KUCHING, Aug 30 — Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) today urged the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government to rebuke Pasir Puteh Member of Parliament Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh for his distorted interpretation of the Bible.
The party’s political affairs director Raymond Thong said it should not keep quiet about the erroneous claims made by the federal lawmaker from PAS, a party in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, of which GPS is a part.
“Failure to do so shows the GPS government or its Members of Parliament are not concerned with the sensitivity of the matter which could sow confusion among Christians about the teachings in the Bible,” he said in response to claims made by Nik Zawawi in Parliament recently.
During the debate on the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020 to propose heavier fines for drink-driving offenders on August 26, the PAS MP had claimed that “Kitab Injil ini dipesongkan atau pun diubah” (The Bible is distorted or changed).
Thong said the state government should blacklist Nik Zawawi and never allow him to set foot in Sarawak.
He also called Nik Zawawi “irresponsible” as he has hurt the feelings of Christians in the country.
“Being not a Christian and not a person who has studied Christianity at a recognised theological college, he has no right to speak about the teachings of the Bible,” Thong said.
He added Nik Zawawi’s unwillingness to apologise publicly for his comments has caused much anger among Sarawak Christians as can be seen on social media and by a statement issued by the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) chairman Archbishop Simon Poh.
“His stand of not being willing to apologise is abhorrent and unacceptable to Christians not only in Sarawak and Malaysia, but to Christians around the world. Christians consider this a serious matter,” Thong said, adding that what Nik Zawawi said in Parliament should be deemed seditious.
He added that no MP should take advantage of parliamentary privilege to say something in Dewan Rakyat that could cause confusion and sow hatred among Malaysians.
“Nik Zawawi by his words could create ill feelings and hostilities between Malaysians of different faiths.
“Can he take it when non-Muslims say something deemed not acceptable about the Quran or different from what is mentioned in the Quran, and then fail to apologise for it?
“I think no right-thinking person of whatever faith will accept it,” Thong said.