Dipetik dari - @staronline: Idris Jala: Impounded BM bibles to carry "For Christianity" stamp http://bit.ly/dV6GnV
Published: Tuesday March 22, 2011 MYT 7:06:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday March 22, 2011 MYT 7:23:32 PM
Idris Jala: Impounded BM bibles to carry "For Christianity" stamp
Full text of the statement by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala is below:
PETALING JAYA: The 35,100 impounded Bahasa Malaysia Bibles will be released without the need to be numbered and would be stamped "For Christianity" only, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala in a statement on Tuesday.
The announcement is a major move as the Home Ministry had earlier stamped the Bibles held at Port Klang and Kuching with the words "For Christians Only."
Church groups had protested against the decision, saying it would be unconstitutional and deprive people of other faiths from reading the Bible.
"The government has agreed to issue a directive so that future Bibles in BM can be brought in as long as they have the words " For Christianity,'' said Jala.
The government was not just singling out Bibles, he said.
Imported Qurans were also checked to see if they were authorised copies and stamped with serial numbers before they were released, Jala said.
He said the government urged the Christian groups to collect the bibles at the ports.
He said the groups could choose to put a sticker "For Christianity" over the serial number and the stamp "For Christians only" in the impounded bibles and the impound costs would be paid by Christian sponsors.
Alternately, Christian sponsors would pay for the import of fresh bibles with the words "For Christianity" printed at the source, he said.
On his role in helping to sort out the matter, he said: "I was requested to discuss this matter with the Christian groups in my capacity as Minister in PM Department (not as CEO of PEMANDU), as a Christian and more importantly, because I am the only cabinet minister who is not a member of any political party."
Below is the full text of Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department on the issue of Bibles impounded at Kuching and Port Klang on March 22:
"The Government wishes to reiterate that, since March 15, it had given the directive to release all Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia, which are impounded in Port Klang and Kuching.
However, to date, the Christian groups who imported the Bibles have not collected them because they did not accept the stamps and the serialisation on these Bibles.
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, the Minister of Home Affairs, mentioned that the act of stamping and serialisation is standard protocol.
For example, Qurans which are imported into the country are also checked to see if they are authorised copies and are stamped with serial numbers before they are released.
Qurans which are not authorised are impounded and destroyed.
The act of stamping and serialisation of the Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and the Qurans should not be perceived as desecration of Holy scriptures.
Attached is a copy of the stamp and the serialisation as they appear of the Quran.
A special cabinet committee on this matter comprising Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Unity, Minister in PM's Department (Law and Parliamentary Affairs), Minister of Religious Affairs and Minister in PM Dept/CEO of PEMANDU and the Attorney-General met on Thursday, March 17, to discuss the issues at hand and find a fair and amicable solution.
The solution should take into account the polarity of views between the Christians and Muslims, within the context of the existing laws of the country.
Subsequently on Friday, March 18, Datuk Seri Idris Jala and Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, the Attorney-General of Malaysia met with representatives from the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) and other relevant Christian groups together with their legal advisors.
At this meeting, Idris said, "AG and I presented on behalf of the Government what we believe is a workable solution for all parties."
The solution put forward by the Government is as follows:
1.The BM Bibles currently impounded in Kuching and Port Klang will be released with the words "For Christianity" stamped clearly in font type Arial/size 16 in bold. No other words or serial numbers will be stamped on the Bibles.
2. To ensure that there is no misrepresentation in its implementation by civil servants, the Government will issue a directive from the Director-General of the Ministry of Home Affairs. As with all similar directives, failure to comply with this directive will subject the relevant officers to disciplinary action under the General Orders.
3. To highlight the Government's commitment to resolving this issue amicably, the Government has received an offer from Christian donors who are prepared to pay for the cost of all the Bibles, which have already been stamped and serialised.
These BM Bibles can either be released in their present state (with stamps and serial numbers) or arrangements can be made to put stickers with the words "For Christianity" to cover the existing stamps and serial numbers.
The choice is for the importers of these Bibles.
In the event they do not wish to take possession of these impounded Bibles in the present state, the Christian donors will pay for the full cost of new bibles to be brought in with the words "For Christianity" printed at source or stamped with these words "For Christianity" by the Ministry of Home Affairs at Port Klang and Kuching.
At the end of this meeting, the representatives from Christian groups requested for time to meet and discuss and have advised the Government that they would revert on their decision as soon as practicable.
Idris said, "In presenting the above solution, the Attorney-General (AG) and I have been authorised by the Prime Minister and the special cabinet committee to convey the Government's proposed solutions to the Christian group."
He clarified, "I was requested to discuss this matter with the Christian groups in my capacity as Minister in PM Department (not as CEO of PEMANDU), as a Christian and more importantly, as I am the only cabinet minister who is not a member of any political party.
The Government wants this matter to be resolved amicably in a non-partisan manner and in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia. The Attorney-General's involvement is obviously necessary because we have to ensure that the solution must be in the context of the existing laws of the Country."
The Government urges the Christian groups to come and collect the Bibles immediately for three reasons:
1.The focus should be on getting the bibles into the hands of people who want to read them. It has been established that the Ministry of Home Affairs is not singling out the Bibles for stamping and serialisation because this is also the same practice as they appear in the Quran.
2.Notwithstanding (1) above, an arrangement has been made by the Government, with the help of Christian donors, to pay for the cost of all 30,000 impounded bibles in Kuching and the 5,100 bibles in Port Klang free of charge. The importer can take these bibles completely free of charge at no cost. If the Christian groups do not wish to take the Bibles, then the Christian donors have agreed to pay for the cost of bringing in new bibles as replacement and these will be printed or stamped with the words "For Christianity."
3.The Government has agreed to issue a Directive so that future Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia can be brought in as long as these have the words "For Christianity" in Arial font size 16 either printed at source or stamped at the receiving Port.
4.Finally, Idris said, "This is a fair and reasonable solution from the Government and with the help of Christian donors, all 35,100 are to be released completely free of charge at no cost at all to the importers. In addition, by virtue of the Government directive, there is an assurance from the Government that future Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia can be imported and released with the words "For Christianity."
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