Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Thursday, 17th March 2011:
Two unreasonable and unacceptable conditions for the release of the 35,100 copies of Bahasa Malaysia Bible should be withdrawn immediately
The two unreasonable and unacceptable conditions for the release of the 35,100 copies of Bahasa Malaysia Bible, Alkitab - each copy should be stamped “For Christians only” and each copy should carry a serial number - should be withdrawn by the Barisan Nasional government immediately as they smack of discrimination at their worst and will expose Malaysia to international ridicule, scorn and condemnation.
In less than 24 hours, the goodwill which the Najib administration had hoped to generate from the release of the 35,100 copies of Alkitab – 5,100 copies in Port Klang and 30,000 copies in Kuching Port – had been dissipated not only by the two unreasonable and unacceptable conditions, but the most ham-fisted way and trigger-happy manner in implementing them.
The Bible Society of Malaysia, the importer of the consignment of 5,100 Alkitab impounded at Port Klang for about two years, has protested at the “defacement” and “violation” of the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles as it has been informed that the scriptures have been stamped with the words “Al Kitab Berita Baik ini untuk kegunaan penganut agama Kristian sahaja” (‘This “Al Kitab Berita Baik’ is only for the use by Christians only”) and the Home Ministry had stamped spaces for the serial numbers into the Bibles.
All attempts to impose the two unreasonable and unacceptable conditions, which make a total mockery of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s inclusive 1Malaysia policy, should stop immediately and the 35,100 copies of Alkitab in Port Klang and Kuching Port should be released without conditions whatsoever.
The Prime Minister should direct that immediate action should be taken to mitigate, if not to undo, the gross damage to Malaysia’s national and international image as a model multi-religious nation where constitutional guarantees of freedom of worship is fully honoured and respected as a result of the imposition and implementation of the two unreasonable and unacceptable conditions.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor