By S. Harrish
PAS Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh has finally apologised for his controversial remarks on the Bible over the issue of alcohol consumption.
However, the PAS Ulama council chief maintained that he had no intentions to insult any religion and was only out to defend the “original” Bible.
“I apologise if anyone felt offended, it was not my intention. What I intended was I wanted to defend the original Bible as revealed to Jesus, without any changes,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today, according to Malaysiakini.
Zawawi’s apology was issued in response to an order by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun for the statement to be retracted and for him to apologise.
Yesterday, Azhar had said he would make a ruling today in response to a letter from Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii over the issue, .
Zawawi had previously declined to apologise despite demands made by the Association of Churches in Sarawak and many others.
He had said they had no right to be offended but was willing to hold a harmonious dialogue on the matter.
He also claimed to have done a comparison study of religions and argued that all creeds forbid alcohol consumption, including Christianity.
Zawawi had made the initial remarks during a Parliament debate on amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987 to increase the penalty for driving under the influence.
He had claimed at the time that the amendments should not be seen as a religious issue because no religion including Christianity allows its followers to drink alcohol.
His claim led to much protests and condemnation from Christian associations and politicians.