BSM fleeing Taliban-style rule, says Gerakan

GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan Youth today likened Selangor to a Taliban state, saying the Pakatan Rakyat administration had indirectly pressured a Christian society to move its headquarters to Kuala Lumpur.

The movement’s chairman, Tan Keng Liang, said in a press release that the state’s treatment of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) had similarities with the way the Taliban curtailed religious freedom when they ruled Afghanistan.

He was responding to yesterday’s BSM announcement that it was moving out of Selangor to get “better protection” and avoid future bible seizures by state religious authorities.

Tan alleged that BSM’s decision was a result of last January’s raid of the society’s premises in Damansara Kim and seizure of Malay and Iban translations of the Bible.

The raid and seizure were conducted by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) with police support.

Tan said the Jais action was a violation of the promise made in the Pakatan election manifesto that it would protect religious freedom.

He described Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s “wish you well” response to the BSM announcement as “unfortunate” and lamented that his administration had yet to return the seized bibles.

Khalid, in a recent response to BSM’s demand for the bibles, told the society to write to the Attorney-General.

Tan said the matter was outside the Attorney-General’s jurisidiction.

He also blasted Pakatan leader Anwar Ibrahim for failing to resolve the issue.

“If Anwar can’t even resolve one issue in one Pakatan state, then what qualifies him to be Pakatan’s choice as Prime Minister of the country?”

Anwar has criticised Khalid for inaction over the issue, but Tan said he was wrong in pinning the blame entirely on the Menteri Besar, pointing out that the all Pakatan parties were strongly represented in the Selangor government.

“Anwar, as Pakatan de facto leader, should immediately take concrete action to resolve the Bible fiasco in Selangor without any further delay,” he said.





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