KUALA LUMPUR: PAS MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh today retracted his statement calling the Bible “distorted or altered” and apologised to Christians.

Nik Zawawi, who made the statement in the Dewan Rakyat in August, said he had no intention of hurting the feelings of Christians when he referred to the Bible during the debate on the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020 to propose heavier fines for drink driving.

His claim that biblical injunctions about drinking alcohol had been “distorted or altered” led to a chorus of protests and condemnation from Christian associations and politicians.

Yesterday, Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Harun said he would look into Nik Zawawi’s remarks.

Nik Zawawi, who is the MP for Pasir Puteh, told the house today he respected all religions and had made the statement to “protect the originality of the Bible”.

He said academically, there were three translations of the Bible with regard to consumption of alcohol.

According to him, the first translation prohibits the consumption of liquor, the second states that too much liquor can lead to immoral behaviour and abuse, and the third states that alcohol can be drunk but in a limited quantity.

Dr Kevin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching) had asked the speaker for an update of the matter after Nik Zawawi had initially refused to withdraw his statement and issue an apology.