GEORGE TOWN, Jan 9 – DAP has lodged a police report against an Umno deputy minister and three newspapers for saying that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party was printing 100,000 Bahasa Malaysia copies of the Bible using the word “Allah”.
DAP national assistant publicity secretary Zairil Khir Johari today lodged a police report against Umno supreme council member and deputy education minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and News Straits Times on the allegations that was published yesterday.
“In the report that was published in Utusan entitled ‘DAP rancang edar 100,000 Bible percuma?’(DAP plans to distribute 100,000 free Bibles?), the newspaper had published wild accusations against DAP,” he said in a press conference after lodging the police report at the northeast police headquarters today.
He said the newspaper had alleged that DAP plans to print 100,000 of the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible using the word “Allah” which will be freely distributed in Kelantan, Kedah, Selangor and Penang.
He said Berita Harian and New Straits Times had also published similar allegations by Mohd Puad.
“Mohd Puad’s allegations that were published in all three newspapers are all lies with the intention to create public disorder and to incite hatred against DAP amongst the Muslim community,” he said.
Yesterday, party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had issued a statement demanding that Mohd Puad apologise and retract his statement.
Lim had said the party has neither the resources nor the ability to afford to print and distribute 100,000 copies of a Bahasa Malaysia bible.
“As Lim emphasised in his statement, DAP has never been a party that was involved in religion as religion is a matter of personal faith that should not be politicised,” Zairil said.
He said as Mohd Puad and all three newspapers had failed to apologise or retract the “lies” or prove the statement they published, he had to lodge a police report on behalf of the party.
“We hope and urge the police to take immediate actions to investigate those who are responsible for spreading these ‘dangerous lies’,” he said.
Mohd Puad was quoted in the three newspapers yesterday as saying that DAP was planning to print the bibles to be distributed free and that he had received this information from a “reliable source”.
He had also said DAP was “attempting to score more votes by politicising sensitive issues”.
Only last month, in his Christmas message, Lim had urged the government to allow Christians in East Malaysia to use the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible, drawing criticisms from Muslim non-governmental organisations demanding that he retract his statement and apologise to all Muslims in the country.
In 2009, the Kuala Lumpur Court ruled that the Catholic church had a right to use the word “Allah” in the Malay section of its weekly newspaper.
The decision is pending appeal by the federal government.