Sunday, March 20, 2011

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

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