Contrary to what Malaysians think that the Attorney General has concluded this case by designating no further actions and to instruct JAIS to return the bibles to BSM, the current turn of events by MAIS and the Selangor Sultan have changed the expected course of events.
News reports that indicate the Sultan’s intent that JAIS should proceed to engage with the state prosecutor to move this for a court decision appears to have caused a divide of opinions. Given this latest turn of events, it is unlikely that a genuine conclusion of this case will be seen anywhere in the near future.
There are also news reports that MAIS is suggesting that the bibles be disposed instead of being returned. To the Christian community, it may appear as an insult to order such an action although anyone can go to read the text on the Internet today. This action will further compound the situation, affect the emotions of the minority communities and challenge the AG instructions.
So, who has the final say in today’s government on legal matters, especially like this one? Is it the AG, the state prosecutors, the Sultan, JAIS, MAIS? One thing for certain, it is not MB Khalid or PM Najib. The so-called political twist to this episode has been confused intensely and is very difficult to extricate out in any easy way.
Is the Federal Constitution supreme or is the fact the right actions might offend certain individuals reign supreme? Indeed, Malaysia is now in a confused state treading ever so carefully along religious and racial lines that the clear Federal Constitutional rights of minorities are trampled and challenged with impunity.
The leaders are not seen to be doing anything to sort this out with any urgency and maybe they hope that this episode will just fade away. It will not. Not in a million years.
Along with another similar case in the courts and yet another confiscation of more bibles recently exposed, critics believe that this can snowball into the East Malaysian tragedy of denying BN of crucial votes in the next General election. The repercussion of the Catholic Church not given leave to appeal further may become a watershed in our political history. That decision has confounded the practice of East Malaysian Christians making their liturgy an illegality when spoken in the Malay language across the country, not just in Sabah and Sarawak.
What is happening to this country?