"(They were stamped) based on amalan (the standard practice) before...(like) even during (former premiers) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) and Pak Lah's (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's) time.
"There was no intention to deface the Bible... we will not entertain this kind of talk," Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein (left in photo) said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.
Hishammuddin also dismissed claims by the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), that stamping serial numbers on the holy book was a new practice.
"I am hearing all sorts of talk, about the size of the stamp, the colour of the ink... if they want to find fault they will find fault... you can even say the Bibles are smelly after being kept for so long
"It is not a real big issue to me... we have engaged (BSM) but you can only engage with people who want to engage, and resolve issues with people who want them to be resolved," he said.
However, Christian Federation of Malaysia chairperson Bishop Ng Moon Hing was not happy to this response.
He said, "This is Idris' way of handling things. (The government) wants it to look like it is the one giving in, when it should have followed the gazette in the first place. In fact, it is we who have lost so much ground," the bishop said.
Ng said the gazette was unsettling, since placing the Malay language Bible under the Internal Security Act meant the holy book was considered an issue of national security.
"CFM has always taken the position that the Bible is not a threat and contains nothing to threaten national security.
"All along, we Christians have never wanted to take a confrontational path, and have appealed against the (classification of the Bible under the ISA), but it has gone on for far too long," Ng added.