DAP calls on the Home Ministry to lift the ban on the Iban language Bible and 11 other Christian literature written in Bahasa Malaysia on Bahasa Indonesia

Press Statement
by Ngeh Koo Ham

(Ipoh, Friday): The Home Ministry's ban on the Iban language translation of the Bible is unconstitutional as it infringe on the rights of Ibans to practise their religion. Many Ibans are Christians and they are entitled to have their Bible in their own language.

Seven other Christian books published by the Persekutuan Pembaca Alkitab (Bible Readers Federation ) are also banned. They are Metode Penelaahan Alkitab written by Dick & Tinem Maitimoe; Seri Pemahaman Doktrin Alkitabiah: Dunia Kepunyaan Allah by JI Parker MA.D.Phill; Seri Pemahaman Doktrin Alkitabiah: Dunia Kepunyaan Allah by Arthur E.Cundall BA. BD; Belajar Berjalan Dengan Allah by Charlie Riggs; Memahami Isi Alkitah by John R.W.Scott; Seri Pemahaman Doktrin Kebenaran by William L.Lane Th.D; and Alkitab: Buku Untuk Masa Kini by John R.W.Scott. These books are only Bahasa Malaysia translations of the English version. These books in English are allowed to be sold in the country.

Four other books published by Penerbit Kanisius which are also banned are Mengenal Tulisan Perjanjian Baru by L Subaryo Pr; Sejarah Singkal Liturgi Barat by Theodor Klauser; Surat-surat Paulus 2 by Lembaga Biblika Indonesia; and Doa Santap by Sr Bernadette PMY.

The basis for the ban on the Iban Bible and the said Christian literature seems to be on the language used rather than the content.

The Government's action in banning the Iban language Bible confirms the believe that the BN Government has all along been trying to prevent the natives like the Ibans and Orang Asli from converting to other religion except Islam.

The Government cannot deny the Ibans and the Christians who are conversant only in Bahasa Malaysia access to their reading materials.

The Government should not fear that Malays will have access to these materials. In fact, the Government should encourage Malay Muslim to also read about other religious so that they can have a better understanding of the other religions. Only through the understanding of the other religions can there be mutual respect which will help to promote religious harmony in this country.

The DAP calls on the Government to immediately lift the ban on the abovesaid books immediately.


* Ngeh Koo Ham,  Perak DAP Chairman