PETALING JAYA: Sabah and Sarawak leaders have slammed the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) over their refusal to return the seized bibles to the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).
Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pix) called the refusal by both organisations to return the bibles as "a blatant disregard of the laws of the nation".
"These two organisations are putting themselves above the law. To my understanding of the law, it is in contempt of court and as such, they are treading on a very dicey area where persecution is a possibility," he said.
Masing added that Malaysia is stable and religiously harmonious because people abided by the laws of the country.
"If any body or organisation think they are above the law and act in any manner they deem fit, and the authorities are incapable of enforcing the law, then God help this country," he said.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup appealed to the two bodies to return the bibles for the sake of religious harmony and friendship.
"I appeal that they return the bibles to the claimant as a goodwill gesture because I am sure the bibles will be used for good and noble intentions," said Kurup, who is the Minister overseeing the National Unity Department.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khalid Ibrahim had recently directed Jais to return the bibles after Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail stated that the bibles were not considered a threat to national security.
However, Mais chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said they would not return the bibles because the Selangor executive council had no jurisdiction to instruct Jais to return items seized during the course of an investigation.
Jais: Bibles are proof of misuse of term Allah
Mais and Jais: We'll not return Malay Bibles