CFM Media Statement on 15,000 Bahasa Malaysia Bibles Held by Authorities

CHRISTIAN FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA
(PERSEKUTUAN KRISTIAN MALAYSIA)

Address: 10, Jalan 11/9 Sec. 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Telephone: (03) 7957 1278, (03) 7957 1463, Fax: (03) 7957 1457

Email: cfmsia@yahoo.co.uk

CFM media statement on 15,000 Bahasa Malaysia Bibles held by authorities

CFM CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF 15,000 BIBLES

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) calls for the immediate release of the 15,000 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia currently being withheld by the authorities.To withhold the use of the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles is an infringement of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which gives every Malaysian the right to profess his/ her faith as well as to practice it.

This constitutional right is rendered illusory if Christians in Malaysia are denied access to Bibles in a language with which they are familiar.

This action of withholding the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles deprives Christians in Sabah, Sarawak , and in Semenanjung, a large majority of whom use Bahasa Malaysia, the right to use the Holy Scriptures in Bahasa Malaysia, to practice and profess their faith and, to nourish themselves spiritually.

It is baseless to withhold the Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia on the ground that they are “prejudicial to public order”.  Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia have been used since before the independence of our country and has never been the cause of any public disorder.

Since the 1970s and in consonance with the government’s policies in education and the national language, Christians in Malaysia have received their education in Bahasa Malaysia. To deny the same Christians in Malaysia the right to read and study the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia is thus ridiculous and offensive. In fact, it is this action by the authorities themselves which is an affront to good public order.

We call on the relevant government officials who have neither the authority nor the right to act in this unconscionable manner to explain their action to the church leaders and to the public.

Church leaders and the Executive Committee of the CFM in “An Affirmation to the Churches in Malaysia” (6-8 Sept 1989, the Kuching consultation) and then later in “A Declaration to Churches in Malaysia” (30 January 2008) have stood on their commitment to Bahasa Malaysia  as our national language and have used and continue to use Bahasa Malaysia in the life and witness of our Churches and Christian organizations.

The government and CFM have exchanged letters on this matter previously and we have a written agreement in December 2005 that Bahasa Malaysia Bibles can be distributed so long as the symbol of the cross and the words “A Christian publication” are printed on the front page.

We call on the government to walk the talk of its 1Malaysia policy and vision and not to curtail or impose conditions on the freedom of citizens to worship, pray and read the Holy Scriptures in Bahasa Malaysia. How can the first pillar of the Rukunegara i.e.  Belief In God, be made a living reality in the lives of Malaysians if the government imposes restrictions and conditions on the constitutional and fundamental right of citizens to freedom of religion?

We ask that the relevant authorities resolve this matter promptly and release these Bibles for the use of Christians without any further delay or excuse.

signed

__________________

Bishop Ng Moon Hing,

Chairman and the Executive Committee,

The Christian Federation of Malaysia

Dated :   4 Nov 2009

—————

Relevant Document from the Malaysian Church –

CFM – Kuching Declaration – English 30 Jan 2008.doc

A DECLARATION TO THE CHURCHES
IN  MALAYSIA

CHRISTIANS IN MALAYSIA, together with the rest of the nation, are COMMITTED to Bahasa Malaysia as our national language and have used and continue to use Bahasa Malaysia in the life and witness of our Churches and Christian organizations.

LEADERS OF CHURCHES represented in the CHRISTIAN FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA (CFM) met in consultation at Kuching, Sarawak from the 6th to the 8th of September, 1989 to consider the restriction sought to be imposed by law in various States on the use by non-Muslims of certain words and expressions in Bahasa Malaysia and the increasing difficulties encountered with the relevant authorities  in the publication, distribution and importation of the Alkitab and other Christian literature particularly in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.

Having deliberated at length and depth on these matters and their effect on Christians in Malaysia, THE LEADERS OF CHURCHES present at THE KUCHING CONSULTATION wish to declare and assure all Christians that :
1.    the restriction sought to be imposed are contrary to the Federal Constitution and objectionable in law as are the various administrative actions and measures taken to deny access to Christian literature in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia;
2.    we have a right and are entitled to use the national language, Bahasa Malaysia, in its entirety as with any other language without any distinction on the grounds of differing faith;
3.    all efforts will be taken to inform the relevant authorities and the people who have influence on public policy of our stand and to seek ways to have the restrictions revoked and to pursue a fairer and just implementation of administrative measures in the case of religious material.

WE AFFIRM our stand to continue our use of Bahasa Malaysia in its entirety;

RESTATE our solidarity as Christians in facing together whatever may arise on account of our stand and conviction;

AND URGE all Churches to be vigilant and unceasing in prayers for wisdom on the part of all concerned to amicably resolve this issue and for the maintenance of a united, harmonious and peaceful nation where justice, human rights and human dignity are upheld at all times.

Issued by Leaders of Churches and the Executive Committee of CFM
At The Kuching Consultation, Sept 1989
Revised and released by the decision of the Executive Committee of the Christian Federation of Malaysia on 30th January 2008.

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One Response to “CFM Media Statement on 15,000 Bahasa Malaysia Bibles Held by Authorities”

  1. ExpammaDemi Says:

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