by Lim Guan Eng
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri has compounded her egregious justification of the Attorney-General’s Chambers’s failure to prosecute Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali under the Sedition Act, because of his threat to burn copies of the Bible(in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban) with the term “Allah”, was merely to defend Islam with an even worse blunder in her latest explanation.
By explaining that not prosecuting Ibrahim Ali for threatening to burn Malay or Iban version of the Bibles was in line with the federal constitution, Nancy has shown herself at best, a lawyer with no knowledge of the law or at worst, a closet Perkasa supporter and clone of Ibrahim Ali.
As a victim of Sedition Act who was imprisoned for 18 months in Kajang Prison in 1998, this incredible excuse of ‘defending Islam’ does not exist in sedition law and is completely unacceptable.
Is Nancy pretending or is she completely ignorant of the law as to not know that the intention of the maker or even the truthfulness of the statement is irrelevant in sedition cases and it is an offence to act, speak or publish statements with a seditious tendency?
This is “blatant double standards” in BN’s and the Attorney-General’s inaction against Ibrahim highlights the abuse of sedition laws as a weapon of mass destruction to persecute those who oppose BN but will shield pro-BN parties from any prosecution.
Sedition laws are happily used against opposition legislators, including Penang Assemblyman RSN Rayer for attacking UMNO in State Assembly meetings despite enjoying parliamentary immunity when UMNO leaders making such attacks publicly against PR escaped unpunished.
Even non-politican academics like UM law lecturer Professor Azmi Sharom is charged for making an academic legal view.
DAP would like to see Nancy making these outrageous defence of the right to make threats to burn copies of the Bible with the term ‘Allah’ by repeating it in front of Christians in her home state of Sarawak that, “The decision by the Attorney-General Chambers to not prosecute Ibrahim was because the context of his speech was in line with the spirit in Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution”.
Article 11 (4) refers to the right to freedom of religion as well as the prohibition of propagating other faiths to those who profess Islam.
Even Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing has said that this placed Islamist extremists above the law and that “it is acceptable to burn the Bibles, insult believers of other faiths and do disrespectful acts in defence of the sanctity of Islam”.
BN and Nancy’s act of defending Ibrahim was “most dangerous”, as it would allow other extremist groups who made provocative statements and actions to get away with their act by offering a similar excuse.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak might as well dissolve his Coalition of Moderates if this is how the religious faith and rights of non-Muslims are treated.
DAP demands BN to immediately reverse this dangerous policy shift by immediately prosecuting Ibrahim Ali to prevent the downward spiral of a dark age of intolerance against non-Muslim in Malaysia that will harm national unity, jeopardise national integration, damage racial relations and threaten religious harmony.
DAP appreciates the support of many Muslim groups who were equally shocked by this dangerous policy of BN and opposed the dangerous justifcation of Nancy by pointedly reminding that the Quran or Islam does not demand the burning of religious books of non-Muslim relgions.
Would BN and Nancy summon the necessary courage to meet and explain this latest policy decision of BN with Christians and other religious groups who are distraught, distressed and disturbed by this dangerous development? -The Rocket