Open Letter to Rt Hon Prime Minister
YAB Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Oh dear! Sir, what's happening? Two of Malaysia's foremost bishops are fuming mad at you. This is unprecedented. Not fair lah, Sir, you have to inherit the problem from your ex-boss who caused the problem when he banned the Alkitab or Malay Bible 31 years ago.
Seriously Sir, I would have thought the Christians would be more inclined to you since you were educated at the premier Catholic school, St John's Institution in Kuala Lumpur, just like me.
But Sir, I can't understand why all this tirade against you just when you are trying so hard to unite all Malaysians under your 1Malaysia promise to treat all Malaysians fairly regardless of race or religion.
You even handpicked a native Bumiputra Christian leader from Sarawak to transform the Malaysian economy. This makes the guy the second most powerful man in the country after you.
Just like Joseph was to Pharaoh or Nehemiah to the Babylonian King Artaxerxes l in the ancient of days. A good Biblical tradition, I must say, Sir.
Sir, I can't understand this. You hired this guy to do your job for you yet at the same time your government continues to deny his people high up in the Kelabit Highlands in Sarawak the right to have the Bible in a language they can understand - the Alkitab.
So why can't they have the Malay Bible Sir? You want them to use a Chinese or Tamil Bible ah?
Bishop Ng Moon Hing says he is "greatly disillusioned, fed-up and angered" by you because of the repeated detention of the Malay Bible. This time 30,000 copies at the Kuching Port.
This is not his personal view but a formal statement issued on behalf of the Christian Federation of Malaysia - the umbrella body representing almost all Christians, or one out of ten people in Malaysia. This means I am supposed to be angry with you.
Otherwise the bishop would be lying right?
The Bishop is also angry because the previous consignment of 5,000 copies of the Alkitab imported in March 2009 is still being held by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Port Klang despite having been told you had ordered them to be released.
He has even gone on record to say this, "It would appear as if the authorities are waging a continuous, surreptitious and systematic programme against Christians in Malaysia to deny them access to the Bible in Bahasa."
Oh dear! Surely this can't be true, Sir? But it's not from a blogger dong. The Bishop is saying all this. Aiyoh!
And what does the Bishop want you to do? "We call upon the government to act now and prove their sincerity and integrity in dealing with the Malaysian Christian community on this and all other issues which we have been raising with them since the formation of the Christian Federation of Malaysia in 1985.As an immediate step, we insist upon the immediate release of all Bibles which have been detained."
Sir, you think the Bishop is serious or not ah?
Better think carefully Sir ‘cos ABIM is demanding you state your stand. In other words, more Malay votes at stake lah!
Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, is also angry and has condemned in "no uncertain terms" the impoundment of the Alkitab.
Impoundment, what a word! Sounds like the local municipal impounding a stray dog.
Sir, please listen carefully. He says this is a "flagrant example of the hypocrisy of people who treat the 1Malaysia concept as a vote-winning slogan rather than as a platform on which to unify the people."
Aiyoh! Lagi teruk Sir. As in chess, when you lose your two bishops mati lah, next to go is your queen, Sir. (Ops, I don't mean the FLoM).
All this is happening just as Sarawak is about to go to the state polls anytime now. Better talk to your cousin brother, the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, first lah.
He is of no help so far. DAP MP and chief economist,Tony Pua, has accused him of lying. Not once but twice over the Alkitab scandal. First to Parliament and then again to the media.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said your cousin, in his written reply to Parliament on June 7 last year, had announced the Bible Society can take back their 5,000 copies of the Alkitab held at Port Klang.
However, a few days ago your cousin claimed that the Bibles had been impounded (and still are) due to the ministry's pending court appeal on the Catholic weekly's use of the word "Allah" in its publications.
Aiya! What is this Sir? 1 Malaysia 2 Versions ah?
MCA, the main Chinese partner in your ruling coalition seems to have an answer for you - print the Alkitab locally! Gomen already said can kena sub judice; appeal still in court, understand or not CSL? Alkitab is illegal if imported but same book be printed locally can be legal. Where got meaning? Real goblok pulak.
Sir, as an old schoolmate, please listen lah. There are about two million Christians in Malaysia. The bulk of them, some say two out of three Christians, are Malay speaking natives in Sarawak and Sabah.
They enjoy the special position as you under Article 153 as Bumiputras. They have consistently voted for your party since Malaysia was formed in 1963.
Should they choose to vote otherwise... ah don't talk macam'tu, Ibrahim will say kurang ajar, baidap, pendatang dan lain lain lagi... Bah! You know what to do lah.
You are the PM mah!
Let me close with the oracle of Prophet Mikha: "TUHAN telah memberitahu kita apa yang baik.
Perkara yang dituntut oleh TUHAN daripada kita adalah supaya kita berlaku adil,
selalu mengamalkan kasih, dan dengan rendah hati hidup bersatu dengan Allah kita.
Bob Teoh joined PKR as life member after the 2008 tsunami and subsequently retired as a mainstream media journalist happily ever after. Note: suffixes like lah, dong, aiyoh are part of our bahasa gaul that means nothing, anything or everything to help soften the cruel realities of life and to hopefully make it more bearable for those oppressed by the language of tyranny.