Sarawak church council slams PAS MP’s ‘insensitive’ remarks on Bible

Association of Churches in Sarawak chairman Archbishop Simon Poh says Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh’s comments on the Bible are unacceptable. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak’s council of churches has joined the chorus of criticisms against Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh over the PAS man’s comments on the Bible made in the Dewan Rakyat recently.

In his exchange with Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham on the religion permitting adherents to consume alcohol, Zawawi had said the Bible had been amended.

The Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) said the MP’s comments were offensive and unacceptable, adding that his statement was a direct insult against the Bible.

“The statement that ‘kitab Injil ini dipesongkan ataupun diubah’ alleging that ‘the Gospel is distorted or changed’ crosses into the boundary of religious sensitivity.

“This is considered serious and unacceptable since these statements were openly said and recorded in the official transcript of the 14th Dewan Rakyat sitting on Aug 26,” ACS chairman Archbishop Simon Poh said in a statement today.

He demanded that Zawawi retract his statement and apologise over the matter, adding that it went against the Federal Constitution and the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

The PAS MP had said all religions do not allow their followers to consume alcohol, sparking a brief tiff with Ngeh.

Islam did not stop others from selling alcohol. Likewise, other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism also did not allow adherents to consume alcohol, he told the House.

Ngeh asked Zawawi to correct his facts as other religions, such as Christianity, allowed people to taste alcohol but not get drunk.

However, Zawawi told Ngeh to check his facts, including about Christianity, “before the Bible was amended”, as even a bit of liquor was not allowed.

Ngeh retorted by telling Zawawi to ask other religious experts first, prompting the PAS MP to say he had read about Christianity written by Christians.

Other Christian leaders in the peninsula had responded to Zawawi, saying consuming alcohol was not a sin in the Bible although it condemns intoxication.