Malaysian Gov. Raids Bible Society Then Apologize, Kind of

 Below is a Jakarta Post article, followed by another websites comments from outraged citizens, in a nation of so called freedom of worship. All of the comments ring true of our own country, by-the way.

Raid on Bible society regrettable:
M'sian unity council

The newley-formed National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) says the recent raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, was a “blatant disregard” for the agreed solution to the distribution of Christian publications in Bahasa Malaysia.

“NUCC regrets the raid and confiscation of the Bibles (by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department or Jais),” council chairman Samsuddin Osman said Monday.

“It is a blatant disregard for the 10-point solution made by the federal government in April 2011 and reiterated by the prime minister in October 2013.”

“We call on the government to ensure compliance with the solution and respond to the challenges to national unity with a greater sense of urgency,” he said after the NUCC inaugural meeting here.

The council also urged all parties to abide by the solution, which had been accepted by the Christian Federation of Malaysia.

Responding to a question, Samsuddin said the meeting had not touched on the issue of non-Muslims using the word “Allah”.

“We are not touching the ‘kalimah Allah’ issue (usage of the word Allah in non-Muslim scriptures). That is for the religious people to work out. We are talking about raids on places of worship.

Samsuddin, who is former chief secretary to the government, said that Malaysians must respect all places of worship and not hold demonstrations outside any of them.

However, the council refrained from saying that the Jais raid was “wrong”, arguing that NUCC could not take sides.

“Like a father, NUCC cannot blame our children, but can say this is cannot happen again,” he said.

Last Thursday, Jais enforcement officers seized 350 copies of Christian publications from the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia.

It is understood that the raid was carried out under the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 that prohibits the use of the word “Allah” and other Quranic terms by non-Muslims.

Earlier, Samsudin said that NUCC had been tasked by the government to come up with a national bluerprint on unity within two years.

He said NUCC will hold nationwide townhall talks and roundtable discussions with non-governmental organisations and interest groups starting on February 22 in Kuala Lumpur.

NUCC working committees would also hold closed door meetings with the religious authorities and community leaders on issues affecting national unity and submit their first report to the Government in June.

Jais will be among the participants, Samsuddin said, adding: “NUCC will serve as unity bridge builders in Malaysian society.”

NUCC is either a tiger or cat, it can't be both
| 9:00AM Jan 7, 2014
YOURSAY ‘Have the guts to say what is right; otherwise it’s lip-service.’

NUCC 'regrets' Jais raid, but won't say it's wrong

Mushiro: People holding positions in public office should speak out clearly and strongly on public interest issues. On serious matters such as the raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia and the seizure of the Malay bibles, the wrong side should be told off.

And if the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) is too careful with its words, then how can the message be put across?

Anonymous_4031: It is regrettable and pathetic for NUCC to say that it regrets Jais' (Selangor Islamic Religious Department) raid and seizure of Malay bibles. Have the guts to say what is right, otherwise it’s only lip-service.

NUCC is a toothless tiger. Has it forgotten that certain people entered the Christian premises in Petaling Jaya some years ago and disrupted a Christian function? Please do not overuse the word "recur". The recent intrusion is the second time.

You need not take sides; but you must be truthful and say what is to be said and act accordingly. "A mere brave speech without action is letting off hot steam," so said Mahatma Gandhi.

Where is the implementation of the 10-point agreement, endorsed by the cabinet before the Sarawak state election? Be honest and stick your neck out on the agreement. Was the 10-point agreement a political tool to use just before the state election?

Election or no election, stick to your guns, and never politicise religion for political expediency.

Anonymous_4196: I wonder which of the 10 points in the solution promised by Premier Najib Abdul Razak has been fulfilled so far.

1Melayu: I am not sure why everyone is harping on this so-called ‘10-point solution’. Like many other things, it was a myth created by Najib before GE13 to win votes and nothing else. So stop talking about this fable.

Limfly: When something is as clear cut as an illegal raid conducted by one religious body against another religious body, the NUCC has every right to take the side of the one whose rights have been violated - the side of justice.

When a wrong has been done, just say it and bring the perpetrators to book. Stop pussyfooting around.

MAYVBWELL: “NUCC also urged the government to urgently respond to issues pertaining to national unity.” Perhaps this advice is equally applicable to NUCC.

Okeylah: To NUCC: Since you can't say Jais is wrong even though you do feel their actions are regrettable, you should probably say they are "not right" just to avoid using the word "wrong".

Mob1900: National Unity Consultative Council, what part of 'national' and 'unity' is the council referring to?

Anonymous_4056: NUCC can't do much. It’s another toothless (useless) and powerless group meant as window dressing.

Your duty is to state clearly without ambiguity whether Jais is right or wrong to barge into the Bible Society of Malaysia and seize the Malay bibles and arrest its officers.

Surely Jais is abusing its authority in calling the police (another brainless sub-division of Umno) for help. Jais should not, and should never be empowered/allowed to meddle/interfere in the affairs of minorities’ religions.

Albertan98: When clear leadership is needed, we find wishy-washy statements from the body set up to look into national unity. That is the problem with Malaysia at this moment.

Nobody from the BN side, except perhaps Marina Mahathir, seems to be able to stand up to the tide of government tolerated racism and religious bigotry.

Odin Tajue: You are absolutely right, NUCC chairperson Samsudin Osman. You can't take sides.

As we all know, the best position anyone without any conscience, principles, integrity and courage can take is to sit on the fence. I believe the term used to describe such people is ‘fence-sitters’.

Paul Warren: Like as if Jais and those pushing the buttons care about what these jokers think!

Basically: To say “The council can take a stand but the person with the power to do something is the PM,” is to say the NUCC is a total waste of our time and money.

If the PM were doing his job as a proper PM for all Malaysians, according to the constitution, you wouldn’t need to form this silly council at all in the first place.

Banzai: NUCC, you are given the power and authority to determine on issues of national unity. So you must make a stand on issues that affect national unity and not throw the ball to someone else’s court.

If not, what good are you. If you are given a gun without any bullets, what’s the use of having a gun. I am really disappointed with NUCC.

Vijay47: “NUCC welcomes the decision of Selangor Umno not to stage any demonstration outside churches,” the chairman said.

So you are admiring Umno whose initial position had threatened to set the nation aflame. By deciding not to go ahead with their dangerous plans, they have become good guys?

NUCC and Lee Lam Thye, why don't you just close shop and go home? By the way, did you also express regret that Marina and friends went to Our Lady of Lourdes Church to bring some comfort to Christians?

Guyintheglass: Disappointing. At a minimum, it should take a position whether it is right to enter the Bible Society of Malaysia's premises without a warrant.

Surely one religious body entering another different religious body's premise is within the ambit of NUCC.

Peacemaker: NUCC has no guts to call a spade a spade. How can you consider yourself promoters and guardians of national unity. You either recognise unity or you don’t. You cannot straddle the fence to be everybody's nice but spineless guy.

Unafraid: Clearly the NUCC's mild statement is made in deference to the Selangor sultan's decree. In fact, I suspect the silence of the entire federal cabinet is because of the same reason, notwithstanding the inept top leadership of the government.

We have a government in total paralysis with everybody going through their law books, wondering whether federal law overrides state law or royalty overrides every law.

The nation is rudderless, directionless, and leaderless and, God forbid, potentially lawless.

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