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Malaysia Can Non-Muslims Speak Of Allah In Malaysia? Recent News From Malaysia

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
Priest lodges police report over ‘Bible burning pesta’ notice

By Opalyn Mok January 22, 2013


BUTTERWORTH, Jan 22 – A Christian priest has lodged a police report after he found a notice purportedly by an Anti-Bahasa Melayu Bible Action Group calling all Muslims to join in a ‘Bahasa Melayu Bible burning pesta’.

Reverend John Kennady, from St Mark's Church, was shocked to find the notice typed on a plain piece of paper with the title ‘Jom Bakaq! Pesta Bakaq Bible Bahasa Melayu’ (Let’s burn! Bahasa Melayu Bible burning fest) in his post box this morning.

He had immediately informed the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) before he lodged a report at the Butterworth police station at about 3pm today.

The notice, written in Bahasa Malaysia, invites all Muslims to join the ‘Anti-Bahasa Melayu Bible Action Group’ in a ‘pesta’ to burn the Malay version of the Bible ‘for the sake of the future generations’.

It further proclaimed that the group already has in its hands several Malay versions of the Bible and it urged all Muslims to join in the ‘pesta’ to burn the Bibles at a field in front of the Ahmad Badawi Hall in Bagan Luar here this Sunday morning.

It also stated that the reason they had chosen Sunday was because it is the day that Christians are in churches praying and it ended with a sentence proclaiming ‘Let’s Teach ‘Em A Lesson’.

In an immediate response, the CFM has condemned those behind this in an official statement.

CFM chairman Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing said the CFM vehemently abhors this Bible-burning action which was first proposed by Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali.

Ibrahim had made a call for Malay versions of the Bible that contains the words ‘Allah’ and Jawi scriptures to be burnt.

Yesterday, the controversial group issued a statement clarifying that Ibrahim Ali had meant the Malay-language Bibles with the words ‘Allah’ and Jawi writing should be burnt and not all Bibles.

“Now, it seems someone or a group has threatened to make Bible-burning a reality on Sunday, a day most sacred to Christians,” said Bishop Ng.

“All religious scriptures are sacred books and we should not threaten to burn them or to desecrate any such holy book in any manner,” he said.

He said Christians are peace-loving people who will continue to seek peace and harmony across all religious groups for the well-being of the country.

“We pray that good sense and moderation will prevail for all people in times such as this,” he said.

He also called on those who are spreading hatred for political gain to cease and desist from such a vile act which is unbecoming of all Malaysians who uphold the Rukunegara of which the first pillar is ‘Belief in God’.

When contacted, state religious affairs committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said he was notified of this and the state government had immediately sought the assistance of the police.

“We have urged the police to thoroughly investigate this and to take action,” he said, adding that only a few of the notices were distributed in Butterworth.

“It is probably just a hoax,” he said.

Earlier today, DAP chairman Karpal Singh had filed a police report against Ibrahim Ali while pressing the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to initiate investigations into the Bible-burning statement by the Perkasa chief.

The “Allah” dispute has remained a hot-button topic ever since the watershed Election 2008 and it has escalated in the run-up to this year’s polls.

The issue erupted again when DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng call on Putrajaya in his Christmas message to lift a ban on Malay-language Bibles in East Malaysia.

Following his remarks, several state Rulers and Islamic religious authorities reminded non-Muslims of state laws banning the use of the word, despite a 2009 High Court judgment that ruled “Allah” was not exclusive to Islam.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Perkasa: We Welcome Police Report

Anisah Shukry


KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa welcomes the numerous police reports lodged against its chief Ibrahim Ali for urging Muslims to burn Malay Bibles written in Jawi which contain the word “Allah”.

“The Perkasa president certainly has nothing to worry about when it comes to those police reports, because the investigations would surely be conducted with truth and justice.

“For Ibrahim Ali, he is far more afraid of Allah should he fail to protect the sanctity of Islam,” Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hasan Syed Ali told FMT in a statement this evening.

Earlier today, Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP chairman Karpal Singh had lodged a police report against Ibrahim for his Bible-burning remarks.

On Saturday, Ibrahim had reportedly said: “Muslims must unite to protect their religion. They must seize those Bibles, including the Malay editions, which contain the term Allah and other Arabic religious words, and burn them.”

Karpal called for Ibrahim to be charged under the Sedition Act 1948, and urged Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail to initiate investigations immediately.
Syed Hasan revealed that the police had already contacted Ibrahim to probe him over the issue following the police reports lodged against him.

“Police investigations will commence in a day or two,” said Syed Hasan.

“I know my president. He dares to take responsibility for his actions. So there is no problem when it comes to him giving his statement once he is investigated.”

‘Ibrahim Ali misunderstood’

Syed Hasan, who was present at the press conference when Ibrahim made the controversial call, also stressed that the latter had been misunderstood.

According to Syed Hasan, Ibrahim had instead said Muslims who received Jawi-scripted Malay Bibles containing the word “Allah” should just burn the book.

His statement was a reference to a police report lodged several days ago for the alleged distribution of English Bibles containing Jawi script and the word “Allah” to high school students in Jelutong.

“…Ibrahim’s statement was just a wake-up call meant to deter any unwanted incidents from happening, such as attacks against the distributors of Jawi-scripted Malay Bibles containing the word ‘Allah’ to Muslim school students,” said Syed Hasan.

“Those distribution efforts were witnessed by Muslims who were very angry by it and perceive it as an attempt to convert Muslims.”

Hence, in an effort to pre-empt physical clashes between people of different faiths over the incident, Ibrahim had instead urged people to “just burn” the Bibles they received, explained Syed Hasan.

“The president is worried that people from different religions in this country may engage in bodily attacks [over the distribution of those Bibles]. That would not be good for the country,” said Syed Hasan.

He also said that the public should remember the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic religions to Muslims (Malacca) Enactment 1988 and Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

“The 1988 enactment prohibits non-Muslims from using the word Allah and other words related to Allah,” said Syed Hasan.

“Section 11 guarantees religious freedom but (4) prohibits any quarters from propogating other religions to Muslims through any means.”

‘Why not report Patrick Teoh, Karpal?’

He added that Karpal’s call to PAS to agree that non-Muslims can use the word “Allah” meant he also supported the concept of an Islamic state as well as hudud, the Islamic criminal law.

“If this is his stance, Perkasa is extremely elated. If not, Karpal is clearly trying to politicise religion for his own political reasons.

“Why didn’t Karpal lodge a police report against Patrick Teoh for insulting Islam as well as those who distributed Malay Bibles with Allah to Muslim students in Penang last week?” said Syed Hasan.

He was referring to actor and former radio deejay Teoh, who was criticised for using vulgar words against Islam and Muslims in his reaction on Facebook to the Kedah government’s announcement of dress and performance guidelines for a Chinese New Year function.

Teoh has since apologised multiple times for his post, and has been questioned by the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) and the police over the matter.

“[Karpal] knows that they clearly violated Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution,” said Syed Hasan.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Karpal: Charge Ibrahim Ali

Jared Pereira


KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn Malay Bibles which use “Allah” is seditious and can incite religious discord.

This was the stance of Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who lodged a police report against Ibrahim Ali for asking Muslims to “seize and burn” Bibles which used the “Allah” term.

“Muslims must unite to protect their religion. They must seize those Bibles, including the Malay editions, which contain the term Allah and other Arabic religious words, and burn them,” Pasir MAS MP Ibrahim has said on Saturday.

Talking to the media after lodging his report, Karpal said that what Ibrahim did not realise was that by calling for the burning of such Bibles, he was indirectly calling for the burning of “Allah’s” name.

“I don’t think he knows that he’s also calling for Allah to be burnt,” he said.

Karpal called for Ibrahim to be charged under the Sedition Act 1948.

“He [Ibrahim] should be charged under the Act for what he had said could pass off as seditious and the Attorney-General [Abdul Gani Patail] should initiate investigations on him immediately,” Karpal said.

However, both Karpal and his son, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo were annoyed with the AG seemingly acting “weak” on this matter.

“AG is apparently waiting to act on Ibrahim only if there are Bibles which are actually burnt…and this shows that he is not doing his job as the legal head of the country,” said Gobind.

“I blame the AG for this mess….he is very weak and is not suitable to be the legal head of the country,” added Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M Manoharan, who was also present at the press conference.

The AG told FMT yesterday that he was “not concerned” about Ibrahim’s statements and that he would only probe the case if reports were lodged.

Karpal said: “Now that we [DAP] have lodged a police report, we hope that he will act…but then again, this is wrong. As the AG, he should act if there is an offence regardless of police reports being lodged or not.

Gobind added that if the AG refused to act even after the police report has been made against Ibrahim, DAP will lodge a report against the AG.

“We will get the court to issue a mandamus order, which is an order for the AG to act under his powers and carry out his responsibility which is in the nature of public duty,” he said.

When asked if there was a timeframe in which they expected the AG to act, Karpal said investigations should not take long and they were giving the AG two weeks.

Why is the PM so quiet?

Both Karpal and Gobind also stressed that DAP are calling for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to make a statement on this issue and call for Ibrahim to be charged.

“Najib, as the head of the cabinet, should instruct the AG who is the legal advisor to the cabinet to act against Ibrahim and arrest him for the seditious remarks he made,” said Karpal.

Gobind supported his father’s claims and said that Najib should come out openly against Ibrahim.

“He promised Christians last Christmas that he’s a prime minister for all…so maybe this is the time he starts acting like one,” the Puchong MP said.

Karpal added that Ibrahim should not get away with it as he (Karpal) himself has been charged for various comments he has made before.

“I was charged for comments I made against the Sultan of Perak but he [Ibrahim] has not faced any charges as of now. Why me and not him also?” he asked.



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