Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Articles on the New Stamp for BM Bibles Detained.

Just added on 28 March 2011.

This is an interesting read written by someone not a Christian regarding the Stamped BM Bibles. Click on the link to read : 

Bible desecration shows puerile insensitivity — NH Chan (


This is the latest news taken from The Star Online. Click on the title for the original link.

Wednesday March 23, 2011

New stamp for Bible copies


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, but will be stamped “For Christianity”, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala.
The announcement is a major move as the Home Ministry had earlier used the stamp “For Christians Only” on copies of the Bible held at Port Klang and Kuching.
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 Bahasa can be brought in, as long as they have the words “For Christianity,” Jala added in a statement yesterday.
He said copies of the Bible were not being singled out and that imported copies of the Quran were also checked to see if they were authorised copies and stamped with serial numbers before they were released.
The minister, who is a Christian, said the Government urged Chris tian groups to collect copies of the Bible at the ports.
“The focus should be in getting the Bibles into the hands of people who want to read them,” he said.
Jala added that the groups could choose to put a sticker “For Christianity” over the serial number and the stamp “For Christians Only” in the impounded copies of the Bible, and the impound costs would be paid by Christian sponsors.
Alternatively, Christian sponsors would pay for the import of new copies with the words “For Christianity” printed at the source, he said.
“This is a fair and reasonable solution from the Government and with the help of Christian donors, all 35,100 copies are to be released at no cost to the importers,” he said.
According to the statement, a special Cabinet committee had met on March 17 to find a solution to the matter, taking into account the polarity of views between Christians and Muslims.
Jala said he and the Attorney-General had met with Christian groups the following day to present the proposed solution, adding that the Government wanted to resolve the issue amicably in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia.
On his role in helping to sort out the matter, Jala said he was requested to discuss with the Christian groups in his capacity as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (not as CEO of Pemandu), as a Christian and more importantly as the only Cabinet minister who was not a member of any political party.
THE following is the full press statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala on the Bahasa Malaysia Bible issue:
The Government wishes to reiterate that, since March 15, it had given the directive to release all Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia which had been impounded in Port Klang and Kuching.
However, to date, the Christian groups who imported the Bibles have yet to collect them because they do not accept the stamps and the serialisation on these Bibles.
Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein mentioned that the act of stamping and serialisation was standard protocol.
For example, Qurans imported into the country are also checked to ensure they are authorised, 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.
A special Cabinet committee on this matter comprising the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Home Minister, Unity Minister, Minister in the PM’s Department
(Law and Parliamentary Affairs), Religious Affairs Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department/CEO of Pemandu and the Attorney-General (AG) met on 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 March 18, Jala and Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, the Attorney-General, met with representatives from the Christian Federation of Malaysia, the Council of Churches of Malaysia, and other relevant Christian groups together with their legal advisors.
At this meeting, Jala 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:
> The BM Bibles currently impounded in Kuching and Port Klang will be released with the words “For Christianity” stamped clearly in Arial font, size 16, in bold. No other words or serial numbers will be stamped on the Bibles.
> 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 Home Ministry.
As with all similar directives, failure to comply with this directive will subject the relevant officers to disciplinary action under the General Orders.
> 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 that 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 Home Ministry at Port Klang and Kuching.
At the end of this meeting, the representatives from Christian groups requested time to meet and discuss, and have advised the Government that they would revert on their decision as soon as practicable.
Jala said: “In presenting the above solution, the 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 groups.”
He further clarified: “I was requested to discuss this matter with the Christian groups in my capacity as Minister in the PM’s Department (not as CEO of Pemandu), as a Christian
and, more importantly, as 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 AG’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 collect the Bibles immediately for three reasons:
> The focus should be on getting the Bibles into the hands of people who want to read them; it has been established that the Home Ministry is not singling out the Bibles
for stamping and serialisation because this is also the same practice as they appear in the Quran.
> 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.
The importer can take these Bibles completely free of charge. 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”.
> 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.
Finally, Jala said: “This is a fair and reasonable solution from the Government and with the help of Christian donors, all 35,100 Bibles 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’.” – Bernama

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Address: 10, Jalan 11/9, Section 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Telephone: (03) 7957 1278, (03) 7957 1463, Fax: (03) 7957 1457

17th March 2011



The Christian community in Malaysia is deeply hurt that the Government has desecrated and
defaced the Bible.

Initial news that the Government had agreed to release copies of the Bible in Bahasa
Malaysia which had been impounded in both Port Klang and Kuching was greeted with joy.

However, this joy soon turned into grief and mourning when it was discovered that the
release was subject to certain conditions. Each copy has to be stamped with a serial number,
the official seal of the relevant department of the Bahagian Kawalan Penerbitan Dan Teks Al-
Quran, and the words “by order of the Minister of Home Affairs”.

This means that the Bahasa Malaysia Bible is now treated as a restricted item, and the Word
of God has been made subject to the control of man. This is wholly offensive to Christians.
Any person who respects the Holy Scriptures of any religion would be appalled by this action.

The Christian community in Malaysia has always acted in good faith and with great patience
to find amicable solutions without compromising our fundamental beliefs. But that good
faith has not been reciprocated by the Government. It is the Government that has moved the
“goal posts” over the years through a systematic imposition of unreasonable conditions and

We have never agreed to any wording to be endorsed on Bibles to say that it is only for
Christians. The 1982 order issued under the Internal Security Act 1960 did not state that any
form of words had to be endorsed on any copy of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia.

The latest letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 15 March 2011 is therefore a set of
new conditions imposed on the release of the impounded Bibles which is wholly
unacceptable to us. We will never accede to any desecration of the Bible since the Word of
God to us is sacred.

We also wholly reject the Government’s contention that the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia is
prejudicial to the national interest and security of Malaysia, and treated as a subversive

As Christians we wonder how our Holy Scriptures can become a national security threat
where countless number of us find it helpful in bringing hope and healing to broken lives and
homes which we can testify to. Besides it commands us to be better citizens of our beloved

We therefore insist that the Government withdraw the conditions imposed on the release of
the Bibles impounded in Port Klang and Kuching. Given that copies may already have been
endorsed, we will NOT take delivery of those endorsed copies.

We call on all Malaysians, from Semenanjung and in Sabah and Sarawak, and from all walks
of life, to come together in unity to reject any attempt to restrict the freedom of religion in our
beloved country.

We invite all Christians in Malaysia to remain calm and to continue to pray for a dignified
and respectful resolution of this issue. As Sunday 20 March 2011 marks the 2nd anniversary
of the impounding of the Bibles at Port Klang, we call on all those in Malaysia and elsewhere
to dedicate themselves to a day of prayer and quiet reflection.

Bishop Ng Moon Hing
Chairman and the Executive Committee,
Christian Federation of Malaysia

Latest on the Detention of the Al-Kitab in Port Klang

This is another interesting article found in The Star Online touching on the same issue. To read click on the title.

Sunday March 20, 2011

Find a way out of this deadlock

On The Beat


- Your Prayers Are Solicited As Members Of The Body Of Christ -

Dear Arch/Bishops,

Please note that the EXCO of the Christian Federation of Malaysia met this morning at an emergency meeting to discuss the recent Al-Kitab issue. I attach herewith our Media statement for your onward distribution to your respective parishes, organisations and bodies.

CFM is also asking for a nationwide day of prayer this Sunday, 20th of March 2011, as it is the 2nd anniversary of the detention of the Al-Kitab (Berita Baik with Deuterocanonicals) in Port Klang.

For your reference, I append herewith a short summary of events leading to the issuing of this statement:

a) Monday 14th March - CFM leaders met with Datuk Seri Idris Jala (he called for the meeting) in an emergency meeting to discuss resolution of detention of Al-Kitab in Port Klang and Kuching port. After much deliberation, it was agreed that the bibles would be released and a statement issued by both Govt and CFM that this matter had been resolved. The agreement was that the words "Penerbitan Kristian" together with a cross (which already appears on the front cover of the Al-Kitab in Port Klang) be endorsed as per 2005 agreement. We also stressed that we wanted to have sight of the Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) letter before issuing our statement.

b) Tuesday 15th March - Govt through Datuk Seri Idris Jala issues press statement that Bibles have been released after an amicable compromise with the Christians;

c) Tuesday 15th March, 3 pm -  Mr Lee Min Choon from the Bible Society of Malaysia was called for a meeting with Dato' Zaitun Abdul Samad the head of the Publications Control and Quranic Text division of KDN in Putrajaya.  He was expecting a letter for the release of the 5000 Alkitab held in Port Klang. Instead he was given a litany of complaints from her re our Alkitab. There was no discussion about the release of the Alkitabs in Klang and Dato' Zaitun said she will send the letter to BSM office.

d) Tuesday 15th March , 5.30 pm . The release order was faxed to BSM office at 5.30pm (attached herewith). The new conditions (which had never been discussed or agreed upon): 
1. "For Christians Only" instead of the Dec 2005 agreement of "A Christian Publication" 
2. serial nos. stamped 1-5000 to each copy of the Alkitab. 
3. the official seal of the department - Bahagian Kawalan Penerbitan dan Teks Al-Quran 
4. and the stamp "by order of the Menteri Dalam Negeri" 

e) Wednesday 16th March, 5.00 pm, Mr Lee of BSM received a call from Dato' Zaitun who told him that the Alkitab was being stamped and serialised by the department. And was again told to come and collect the Alkitab.  Mr Lee protested that this was unacceptable and a desecration.

f) Wednesday 16th March, 6.30 pm, BSM issued a media statement condemning the defacing and desecration of the Bibles by this unilateral and unauthorised stamping.

g) Thursday 17th March 9.30 am - 11.00 am - An emergency meeting of CFM EXCO decided and have advised both BSM and Gideon not to collect the Alkitab in Port Klang and Kuching port, given the present unacceptable conditions. 

Thank you.

Warmest regards,

Michael Chua

Rev. Fr. Michael ChuaEcclesiastical Assistant,
Archdiocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A clarion call to the Christians in Malaysia by Thomas Lee

Monday, March 14, 2011

A clarion call to the Christians in Malaysia - Racism on the rise
By Thomas Lee Seng Hock(Special to ASSIST News Service)

MALAYSIA (ANS) -- Enough is enough! The usually docile, meek and temperate Christian community in Malaysia has had enough, and has exploded in anger over what they perceive as their human, civil and constitutional rights being denied and rendered illusory, with the latest seizure of 30,000 Malay Bibles from the Kuching Port in Sarawak.

Several such incidents over the last few years are nothing less than an assault on their God-given rights to worship, and to practice and propagate their faith in their own national language, without any legal restriction or political oppression.

There should no place for such evil bigotry and discrimination towards any religious belief in our country which is founded on the fundamental human right basis of freedom to worship and to practice and propagate one's faith without hindrance, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Article 8 of the Federal Constitution states that "All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law", and "there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law ..".

Article 11 provides for every person to have "the right to profess and practice his religion", and that every religious group has the right (a) to manage its own religious affairs, (b) to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes, and (c) to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with the law.

The refusal to allow the Christians in the country to use certain Bahasa Malaysia words in their publications is a direct infringement of their constitutional right to freedom of religious worship and practice. As patriotic citizens of the nation, the Christians in Malaysia should automatically have total access to use the complete vocabulary of the national language. There is no such thing as the monopoly of certain words by any particular group.

The seizure of the Malay Bibles on the contention that they contain several Bahasa Malaysia words deemed incongruous for use by the Christians is an infraction of their constitutional rights as legitimate loyal citizens, and a direct transgression of the universal human right provisions of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted on 10 December 1948.

It is definitely wrong, unconstitutional, even immoral, when a certain section of the citizenry is denied and deprived of their human and constitutional rights based on the unilateral action of some bias and racist extremist civil servants.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), an umbrella body that represents over 90% of churches in the country, is surely justified in publicly challenging the Barisan Nasional federal government to explain the latest seizure of the Malay Bibles at the Kuching Port, and questioning its sincerity and integrity in dealing with the fiasco and other similar related issues over the last few years.

What then should the Christians in Malaysia do in the face of such an oppressive political tyranny, in which their freedom to practice their faith is being undermined?

First of all, as Christians, we believe in the power of divine intervention, so we must unite in unceasing prayer before the throne of grace to seek God's help. A nationwide non-stop prayer vigil should be organized by the various churches to pray for the nation and its leaders. Individual Christians on their own should also set aside a day each week to fast and pray.

Secondly, the Christians must be united in their stand to defend their human and constitutional rights, to curb and prevent any breach or dilution of such fundamental rights. They should give steadfast and strong support to the CFM and church leaders in their negotiation with the authorities on the matter. At the same time, the CFM and its leadership should be resolute and unwavering in their stand, without fear or favor. Those who are afraid and not willing to risk the prospect of being detained for standing up should step down from the leadership positions.

Thirdly, the churches should start holding talks and forums to inform and educate their members on the issues affecting them. Pastors should preach and teach on biblical subjects such as Christian responsibility in society. For too long, the Christians, including the pastors and church leaders, have been basking in their comfort zone within the four walls of their churches, with nary a concern about their rights being eroded or tramped on. The time has come for the Christians to emerge from their spiritual slumber to play a more vocal and visible role as loyal citizens of the nation. They should mobilize themselves to campaign and vote for those who are righteous, just, honest, fair, humble, competent, and incorruptible to serve as their representatives in Parliament and the various state assemblies.

Finally, Christians who are qualified and willing to serve the nation in the socio-political arena should offer themselves as candidates for election to Parliament and the various state assemblies. We need Joseph who became the prime minister of Egypt and saved the country from famine and economic disaster, Moses who fought for the liberation of those oppressed slaves of Egypt, Daniel who stood firm for his faith in the face of religious persecution, David who served as King and unified the nation, Nehemiah who served as a high government official and used his position to help rebuilt Jerusalem, John the Baptist who was beheaded for exposing and condemning the immorality of Herod, and the apostle Paul who exercised his citizenship rights to stand up for his faith. Of course, the prime example is the Lord Jesus who challenged and spoke out against the hypocritical Jewish religious leaders and the oppressive Roman political authorities, and was crucified.

The clarion call to the Christians in Malaysia today is to join with all other Malaysians of like vision and mission to participate in an active national service to bring about the transformation of the nation to a new and better Malaysia.
Thomas Lee Seng Hock is Chief Editor of , the English news portal of Malaysia's largest-circulated Chinese newspaper, Sin Chew Daily. He has been a tent-making Bible teacher and preacher for nearly 40 years, working as a newspaper editor. Thomas is a non-conformist evangelical Bible teacher and preacher for the last 40 years. He has been tent-making as a journalist and socio-political analyst since returning to Malaysia in 1975 from studies in Singapore and then Australia. He had worked in almost all the local English newspapers, including The Star, the Sun, the New Straits Time, and the Malay Mail for over 30 years.