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Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 11th March 2011: 

Seizure of 30,000 copies of Malay-language Bibles is clearly against the spirit of the Federal Constitution 

The recent detention or seizure of 30,000 copies of Malay-language Bibles at Port Klang and the Port of Kuching by the federal government authorities is clearly against the spirit of the Federal Constitution, as it denies the basic right to freedom of religion. Article 11 of the federal constitution expressly allows every person the right to profess and practice his/her own religion.

In the case of Malay-language Bibles, it has been a longstanding practice, especially for non-Muslim bumiputras and East Malaysians, to learn and practice Christianity in the national language. Depriving them of their holy scriptures is therefore unconstitutional and clearly exposes exposes the hype of 1Malaysia is just mere rhetoric and propaganda.

Further prohibiting the Bible just because it is in Bahasa Malaysia(BM) is contrary also to the position of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language. Religion should not be politicised but is a matter of personal faith to be exercised by the individual, especially when there is no threat to other religions or to the peace and harmony of our country.

DAP urges the government to release the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles immediately to preserve the peaceful practice of cultural and religious diversity that is the hallmark of our nation.

*Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan



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