Malaysia

Don’t test patience of Malays, Perkasa warns Christians

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
April 10, 2011

The Perkasa chief accused Christians of exploiting sensitive issues ahead of the Sarawak elections.The Perkasa chief accused Christians of exploiting sensitive issues ahead of the Sarawak elections.KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Christians should be wary of making unreasonable demands such as asking that bibles be printed in Bahasa Malaysia, Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali said today.

The Malay rights group president said that Malays have been patient for “far too long” and have allowed non-Malays to make excessive demands.

“How many Malays are Christian? Why do you have to have bibles in Bahasa? Why not use bahasa Iban, or Kadazan?

“This is a problem of national security ... we (Malays) have been far too giving, I want to remind them to not be excessive in their demands,” said Ibrahim.

“They are not the majority of the country,” he stressed.

The Pasir Mas MP said that the reason why the Christian community were making demands now was because Sarawak elections were underway.

“They are taking advantage of the elections, they raise these things and we cannot object ... they are trying to exploit sensitive issues,” added Ibrahim.

“We have not brought up the issue of our rights,” he said.

Christian groups have been locked in a dispute with the government over the usage of Malay language bibles, or Alkitab, and over the 35,000 new copies that have been impounded in Kuching and Port Klang by the home ministry.

The ministry then allowed the bibles to be released on condition of being stamped with serial numbers and the phrase “For Christians only”. Christian groups had initially refused to abide by these conditions and have not collected the copies.

The Najib administration said yesterday that the Malay bible importers have now agreed to collect the 35,000 copies impounded in Port Klang and Kuching.

However, the importers of the books in Port Klang have said the bibles will not be sold or distributed, but will be preserved as museum pieces to illustrate what Christians have called the “defacement” of their holy book.

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said the 10-point solution proposed last week had “paved the way” for the importers, Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and The Gideons, to collect the books.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein himself had also been quoted as saying that the latest move was a “positive response” to the Cabinet’s collective decision in drawing up the 10-point solution.