Current Affairs

Sedition Act fails to protect religious minority in church cross protest

Failure to arrest Muslim protesters in Taman Medan church incident is a testimony to double standards regarding the enforcement of the Sedition Act, a DAP lawmaker today said.

PAC member and DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua said Hazem's 'resignation' shows all is not well within the 1MDB

PAC member and DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua said Hazem’s ‘resignation’ shows all is not well within the 1MDB

In a statement Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua criticised the authorities for not acting against the protesters.

Condemning the protest, which was staged by some 50 residents who demanded that a cross be taken down from the front facade of the shoplot where the church was operating, Pua said Article 11 of the Federal Constitution guarantees that no one can prevent anyone from practicing their beliefs, no matter how small a minority is in a country, state or village.

“This guarantee is sacred as long as proselytisation to Muslims are restricted,” he said.

Pua added that recent Sedition Act amendments proposed and approved by Barisan Nasional were supposed to have deal specifically with circumstances like these.

“While we remain adamant against the Sedition Act due to the ease of abuse against civil society critics, we call upon the proponents of the Act to state their position as to whether action should be taken against the protesters above. This is because the BN MPs defended the Act and the relevant amendments purely to deal with these types of exact issues,” he added.

 Protesters at church in Taman Medan yesterday had showed up with placards that read “Do not create anger amongst Muslims” and “Do not challenge the Muslims in Taman Medan”.

Malaysiakini reported some of the more provocative signs that read, “We do not want any quarters to put up a cross in an area that is 95 percent Muslim” and “We want that thing to be taken down or we will do it.”

“Had the situation been reversed, where a group of non-Muslims protested against the existence or construction of a surau or mosque, there is no doubt that the relevant authorities would have reacted immediately to clamp down the situation,” Pua said.

Pua took to task MCA and Gerakan MP’s who were amongst the non-Muslim component parties who had supported the amendments to the Act, which were passed by Parliament on April 10.

“Will MCA and Gerakan who had similarly defended the Act now demand action to be taken under the Act? Is this for example the “goodwill” promoted in the Act which the Secretary-General of Gerakan and MP for Simpang Renggam, Liang Teck Meng, proudly declared in his support of the Act?” Pua asked.

Despite the church’s decision to remove the cross following the threats, the issue is not closed, Pua said.

“The bigger issue is the fact that if the authorities do not act to protect the minorities in this country, the majority will just become big bullies and take similar actions against others who are just practising what is protected by our Federal Constitution,” Pua added.

– The Rocket

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