COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
23 July 2014
Want to know what has troubled the Malaysian judiciary all these years? Why it is the butt of jokes and why it has as much credibility as Datuk Ibrahim Ali?
Look no further than former chief justice (CJ) Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad (pic).
This is a man who shades the truth: who spews half-baked nonsense and tries to dress it up as fact. But most alarmingly, this is a man who is not averse to using his standing in society to divide Malaysians.
He is not what a judge or a former judge is supposed to be: courageous, full of integrity, but most of all, honest.
Just listen to his latest diatribe at a gathering before Muslim groups in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. In a nutshell, this is what he said:
* Islam is under threat in DAP-held Penang, because some unnamed mufti told him that obtaining an allocation for Islamic activities was difficult.
Did he verify the allegation? No. Instead he repeats this allegation to an audience of several hundred just to spark their anger against the DAP (read: non-Muslims).
* That during the opening of some building in Penang, in addition to prayers by Muslims, there were also prayers by Christians and Buddhists. The former CJ said that this was an example of the role of Islam under the Constitution being usurped by other religions.
What a sorry individual this man is. Malaysians are God-fearing people and what is wrong with each community being allowed to say prayers to commemorate a special event?
* That the Catholic Church was pressing the use of the word Allah because it wanted to convert Muslims. That Malaysia was different from the rest of the Muslim world where Christians were allowed to use the word Allah.
At the very least, you would expect the former CJ to do some research. Obviously, diligence is not his strong point. For starters, Christians have used the word Allah in their worship for more than 100 years and there were no problems with regard to the usage, until Umno politicians stirred the pot.
Secondly, there have only been few conversions from Islam to Catholicism in Malaysia in the last 10 years.
* That non-Muslims want the same rights as Muslims in Malaysia. This is a strange statement coming from someone who used to be at the apex of the judiciary.
The Federal Constitution guarantees Malaysians the right to practise their religion. This is what Malaysians want: what is guaranteed by the most important piece of legislation in the country.
There could be a number of reasons why Tun Abdul Hamid is stirring the pot with his incendiary comments and half-truths. He could be missing the spotlight, thinking that only speaking for Perkasa and Isma will get him headlines.
Perhaps he believes he needs to “defend” Islam to make amends for his sins. He won’t be the last person to go down this path. Malaysia is full of personalities who have suddenly grown a religious conscience after years and decades of sins of commission and omission.
Whatever his reason, make no mistake that the former CJ is a dangerous and irresponsible man, cut from the same cloth of Umno, Perkasa, Isma – men who make sweeping and unverified statements with the sole purpose of sowing hatred. – July 23, 2014.