The Primate of the Anglican Church of South East Asia, Archbishop Bolly Lapok of Kuching has denounced as “shocking” a police raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia, which led to the arrest of the society’s president and office manager and the confiscation of over 300 Bibles.
He warned the government that Islamist extremism could lead to the unraveling of Malaysia society, pitting the multi-ethnic multi-faith country’s citizens against each other.
(Memorable picture,Archbishop Bolly Lapok,with Rev Rana Youab Khan)
On 2 January 2014 officials of the State Islamic Affairs Department [JAIS] accompanied by police officers raided the BSM office in Selangor confiscating Bibles and Christian religious literature for using the word “Allah” in Malay and Iban language versions of Scripture.
A recent court ruling in Malaysia banned a Catholic newspaper from using the word “Allah”, but the Prime Minister Najib Razak had given permission for the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia translation of the Old and New Testament to use the world “Allah” for the name of God.
However, Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, a lawyer representing the government in the October law suit against the Catholic newspaper The Herald told the BBC.”Allah is not a Malay word. If they [non-Muslims] say they want to use a Malay word they should use Tuhan instead of Allah,”