KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — The DAP is demanding an apology from an Umno deputy minister for saying that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party was printing 100,000 Bahasa Malaysia copies of the Bible using the word “Allah”.
DAP party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today that Umno supreme council member and deputy education minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi must provide proof of the claim, calling it a “lie” that was “insane and without any basis whatsoever”.
“Mohd Puad’s lies are insane because DAP has never been involved in religion, believing that religion is a matter of personal faith for the individual that should neither be exploited nor politicised,” said Lim.
“Further DAP has neither the resources nor the ability to afford to print and distribute 100,000 copies of a Bahasa Malaysia bible.”
Puad was quoted in the New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia today as saying that the DAP was planning to “print at least 100,000 copies of the Holy Book and will be distributing it for free in several states, including Kedah and Kelantan”.
Puad also said that DAP was “attempting to score more votes by politicising sensitive issues”.
Lim said in response today that the PR party was “disgusted with such dangerous tactics by UMNO”, and that the ruling party wanted to “foment hate against DAP amongst the majority Muslim population and various religions in Malaysia”.
He further directed DAP leaders to lodge police reports for action against Puad and the three UMNO-controlled papers, for “dangerous lies” meant “to create public disorder”, and are also considering other legal measures.
Lim also brought up the murder case of Mongolian model Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa, questioning if UMNO would “continue with its insane lies against the DAP to win votes” by next accusing the party of being responsible for the murder.
“DAP is not so dishonest like UMNO or BN (Barisan National) in playing dirty by not admitting its responsibility. “Baling batu, sembunyi tangan” (throw a stone, hide his hand). In upholding truth and justice, DAP is willing to pay the price as we will not live a lie,” said Lim.
Last month, Lim had urged the government to allow Christians to use the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible in his Christmas speech, drawing criticism from several Muslim non-governmental organisations that cautioned Lim not to provoke Muslims.
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 federal government is currently appealing the decision.