Zawawi’s claims in “apology” is invalid – Christian group

Pasir Puteh Member of Parliament Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh – Picture from Malay Mail

THE Christian Federation of Malaysia has described Pasir Mas MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh’s apology for claiming that the Bible was “distorted” as invalid.

“We are truly disappointed and dismayed that after more than two months from disparaging the Holy Scriptures founding the faith of a third of the world, the Pasir Puteh MP could not find it in himself to apologise sincerely and fulsomely for his appalling and unfounded charge that the Bible is distorted and altered.

“Instead, under the guise of a classic non-apology – and even that tendered only at the prompting of the Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat – he compounded his affront of Aug 26, 2020, by claiming that he had then intended to ‘defend the original form of the Bible that was revealed to Jesus without any alterations’,” said the CFM in a statement today, as reported by Malaysiakini.

The CFM represents more than 90 percent of the churches in the country.

What Zawawi told Parliament on Nov 3, according to the Hansard, is as follows:

“Saya sangat menghormati rakan-rakan yang memeluk agama yang berbagai- bagai. Namun, untuk mengelak kekeliruan yang berlaku, suka saya sebut bahawa isu yang membabitkan Bible bukan sahaja isu yang membabitkan penganut- penganut agama Kristian. Kami umat Islam juga beriman dengan kitab Injil yang diturunkan kepada Nabi Isa AS. Itu adalah akidah yang kami pertahankan. Saya sebut ‘dipesong’ ataupun ‘dipinda’ itu, tujuan saya ialah untuk mempertahankan keaslian kitab yang ada supaya mana-mana kitab yang diturunkan itu tidak ada sebarang perubahan.”

The CFM said Zawawi had proven that he was ignorant of the fundamental tenet that the Bible is about Jesus and is not a “revelation”, or “diturunkan”, as claimed by Zawawi, to Jesus.

The Christian umbrella body also described Zawawi’s claim as “audacious”, “fallacious” and ignored the consensus view of venerable, globally acknowledged, multi-lingual Bible scholars over centuries that were easily accessible.

“Notably, the MP has to date cited no authority and produced not a shred of evidence for his wild and grossly offensive and insensitive claims of ‘alterations’ and manipulations of the Bible.

“That he, an elected official chose to engage in divisive discourse in the august House of Representatives at a time when our nation needs to unite to surmount the challenges posed by a deadly and destructive global pandemic is an absolute disgrace.

“That he now persists in making his unsubstantiated claims displays an utmost disregard not only for the well being of the Christian community but also for the harmony and common good of the peoples of this nation and little understanding of nation-building and interracial and religious respect,” said the CFM.

“Respect begets respect. Let us be peacemakers and bridge-builders to each other’s communities of faith,” said the CFM.