By By Muhammad Basir Roslan
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 (Bernama) -- The Home Ministry (KDN) is closely monitoring the modus operandi of three entities which sell Quran online in this country without the ministry’s approval.
The ministry’s Enforcement and Control Division Secretary Mohd Nawardi Saad said most of the Quran sold online came from a neighbouring country which did not meet this country’s requirement pertaining to the printing standard.
"Our investigation found that the sellers or agents are buying this Quran stock from that neighbouring country, most of which do not apply for import licence approval from KDN thus the prints cannot be reviewed by our party.
"In Malaysia, the printing of our Quranic texts is based on the Saudi Arabian printing system, called Rasm Uthmani, but our neighbouring country has a different printing standard and in terms of waqaf marking (signs to stop the reading) and the ibtida' (the signs to start the reading) are also different from what we used here," Mohd Nawardi told Bernama.
He stressed that those who sold the Quran without KDN’s approval could be charged under Section 8 (1) (d) of the Quranic Text Printing Act 1986 which, upon conviction, would be liable to a fine of up to RM20,000 or five years in jail or both.
Mohd Nawardi said no arrest has been made thus far but their activities were on the division’s radar and the division was gathering information and evidences before taking further action.
In the meantime, he said his division would continue to conduct daily checks at business premises, post offices and the country’s entry points to ensure that no Quran without KDN’s approval stamp is released to the public.
He explained that the Quran with the KDN’s approval had a special stamp in Jawi with blue colour that says ‘Lembaga Pengawalan dan Pelesenan Pencetakan Al-Quran memperakui bahawa ayat-ayat Al-Quran yang terkandung di dalam teks ini adalah betul,” and KDN also added new features - QR code and hologram.
On Feb 7, a total of 178 copies of the Holy Quran without KDN’s approval were seized from a premises in Sungai Petani.
Kedah Enforcement and Control Division director Zaki Mohamed said the three entities were found to be actively doing online marketing to ‘lure’ consumers to buy such Quran.
"We ask the public to be more careful when purchasing Quran online because most of them are not registered with KDN. The public should continue to report on the matter," Zaki said.
According to the Director-General of Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) Datuk Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim, Quran with KDN’s approval has undergone stringent checking and free from printing error.
Jakim welcomed the actions of the KDN in addressing the issue, and he also stressed only the Quran copies that received the approval from KDN were eligible to be used in this country.
A local religious bookstore owner Muhammad Isa hoped authorities would take appropriate actions against offenders who sold Quran without approval by KDN.
He said it was not fair to other religious bookstore owners who have to adhere to various processes set by the authorities before they can sell KDN approved Quran to the public but those who sell online can easily skip those processes.
“I hope KDN can catch them all and impose heavy penalties on them," he said.