CFM Media Statement: Christians Extremely Disappointed With Refusal To Grant Leave To Appeal To Federal Court

Christian Federation of Malaysia
Persekutuan Kristian Malaysia

23 June 2014

Christian Federation of Malaysia Media Statement


The Christian Federation of Malaysia is naturally extremely disappointed that the Federal Court has refused leave for The Roman Catholic Church to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in The Herald case.

We continue to maintain that the decision of the Court of Appeal, and its reasoning in arriving at their decision, were so critically flawed in so many respects. Simple justice would have mandated an appeal, to rectify the many incorrect and inaccurate statements and observations of the Court of Appeal that led to its decision.

Serious negative repercussions for the freedom of religion for the Christian community in Malaysia as a whole emanate from those statements and observations, but sadly The Roman Catholic Church has been denied the opportunity of challenging them before our apex court.

The Attorney General had previously publicly pointed out in his statement issued on 20th October 2013 that this decision is only with respect to the use of the word “Allah” in The Herald newspaper. As legal advisor to the Government of Malaysia, we will hold him and the Government of Malaysia to that position.

Given the refusal to grant The Roman Catholic Church leave to appeal, we will in proceeding with our actions and activities therefore treat the decision of the Court of Appeal as being confined to the specific facts of that particular case, and otherwise maintain that the Christian community continues to have the right to use the word “Allah” in our Bibles, church services and Christian gatherings in our on-going ministry to our Bahasa Malaysia-speaking congregations, as we have done all this while.

There are several pending cases before our courts that involve this issue. We will have to see whether these will provide alternative avenues to uphold and defend freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression in Malaysia.

In the meantime, we call on the Christian community in Malaysia to remain steadfast in their faith and courageous in the face of much prolonged adversity.

Yours sincerely,
Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng,
Chairman and the Executive Committee,
The Christian Federation of Malaysia

Download this CFM Media Statement in PDF.
Translation – Bahasa Malaysia | Chinese

CFM Media Statement: Selangor State Government Shirking Responsibility (English)


4th April 2014

Selangor State Government Shirking Responsibility

It was reported on 2 April 2014 that the Selangor State Government had advised the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) to write to the Attorney General to request for the release of Bibles seized from its premises on 2 January 2014.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) is disappointed by this apparent attempt on the part of the Selangor State Government to wash its hands off the matter.

The fact remains that the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS), acting under powers purportedly given to it by a State enactment, raided the premises of BSM and seized more than 300 copies of the AlKitab and the Bup Kudus, Bibles written in Bahasa Malaysia and the Iban language respectively. These Bibles remain in their possession.

The officers of JAIS may be authorised to act only after consultation and on the advice of the Selangor State Government. The Selangor State Government is accountable as in the raid of BSM, JAIS acted as an agency of the Selangor State Government. It is therefore perverse that the Selangor State Government is now asking BSM to look to the Attorney General to resolve this matter.

CFM strongly urges the Selangor State Government to act without further delay to order the safe and prompt return of the Bibles to BSM.

It is a ludicrous suggestion that JAIS had the necessary power to seize the Bibles, but that it is only with the approval and authorisation of the Attorney General that these very same Bibles can be released. This is nothing short of ‘passing the buck’, and is totally unacceptable.

The Selangor State Government is duty bound to act in this matter and must not shirk its responsibility. Order the return of the Bibles now.

Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng
Chairman and the Executive Committee,
The Christian Federation of Malaysia

Download this CFM Media Statement in PDF.

Persekutuan Kristian Malaysia: Kerajaan Negeri Selangor Mengelak Tanggungjawab


4hb April 2014

Kerajaan Negeri Selangor Mengelak Tanggungjawab

Dilaporkan pada 2 April 2014 Kerajaan Negeri Selangor telah menasihati Lembaga Alkitab Malaysia (BSM) untuk menulis kepada Peguam Negara meminta pembebasan terhadap Alkitab yang disita dari premis mereka pada 2 Januari 2014.

Persekutuan Kristian Malaysia (CFM) kecewa dengan pihak Kerajaan Negeri Selangor dalam cubaannya mencuci tangan dalam perkara itu.

Hakikatnya bahawa Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS), yang bertindak di bawah kuasa yang kononnya diberikan kepadanya oleh enakmen Negeri, menyerbu premis BSM dan merampas lebih 300 buah Alkitab dan Bup Kudus, Alkitab ditulis dalam Bahasa Malaysia dan Bahasa Iban masing-masing. Alkitab ini masih dalam simpanan mereka.

Pegawai-pegawai JAIS hanya berkuasa bertindak selepas berunding dan atas nasihat Kerajaan Negeri Selangor. Kerajaan Negeri Selangor bertanggungjawab terhadap serbuan BSM, JAIS bertindak sebagai sebuah agensi Kerajaan Negeri Selangor. Oleh itu, adalah bertentangan jika Kerajaan Negeri Selangor sekarang meminta BSM untuk melihat kepada Peguam Negara untuk menyelesaikan perkara ini.

CFM menggesa dengan tegas Kerajaan Negeri Selangor untuk bertindak tanpa berlengah-lengah lagi mengarahkan pemulangan dengan selamat dan segera Alkitab kepada BSM.

Ia adalah satu cadangan yang lucu bahawa JAIS mempunyai kuasa tertentu untuk menyita Alkitab, dan bahawa hanya dengan kelulusan dan kebenaran Peguam Negara bahawa Alkitab yang sama boleh di lepaskan. Ini adalah tidak lain daripada ‘menolak tanggungjawab’, dan sama sekali tidak boleh diterima.

Kerajaan Negeri Selangor adalah berkewajipan untuk bertindak dalam perkara ini dan tidak mengelakkan dari bertanggungjawab. Perintahkan pengembalian Alkitab itu sekarang.


Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng,
Pengerusi dan Jawatankuasa Eksekutif,
Persekutuan Kristian Malaysia

Muat turun Kenyataan Akhbar CFM ini dalam Bahasa Malaysia


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尤方成牧博士Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng


Sermon: How should Christians respond to the Allah controversy? – Rama Ramanathan

Last Sunday, Rama explored the week’s lectionary texts to try and answer the question, “How should Christians respond to the Allah controversy?” (If you are unfamiliar with the ‘Allah controversy’, there are some helpful media stories here, here and here; and we have also reproduced the statement provided by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) on 16 May 2013 – view here or download PDF here)

He has since turned his sermon into a series of blog posts, which you can read here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


In Part 1, Rama approached the Allah Controversy via Paul’s introduction to his first letter to the Corinthians. His key text was 1 Corinthians 1:22-23: “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” Rama spoke of how we revere our scriptures, how we must beware of idolatrous compromises and how we must remember our mission in the world.

In Part 2 he approached the Allah Controversy via the Beatitudes, Jesus introduction to His Sermon on the Mount. He said the people whom Jesus said are “Blessed” are the bullied, not the bullies. He outlined the 500 year history of translation into Malay by our spiritual ancestors; the reason why Arabic words were chosen; the political motive behind the curbs introduced in the 1980’s; the impact on Christians; the united response of the Malaysian Church 28 years ago; the Allah Judgment.

In Part 3, Rama outlines how he thinks the Prophet Micah and the Messiah would respond and, from there, how he thinks Christians should respond.
The 3 texts then led to this conclusion:
We must obey the call to be model communities, servants and messengers of God. We must trust God for power and wisdom, not men; we should not cave in to fear, neither should we seek favours from men. We follow the way of the Cross. Therefore we cannot turn to violence even when oppressors train their violence against us.We must use every opportunity to show who the bullies are, just as our Lord taught us. Our goal is justice. And reconciliation.

CFM Statement on the latest fire-bombing of a church in Penang

The Christian Federation of Malaysia has released a statement in response to the recent fire-bombing of a church in Penang.

CFM Statement - Fire Bombing Churches In Penang

27th January 2014

Comments below are made by CFM chairman Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng on the latest fire-bombing of a church in Penang.

  1. CFM denounces the heinous act of the fire-bombing of a church in the early morning of Monday in Penang. This follows another act of mischief by the placing of banners with provocative statements in five churches on Penang Island and in Butterworth as was reported in the media.
  2. We are happy to note that the police are on top of the situation.
  3. These acts of provocation to cause chaos and ethnic enmity are aimed at the
    self-interest gains of those who have organised it.
  4. CFM advises Christians and the general public not to be alarmed by nor over-react to such acts. Should these attacks be politically-motivated and calculated to try to ignite an escalation in inter-racial and inter-religious tensions, then all the more reason that we do well to be wise and measured in our response.
  5. We call on all peace-loving Malaysi ans to stand firm and united and to oppose such acts of desecration and criminal damage on a place of religious worship.

Issued on behalf of Rev. Dr. Eu hong Seng

Tan Kong Beng
Executive Secretary