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