Bishop Dr James Wong, President of Sabah Council of Churches

By Linda Edward

Sep 1 2020

KOTA KINABALU – Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) demanded the government to issue a reprimand to Pasir Puteh MP over his insensitive statement on the Holy Bible, and to initiate an investigation into such seditious statement.

Nik Muhammad Zawawi Bin Haji Salleh had earlier said in the parliament in Aug 26, “Kitab Injil ini dipesongkan atau diubah”, alleging that the Bible is distorted or changed when debating on the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020 proposing heavier fines for drink driving offenders.

“Such an offensive statement made on the heels of 63rd Merdeka Day is totally unacceptable,” said SCC President, Bishop Dr James Wong in a statement on Monday (Aug 31).

Wong said instead of debating more important issues for the interest and safety of the people, YB Nik made a disappointing remark criticising the Holy Bible which Wong said is sowing discord and disharmony.

Further response by Nik Muhammad on Aug 29 to the call to apologize is like “adding insult to injury” said Wong when he said, “They (the Christians) have no right to be offended. What I said was not an accusation, but a fact”.

“Parliament is a place where debates must be based on relevant facts and not religious statements.

“To suggest that any fellow citizen who holds different religious belief to first earn “the right to be offended” has completely disregarded the feelings and sentiments of other races and religious communities in this nation,” Wong said.

He said that SCC believes in the freedom of expression by Members of Parliament but it must however be done in the best interest and respect for the people they are representing.

Wong said Nik must apologize to all Christian communities in Malaysia and retract his statements made in and outside of the Parliament.

SCC full statement below.