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A holy book treated like political propaganda

Thu 2011-Mar-17 @ +08 13:48:21 pm

Govt order to place KDN stamp on Malay-language Bible

by uppercaise
The very real anti-Christian bigotry that exists at high levels of Malaysian society has resurfaced once more with news of a government order to place a Home Ministry stamp on 35,000 volumes of the Holy Bible published in the Malay-language.

The stamp is a condition for the release of the 35,000 volumes, imported from Indonesia and which have been impounded at two ports.

Photo: MalaysiaKini

While the government has agreed to the release of the shipments, in the face of pressure from church leaders and politicians, the condition imposed amounts to a defacement of the Holy Book.

“At 5pm [on Wednesday], KDN informed Bible Society of Malaysia that they had already chopped the bibles and asked Bible Society of Malaysia to come collect the bibles,” the importer said in a statement to Malaysian Insider. “Bible Society of Malaysia is alarmed by the defacement of the Christian bible by non-Christians chopping it with words that the Christians have not accepted or agreed to,” it added.

The Bible Society of Malaysia has refused to collect the shipment of 5,100 volumes of the Bible impounded for two years at Port Klang. The Christian Federation of Malaysia, which groups the main Protestant, evangelical and Catholic churches, is meeting to decide on further action in the face of KDN’s demands.

That KDN, the home ministry, has seen fit not only to impose conditions but to actually stamp its seal on the cover of the Holy Bible, reflects a very hardline anti-Christian attitude and repressive conservatism within the ministry’s book imports and Quranic texts division.

It is also a reflection of the growth of near-fundamentalist Islamic thinking among many civil servants, encouraged by ruling party Umno-BN politicians since the early days of the Mahathir Mohamad administration in the 1980s.

Consistent and unrelenting pressure has been exerted in that time, primarily against the Christian community, but also against the Hindu community.

Desecrations of roadside Hindu shrines were commonplace (though largely unreported in the media on the grounds of “national security”) in the 1980s and in later years with official municipal and state actions against Hindu temples — deep-seated anger at which culminated in the public protests of 2007-09 organised by the Hindraf pressure group.

Wide media coverage mainly in Umno-controlled media (New Straits Times, Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia and on radio and television) was given to reports of mass conversions of Malays to Christianity in the 1980s and later. These were later found to be false.

Near-hysteria was whipped up in Perak by rumours circulating of secret Christian conversions at a function which was later found to be a seminar organised by an evangelical church for its followers.

Political use was made of a photograph of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in Sabah wearing Kadazan headgear during the 1982 elections while he was in opposition to Mahathir Mohamad’s Umno (Baru).

(Incidentally, Umno [Baru] is the actual official name of the party formed by Mahathir Mohamad in 1988 though it always used only “Umno” in order to trade on the legitimacy of the name — and, more importantly to the leaders — to secure ownership of Old Umno’s billions in assets such as Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times Press, and UEM and Plus, the highway builders.)

Official attitudes of intolerance of Christianity were further shown in the detention in 1987 under the Internal Security Act of Yeshua Jamaluddin, a Malay man by the name of Jamaluddin Othman, who became a Christian at the First Baptist Church in Petaling Jaya.

His detention order alleged that he was part of a movement to propagate Christianity among Malays.

Kegiatan kamu itu boleh mendorong kepada timbulnya suasana ketengangan dan permusuhan di antara masyarakat Islam dengan masyarakat Kristian di negara ini dan boleh memudharatkan keselamatan negara.

By no means could a single person’s conversion to Christianity be regarded as a threat to national security, but the KDN insisted this was so.

Rubbish, said a Supreme Court bench of Lord President, Chief Justice and a Supreme Court judge in 1988 who threw out the detention order.

When KDN says “national security” in such matters, it almost always means “political security” of the ruling party.

Similarly so with the KDN warning letter to the Star this week over its coverage of the issue of the Malay-language Bible.

Similarly so with the government’s attitude towards the use of the word “Allah” by The Herald, the Catholic church’s weekly newspaper, in its Malay-language reports.

A passage from Genesis from a Bible in Arabic

The consistent long-term intolerance of Christianity within official and political circles is largely founded on fears of the spread of Christianity among the Malay population, and fears of a subsequent loss of political influence.

For example, Malay people who become Christians might no longer be willing to toe the Umno-BN line (which is partly spread through government-approved Friday sermons).

There would be other consequences: Christian Malays could not be regarded as being “Malay” on official documents — one part of the Constitution’s definition of a “Malay” is that it is someone who professes the Islamic religion. So even if a person remains true to Malay customs and traditions and is publicly regarded as being ethnically Malay, in the government’s eyes he would no longer be “Malay”.

That would largely be true in West Malaysia where they might be political impact as a result of conversions — and even then, only if large-scale conversions took place, an unlikely event.

The government’s intolerance of the Malay-language Bible in East Malaysia goes against the grain, where native peoples have long accommodated multiple religious within the same family, and where tolerance is a byword.

It is an exercise of political and religious power, to uphold the Islamist view of Islam as being supreme in Malaysian daily life, to subjugate other religions to Islamic control, and to propagate the perception that other religious are inferior, lacking political or economic clout.

It is a show of power, an exercise of Malay hegemony in thought control.

By stamping the Holy Book of Christians with the official seal of KDN, Malaysia’s ruling party has now made a official and public statement that it does not regard other holy books as being holy enough — even though the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam share the same basic beliefs and are regarded as People of the Book.

Instead, KDN wants people to view the Holy Book as nothing more than political propaganda.

Is the Malay nation a nation of insecure people frightened by shadows?

  1. MUSTAFA permalink
    Thu 2011-Mar-17 @ +08 15:44:03 pm 15:44

    The Bible is not a holy book. It contains pornography, incest,absurdities, ridiculous commandments and a lot of other rubbish.For example the Bible described Abraham married his own sister in Genesis 12:12 & 20:12. David committed adultry with a man wife and later murdered her husband in 2SAMUEL11:4 & 11:6-25. The Bible is a corrupt book filled with man made law and fairy tales.

    I can prove to you from the internal evidence of the Bible what I have said and challenge you that the Bible is a corrupt book and not the infallible word of God Almighty.

    That is why the Bible according to George Bernard Shaw is a dangerous book.

    I am anxiously waiting for your reply.

    You have my email address, please

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Thu 2011-Mar-17 @ +08 16:19:50 pm 16:19

      ** TROLL ALERT **

    • sct permalink
      Thu 2011-Mar-17 @ +08 17:16:58 pm 17:16

      Well, yes, the Bible contains all that you say and more! It is dangerous because it tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the condition of humans: we are all sinners, we have all sinned and done things we’re not proud of, no one is perfect, not even the prophets, priests or kings, from the time of the first humans till today.
      But it is also Good News, because it tells us that despite our desperate condition, God loves us still and has sent us a Saviour, the only One who was perfect and could die for us. He died and rose again, and one day He’s coming back again. That’s the Big Picture story of the Bible.
      And it’s entirely up to you whether to believe it or not. No one can force anyone to accept it. You have to freedom to reject it.

    • Adrian permalink
      Thu 2011-Mar-17 @ +08 17:22:31 pm 17:22

      The story of David’s adultery is actually a reminder of how even the mighty is not immune from a fall from grace due to their own indulgences. Its actually a story that’s very applicable to humanity, more so than people who are regarded as ‘perfect’ or ‘infallible’. Try reading 2Samuel 12 to see the consequences to David as a result of his indulgences.

      Sarai is actually Abram’s half sister. Food for thought. First humans were Adam and Hawwa. Did their sons and daughters then commit incest?

    • wei permalink
      Thu 2011-Mar-17 @ +08 20:29:23 pm 20:29

      Mustafa, this shows truly that you do not know what God’s word is all about. It is about Him and his creations, about real life. He is not only teaching us what should be the right things to do, but He is also teaching us what not to do, through real life examples, through real people! That’s why He is a personal God! Pray that you will one day find Him personal to you as well. Remember! The first 5 books in the Bible is also in the Quran and they also contain those vices and sins you spoke about. So….

  2. Lwz permalink
    Thu 2011-Mar-17 @ +08 17:21:21 pm 17:21

    Hey, Mustafa, people who live in glass houses should not throw rocks. Particularly since the quran is partially plagarised from the old testament and it has no equal when it comes to teaching hatemongering and strive .

  3. jay permalink
    Thu 2011-Mar-17 @ +08 17:51:19 pm 17:51

    Mustafa, if the Bible is really not a holy book and contains “junk”, pray tell me why then are you and the likes of fanatics like you, so afraid of it? It makes no claims against you and your kind, yet you are so wary of it.
    It’s a matter of respect, Mustafa, something which obviously doesn’t exist in your vocabulary. You and the likes of you only preach supremacy, even though you have none of such qualities that would make you seem supreme.

  4. Madda-goose permalink
    Fri 2011-Mar-18 @ +08 01:13:53 am 01:13

    I would like to her Mr. Justice (Chandra Muzaffar) view on this fisaco. He is fonf of critiing the West …. why quiet now.

  5. alvin permalink
    Fri 2011-Mar-18 @ +08 01:27:15 am 01:27

    Hi Mustafa, it is so sad to see a man with so much hatred. Is this what your religion preaches? assuming if you have any religion at all. I hope one day you will find inner peace, love and acceptance towards others who are different from you..

  6. conman permalink
    Fri 2011-Mar-18 @ +08 08:15:28 am 08:15

    Read Article 153 carefully.

    Its definition of Malay only applies on or before Merdeka. Once your parents became Malay on or before Merdeka, you cannot be unMalayed.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2011-Mar-18 @ +08 11:46:10 am 11:46

      You’re talking absolute bullshit. Article 153 is about quotas for Malays. It does not define a Malay. That is given elsewhere: someone who (1) professes the religion of Islam (2) habitually speaks the Malay language (3) conforms to Malay customs. He must also be born in Malaysia or Singapore; or have one parent born in Malaysia or Singapore; or was living in Malaysia or Singapore on Merdeka Day, or is a child of one of those.

      Read the Constitution for yourself:

      Once you stop being a Muslim, or stop speaking Malay habitually, or stop practising Malay customs, then you do not fulfil the conditions above. So you are no longer by the Constitution a Malay and no longer qualify for the quotas provided for by Article 153.

      No wonder you call yourself conman.


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