The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) has pushed the contentious issue of the seized Bibles back to the Selangor Menteri Besar, saying any decision on the holy books lies with Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
An officer from the office of Jais deputy enforcement director Mohd Shazihan Ahmad said that any questions or comments about the Bibles will now have to go through the menteri besar.
“We are not going to make any statements about the Bibles. It is all up to the menteri besar now,” said Shahizan’s officer to The Malaysian Insider in Shah Alam today.
Jais, the officer said, refuses to comment on the Bibles issue following criticisms hurled at them by other parties.
“We also get slammed when we don’t give statements. So that is why we refuse to do so anymore,” the officer said.
The officer said this following attempts by The Malaysian Insider to obtain details from them of where the Bibles, in Bahasa Malaysia and the Iban language, are being kept and its condition.
Jais has refused to divulge this information and reiterated that Khalid was the person responsible now.
On June 12, the Selangor government ordered Jais to return the 321 Bibles which were seized in a raid at the then Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) office in Damansara Kim as they contained the word Allah.
This is after Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail decided to close the case against BSM after finding the Jais had erred in the seizure of the Bibles, which he said were not a threat to national security as alleged.
The A-G said the Bibles did not run afoul of Section 9 (1) of the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation among Muslims) Enactment 1988.
Khalid was reported as saying that he would order Jais to return the Bibles through state Islamic Affairs head Sallehin Mukhyi and state legal advisor Datuk Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman
However, the State Islamic Religious Council (Mais) has refused to comply with instruction from the A-G and the state government but instead said that it would be getting a court order to dispose of the holy books.
Mais chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said the council will not close the case as ordered by the A-G and insisted that there was a provision in the 1988 state enactment to charge BSM.
Adzib’s statements triggered widespread anger, especially among the Christians and Selangor Pakatan Rakyat leaders who questioned the council’s real agenda behind its refusal to return the Bibles to BSM.
Meanwhile, Khalid is expected to announce the decision on whether the Bibles are to be returned or the case brought to court after chairing an Exco meeting in Shah Alam tomorrow.
According to sources, Nik Suhaimi has been ordered by the state government to approach the A-G for his opinion if the case can be charged in court.
“It depends on the MB after discussing it with the Exco tomorrow,” the source told The Malaysian Insider.