KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 – The Selangor Menteri Besar thanked Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah for “his foresight and initiative” in seeking the best way to resolve the seized Bibles issue. In a press statement, Mohamed Azmin Ali also commended the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) for reaching an amicable resolution on the issue.
“It was done through sincere efforts and conviction to respect religious sensitivities of all communities.” He said his administration had always stated that it would pursue all means possible to enhance and foster communal and religious understanding in Selangor. “Among other priorities in this regard, I had pledged to have the Bibles returned to the Christians because they belong to them.
“Now, thanks to the wisdom and foresight of His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor, this has become a reality.” Apart from the Selangor Sultan, the handover this morning was also witnessed by Azmin, Selangor Mufti Datuk Mohd Tamyez Abdul Wahid and Jais director Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad.
Azmin again stressed that while Islam was the state religion, the freedom of religion was enshrined in the Constitution. Extremist sentiments, race-baiting and religious fanaticism, he said, would not be part of the administration of Selangor. DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, meanwhile, congratulated the MB for resolving the nearly year-long Selangor controversy.
“The amicable resolution to the issue of the seizure of the Malay language Bibles and Malaysia’s assumption of the annual rotating Asean chairmanship for 2015 are two welcome developments which should be the basis to usher in a virtuous cycle of moderation and establish Malaysia as a regional and international model of moderation,” he said in a press statement.
January this year, Jais seized 321 copies of the Bibles when it raided BSM’s office in Damansara. The bibles were seized as they contained the word “Allah”, which has been deemed exclusive for Muslims in West Malaysia.