutionally and illegally by not only refusing to return the BSM bibles but by asking the bibles to be destroyed

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, 16 June 2014

MAIS has acted unconstitutionally and illegally by not only refusing to return the BSM bibles but by asking the bibles to be destroyed

After the Attorney General announced that the case was closed with regards to the Bible Society of Malaysia’s (BSM) Malay and Iban bibles, the right thing for the Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS) would have been to instruct the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) to return these confiscated bibles to BSM.

Not only has MAIS refused to ask JAIS to return these bibles, they have taken the extra step to ask for these bibles to be destroyed. MAIS has released 2 statements in three days to defend the unconstitutional actions of JAIS in raiding the offices of BSM and not returning the bibles after the AG’s announcement.

Unfortunately, MAIS used Article 11(4) of the federal constitution which allows state law to “control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam” and the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment, 1988, to justify the JAIS raid and its continued insistence on not returning the bibles.

But until now, neither JAIS nor MAIS has produced one iota of evidence to show that the BSM bibles were intended to be used for propagating Christianity among Muslims in Malaysia! That AG did not refer to any evidence produced by JAIS confirms this fact. Furthermore, the AG specifically wrote that the confiscated materials are not writings that would fall under section 9(1)(a) of the 1988 Enactment which means that the publication of the BSM bibles cannot be prosecuted as an offense!

Without any proof that the BSM bibles were going to be used to propagate Christianity among Muslims in Malaysia, MAIS is acting unconstitutionally by not requesting JAIS to return the bibles to BSM.

Furthermore, in its media statement dated 14th of June, MAIS asked for the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) in Selangor to obtain an order to destroy the evidence in this case, namely the BSM bibles, according to Section 407A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

To ask for the destruction of the bibles under the Criminal Procedure Code is illegal since the AG has stated that no crime has been committed in the publication of the BSM bibles!

As such, MAIS and JAIS have to work together to ensure the safe return of the BSM bibles to its owners. The first step that needs to be taken by MAIS and JAIS is to show that the bibles are in good condition and have not been destroyed or damaged.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

Selangor State Exco in charge of Muslim affairs, Sallehin Mukhyi, should work with JAIS to return the BSM Malay and Iban bibles as soon as possible without needing to consult the Attorney General

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 14th of June 2014

Selangor State Exco in charge of Muslim affairs, Sallehin Mukhyi, should work with JAIS to return the BSM Malay and Iban bibles as soon as possible without needing to consult the Attorney General

It was reported yesterday that Selangor State Exco in charge of Muslim affairs, Sallehin Mukhyi, would seek an appointment with the Attorney General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to ‘get a verification on the lawful ways to return the Bibles’ confiscated from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) in January.[1]

It puzzles me as to why Sallehin needs to see the Attorney General on this matter since the AG had earlier declared on the 11th of June, 2014, that the bibles that were confiscated by JAIS were not material founded under Section 9(1)(a) of the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988. The AG also concluded that these books were not items under a control list of the Minister of Home Affairs and were not a national security issue. As far as the AG’s chambers are concerned, there will be no prosecutions and hence this case is considered closed.[2]

Following the AG’s decision, the Minister Besar of Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim announced that Sallehin, together with the state’s legal advisor, Datuk Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman, would aid JAIS in returning the bibles to BSM.[3] There was no mention of there being a need to consult the AG on the process for the return of these bibles.

As such, Sallehin should not find any excuses to delay the return of the BSM bibles. He should use his wisdom and discretion and that of the state’s legal advisor to work with JAIS in order to return the BSM bibles as soon as possible. It would be best if the return of the BSM bibles could be done in a manner to build bridges and increase trust between the Selangor state government, JAIS and BSM. This would show the sincerity of the Selangor state government in wanting to promote harmonious ties between the state government and the adherents of various faiths in the state of Selangor. All this can be done without any further need to consult the Attorney General and to delay the return to BSM of what is rightfully theirs, namely the BM and Iban bibles.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

[1] http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/06/13/seized-bibles-returned-way-taken/

[2] http://www.agc.gov.my/pdf/Latest%20Info/press/KENYATAAN%20MEDIA%20PEGUAM%20NEGARA%20BERHUBUNG%20ISU%20RAMPASAN%20BIBLE%20OLEH%20JAIS.pdf

[3] http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/06/12/selangor-orders-seized-bibles-returned/