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‘Arrogant’ Hisham should quit

The whole issue involving the bible and the
government's stand is 'discriminatory' and
'repressive' according to Malaysian Civil
Liberties Movement (MCLM).
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) has slammed the “arbitrary” defacement of the al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia version of the bible, alleging that Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s actions and words ‘smacked of disrespect and arrogance’ to people of all faith.
Calling for Hishammuddin’s resignation, MCLM president Haris Ibrahim said the “whole episode shows that the Malaysian government is repressive and discriminatory in its actions.”

“His (Hishammuddin) action and remarks smack of disrespect and arrogance not just towards the 10% of the population who are Christians but also to those of other religions.

“The whole episode shows that the Malaysian government is repressive and discriminatory in its actions. Any person who respects the Holy Scriptures of any religion would be appalled by this,” Haris said.

Haris was responding to reports that the Home Ministry, which allowed the conditional release of the impounded 35,000 Malay-language bibles on Tuesday, had stamped the holy books with its official seal.

The ministry had also stated that each copy of the bible must be stamped with the words “For Christians Only” and carry a serial number.

“MCLM also fears that the main reason for the directive for each of the bibles to carry the Home Ministry’s seal and a serial number is to have an election issue that will gain the ruling coalition popularity among the Malays/Muslims in the impending Sarawak state polls or the general election, ” said Haris.

He said that if this be the case then Hishammuddin must also apologise to all Malaysians for using “a religious matter for political gain.”

Haris further underlined the fact that the freedom to practice one’s faith – which includes the right to read about this faith in the language of one’s choice – is enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

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