A video circulating on the Internet showed a Malay-speaking man taking issue with another man for giving out bibles to Primary school children.
In the video, a man whose face is not shown walks up to a middle-aged man and asks, “Excuse me, what is this sir?”
The other man replied, “These are bibles”.
“Why you give to school children ah? Who give you approval to give children?” he asks, filming the stack of bibles held by the man.
“I am just distributing”, the man replies.
“By right, about religious (sic) you cannot give to school children. This one I inform you first before I call police”.
Despite the man’s protests that he had a permit, and that he was from a registered company allowed to give out bibles in that area, the man insisted that he pack up and leave the area.
He also added that he would call the police even if someone from his own religion were to give out Muslim religious books to children as well.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam announced last month (September 8) the tightening of laws enacted to maintain religious harmony, including those forbidding religious leaders from promoting hatred and ill will among different faith groups or furthering political causes.
The Religious Harmony Act (RHA), which came into force in 1992, empowers the Home Affairs Minister to issue a restraining order against a leader or member of any religious group if the minister is satisfied that the person has committed or is trying to commit any act that might incite “enmity, hatred, ill will or hostility between different religious groups”, or that promotes a political cause under the guise of propagating religious beliefs. /TISG