OF BIBLE SOCIETY OF MALAYSIA
29 MARCH 2011
The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) today collected 5,000 copies of the Al Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia Bible, which has been detained by the Home Affairs Ministry (KDN) since 20 March 2009.
In compliance with a letter from KDN dated 22 December 2005, BSM imported 5,000 copies of the Al Kitab with the sign of the cross and the words “Penerbitan Kristian” embossed on the front cover. In spite of this, the shipment of the Al Kitab was unjustifiably detained. In spite of many appeals, KDN refused to release the shipment for nearly two years.
On 15 March 2011, KDN faxed a letter to BSM informing that while the Bibles will be released, they must be stamped with new conditions. Before BSM can indicate their acceptance or rejection of these new conditions, KDN at 5 pm on 16 March 2011 informed BSM that the Bibles had already been stamped by KDN and asked BSM to collect the Bibles. BSM had since then made known their position that the action of KDN in stamping the Bibles amounted to an act of defacement and disrespect of the holy books of the Christians.
In view of KDN’s tendency to take arbitrary action without consultation of affected parties or respect for the religious sensitivities of the Christian community, BSM decided to collect the 5,000 copies of the Al Kitab to prevent the possibility of further acts of desecration or disrespect being committed against the holy books of the Christians by KDN and its officers.
The 5,000 copies of the Al Kitab that has been defaced by KDN cannot be sold to Christian buyers. Instead, they will be respectfully preserved as museum pieces and as a heritage for the Christian Church in Malaysia. This unfortunately will result in a loss of RM70,000 for BSM.
Concerning the offer to compensate BSM for the costs of this shipment, BSM wish to make its stand clear that BSM will only accept a cheque from KDN and will not accept any money from so-called “Christian donors.”
The Bible Society of Malaysia
29 March 2011