Archive for category Constitution

Najib and Hihammuddin should intervene and drop all charges against RMAF pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded and not penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in 13GE

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to intervene and drop all charges against Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded and not penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections.

If Pakaktan Rakyat is running the Federal Government in Putrajaya, I would have recommended that Major Zaidi should be promoted for showing utmost patriotism going beyond the ordinary call of duty instead of indulging in the mean and petty vindictiveness of clipping his pilot’ wings and reassigning him to a desk job, followed by charges before a court martial which could land him in jail for two years.

Why is the Najib government so unreasonable and even perverse as to want destroy Malaysia’s fragile international image with the latest scandal of sending a patriotic air force pilot to jail for two years not because of any heinous crime or moral turpitude but because of the basic honesty of a decent human being in speaking the truth about the “indelible ink” used in the last general elections which was in fact quickly washabke and deletable?

In contrast, the really corrupt and heinous characters in Malaysia, particularly the “big sharks” of corruption who steal tens and hundreds of millions of ringgit of public properties and wealth, enjoy total immunity and impunity,. Read the rest of this entry »

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Second Open Letter to Najib and Cabinet – Are BN leaders prepared to work with PR leaders to ensure that there could not be another repetition of May 13 riots in Malaysia?

For the second time this year, I am taking full advantage of the Age of Information Technology which enables the instant communication of information with information travelling at the speed of light to pen this Second Open Letter this year to the Prime Minister and all Cabinet Ministers just before their third Cabinet meeting of the New Year of 2014.

Members of the Cabinet who have not read or not informed of this Second Open Letter before the Ministers meet for their third Cabinet meeting later this morning clearly belong to the dinosaur epoch and are not fit to be in the Cabinet – and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have a very strong reason to get rid of these dead-wood and half-past six Ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle.

In my first Open Letter to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet before their first Cabinet meeting on 8th January 2014, I urged the first Cabinet meeting to send our a clear and unmistakable message to end the national drift and loss of leadership and direction to create an united, harmonious, just, and competitive and great Malaysian nation.

I zeroed in on the nation’s quintuplet of crisis which warranted priority and immediate attention by the Cabinet, viz: Read the rest of this entry »

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Putrajaya imposes ‘very high’ restrictions on religion, global study finds

by Trinna Leong
The Malaysian Insider
January 15, 2014

Putrajaya’s restrictions on religion are among the worst in the world, revealed a study by American think tank Pew Research Centre.

The report, Restrictions on Religion, which covered 198 countries, found that Malaysia is among the 24 nations with “very high” government restrictions on religion.

It also found that the number of countries with “high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion reached a six-year-peak in 2012”.“A third (33%) of the 198 countries and territories included in the study had high religious hostilities in 2012, up from 29% in 2011 and 20% as of mid-2007,” said the report.

Placing Malaysia on par with countries like Egypt, Syria, Somalia, Russia, Sudan and Iraq, the report measured “government laws, policies and actions that restrict religious beliefs and practices” for its Government Restrictions Index (GRI).

The report, which covered more than 99.5% of the world’s population, had looked at “efforts by governments to ban particular faiths, prohibit conversions, limit preaching or give preferential treatment to one or more religious groups”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Between God and Allah

Wall Street Journal
Jan 14, 2014

Malaysia tries to stop Christians using the Bahasa word for God.

For nearly 200 years non-Muslim residents of present-day Malaysia used the Arabic and Bahasa word “Allah” to refer to God. Seven years ago, the government began an unnecessary and provocative push to ban them from doing so in print. Now Malaysian police are accusing a Catholic priest of sedition after he announced that churches in the state of Selangor would continue using the A word in their local-language services.

At the heart of the dispute is prominent Catholic priest Lawrence Andrew. In 2007, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar banned Father Lawrence Andrew’s church newspaper from printing “Allah.” Father Andrew fought the ban in the courts and eventually lost in the Court of Appeal last October. In November, the sultan of Selangor took the campaign a step further and extended the ban to Bahasa-language Bibles and churches. Now Father Andrew is being investigated for violating the edict under the draconian Sedition Act. Read the rest of this entry »

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The ‘Allah’ Issue in Perspective – Part 2

By Kee Thuan Chye
news.malaysia.msn.com
14 Jan 2014

Yesterday, I looked at the ‘Allah’ issue from the time it started to what it has become today, and how we are now trapped in a web of confusion spun from diverse interpretations of the Court of Appeal’s decision on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by The Herald, as well as the “one-policy, two-countries” implication arising from Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 10-point solution.

In the midst of such confusion, how do we judge who is right – those who claim that ‘Allah’ is exclusive to Muslims or those who insist that it is their constitutional right to practise their religion the way they have been doing it for ages, including referring to God as ‘Allah’?

How do we deal with the rising fervour on both sides, Muslim and Christian, as they seek to defend what they think is right? With Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of The Herald, who said on December 27 that Christians would continue to use ‘Allah’ in all Selangor churches, and with the Solidariti Umat Islam Klang members who protested in public against his statement?

How do we deal with Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria’s demand for the arrest of the Malays who turned up at a church in Klang to show solidarity with Christians? Read the rest of this entry »

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The ‘Allah’ Issue in Perspectiv​e — Part 1

By Kee Thuan Chye
news.Malaysia.msn.com
Jan 13 2014

As the ‘Allah’ issue rages on, particularly after the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raided the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seized 300-plus copies of the Bible in Malay and Iban on January 2, let’s take a moment and look at it in perspective.

How did it start?

Not, as falsely claimed by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, because Malaysia has become more liberal and Malaysians are testing the limits of their “new-found freedom”. Not, as he says, because some groups “purposely come up with something to annoy people” or that they want to run down other religions.

That is the usual kind of poppycock for which he has of late been fond of spinning.

The whole mess started in 2009 with Syed Hamid Albar, who was home minister then, banning the Catholic weekly The Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia section. Prior to that, there had been no issue. Christians in Sabah and Sarawak had been using it for ages, long before they joined the Federation of Malaysia. No one had raised a hue and cry. Read the rest of this entry »

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Show courage in ‘Allah’ row, Zaid tells Pakatan

The Malay Mail Online
January 14, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) must stand firm in its support of non-Muslims’ use of “Allah” and not allow itself to be cowed by fears of a backlash from the Muslim community, former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said today.

The former PKR member said the pact should have shown the courage to support the proposal of three Selangor DAP assemblymen to amend the state law at the centre of the current religious row, instead of criticising them for their “hastiness”.

“Pakatan can only lead the country if it is brave enough to offer solutions to the difficult religious and ethnic issues that Umno seems adept at creating.

“Pakatan can only be stronger if they can take on Umno on these issues by presenting comprehensive solutions and not shying away as they are prone to do,” he wrote on his blog today. Read the rest of this entry »

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First Cabinet meeting of the year is the farce of the decade – decision not to have a decision!

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak disappeared for ten days just before 2013 and the start of 2014, leaving behind a government which seems not only clueless but rudderless about the clutch of five national crises which came to a head during this period – nation-building, economic, educational, security and on good governance.

When Najib resurfaced to chair the first Cabinet meeting of the year after a disappearance of 10 days – will the Prime Minister’s Office please inform Malaysians where he went to as no one knows where was our Prime Minister between Dec. 25 to January 5! – Malaysians heaved a sigh of relief, expecting that there would at last be leadership and direction to end the drift and lack of leadership and vision in the critical 10-day transition from 2013 to 2014.

But a great disappointment was in store for Malaysians for there was only deafening silence from the Cabinet the whole of yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Silence is golden for some Barisan leaders in latest ‘Allah’ row, say analysts

by Eileen Ng
The Malaysian Insider
January 09, 2014

Several top Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders are sitting out of the latest row over who can use the word “Allah”, believing reticence is better than stepping on a political landmine, say analysts.

There have been no statements from top leaders of MCA, MIC and Gerakan, who mainly represent non-Malays and non-Muslims in BN, since a firestorm ignited over Christians insisting they are not bound by a Selangor royal decree and the seizure of some 300 Malay and Iban Bibles by the state Islamic authorities.

“It is a no-win situation for them, so in this case, silence is golden,” Professor James Chin, a political analyst with Monash University Malaysia, told The Malaysian Insider.

He also said that component parties were caught in a bind as anything they say would offend either religious or political groups. Read the rest of this entry »

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Was AG Gani Patail remiss in his duties in failing to carry out a comprehensive briefing of top government officials on the 10-Point Solution to resolve the Bible controversy which would have averted the Jais raid on BSM?

It has been reported that the Selangor police have wrapped up their investigation against Father Lawrence Andrew over his allegedly seditious remarks on the “Allah” issue.

According to a report on Astro Awani, Selangor police chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Dahlan said that the investigation papers for the case will be submitted to the Attorney-General’s office as early as today.

The police chief also confirmed that the case is being investigated under Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948.

Including Andrew, the editor of Catholic weekly The Herald, a total of 99 individuals have had their statements recorded on the issue.

Malaysians are asking why the police acted so swiftly on the Father Lawrence case when it has as yet to act on the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and the confiscation of Malay and Iban Bibles, which were not only illegal and unconstitutional but clear violation of the 10-Point Solution endorsed by the Federal Cabinet in April 2011 to resolve the Bible controversy.

The Jais raid and the confiscation of the Malay and Iban Bibles would not have taken place if there had been good understanding and proper respect for the 10-Point Solution, both in letter and spirit, by both Jais and the Malaysian police. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jais wrong as Allah ban only for Herald, not Bibles, say critics

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
January 08, 2014

Selangor’s religious authorities were wrong to seize Malay and Iban language Bibles and must return them as the ban on using the word Allah is only for the Catholic weekly Herald, say lawyers and politicians.

They said the Bible, be it in any language, was never banned in Malaysia and as such, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) had no right to seize the holy books from The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) last Thursday as the Allah issue only centred on the Herald case.

Human rights lawyer Andrew Khoo Chin Hock said the Court of Appeal ruling last October that barred Herald from using the word Allah had included Bibles in the 10-point solution endorsed by the federal Cabinet in 2011.

“So Jais’s raid and seizure has no basis at all because the 10-point solution covers the holy book,” Khoo told The Malaysian Insider, referring to the agreement that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government had made with the Christian community ahead of the Sarawak state election. Read the rest of this entry »

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In faith, human will and intellect cooperate with grace

– May Chee Chook Ying
The Malaysian Insider
January 06, 2014

Yesterday was an epiphany of sorts. It was our (my husband, daughter and I) first time at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. Beautiful church, meaningful service that kept us rooted to the pew (I’m truly guilty of wanting to run out in the midst of some homilies, so help me, God!) and much, much, more than that – that picture of grace that greeted us outside the church.

Cameras were clicking away. As usual, the “roses” held court, but I did notice some “thorns” mingling around.

Kudos to Azrul Mohd Khalib and other coordinators of the “solidarity gathering” who managed to band together Malaysians of different religions and ethnicities to turn up at the church as early as 8am to be one with their Christian brothers and sisters.

This “In the Name of Allah” initiative is truly reminiscent of the one in Egypt where we saw Muslims protecting Christians during mass, and Christians forming a circle around their Muslim brethren while they prayed during protests.

All of you who turned up yesterday at The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, including Marina Mahathir, members of the Sisters of Islam and fellow Malaysians who are non-Christians, you have our utmost respect and thanks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib perlu bertindak segera untuk menghentikan sebarang serbuan haram dan bertentangan dengan perlembagaan oleh pihak berkuasa Islam ke atas agama lain kerana kegagalan berbuat demikian akan menjejaskan mesej yang beliau sampaikan bersempena perayaan Krismas dan Tahun Baru

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak perlu bertindak segera untuk menghentikan sebarang serbuan haram dan bertentangan dengan perlembagaan oleh pihak berkuasa Islam ke atas agama lain kerana kegagalan berbuat demikian akan menjadikan mesej yang beliau sampaikan bersempena perayaan Krismas dan Tahun Baru hilang makna dan hilang kredibiliti.

Dalam tempoh kurang daripada sepuluh hari selepas Najib menyampaikan dua ucapan Krismas – satu dalam majlis Hi-Tea Krismas rasmi di Kuala Lumpur dan satu lagi dalam majlis Rumah Terbuka Krismas peringkat kebangsaan di Pulau Pinang – mesej kesederhanaan, keharmonian dan kerukunan hidup antara kaum telah dinafikan menerusi serbuan haram oleh Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) dan polis ke atas premis Persatuan Alkitab Malaysia dan rampasan sebanyak 350 naskhah Alkitab berbahasa Melayu dan Iban.

Dalam ucapannya, Najib menyebut bahawa lebih baik untuk Muslim dan Kristian tidak berbalah tentang perbezaan di antara mereka, sebaliknya mencari titik persamaan “untuk memelihara keamanan, keharmonian dan kestabilan negara,” sambil menggesa kedua-dua kelompok itu untuk memahami sensitiviti kedua-dua agama supaya masing-masing tidak tersentuh.
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Apakah Umno telah berubah daripada sebuah parti pembina negara menjadi parti pemusnah negara dengan sokongan Muhyiddin terhadap protes di luar gereja dan Noh Omar mempertahankan protes Umno Selangor terhadap Kristian?

Peristiwa-peristiwa yang berlaku pada beberapa hari pertama tahun baru 2014 membuatkan rakyat Malaysia berfikir tentang masa depan negara ini.

Salah satu persoalan meresahkan rakyat Malaysia ialah sama ada Umno telah berubah daripada sebuah parti pembina negara menjadi parti pemusnah negara dengan sokongan Muhyiddin terhadap protes di luar gereja dan Noh Omar mempertahankan protes Umno Selangor terhadap Kristian.

Pada hakikatnya, sokongan yang diberikan oleh Muhyiddin dan Noh Omar terhadap tindakan haram dan bertentangan dengan perlembagaan oleh Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) yang menyerbu Persatuan Alkitab Malaysia (BSM) dengan bantuan penuh Polis membangkitkan persoalan serius tentang keikhlasan, keseriusan, dan komitmen para pemimpin Umno terhadap jaminan asas kebebasan beragama yang diberikan oleh perlembagaan untuk semua rakyat Malaysia, selain Penyelesaian 10 Perkara yang disahkan oleh Jemaah Menteri pada April 2011 untuk mengakhiri kontroversi Alkitab.
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Five national crisis scorching the country should top the agenda of a National Reconciliation Summit of BN and PR leaders

For ten days between the Christmas National Open House 2013 in Penang on December 25 and the 2014 New Year monthly morning assembly of civil servants in the Prime Minister’s Department this morning, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak disappeared from the public view.

Apart from the 2014 New Year Message on New Year’s Eve, which would have been drafted by his coterie of highly-paid consultants well in advance, there was not a word from the country’s Prime Minister although the country had never swirled and whirled with more disturbing developments and events which included:

• The deepening economic crisis caused by a series of price hikes and looming avalanche of more price hikes in the coming weeks and months culminating in the introduction of the GST at six per cent in April 2015;

• Crisis of deteriorating national educational standards for the past decade, with the country heading further south with the results of TIMSS 2011 and PISA 2012, and the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin making himself “scarce” from public to avoid having to “square the circle” of how Malaysian students can perform several educational miracles under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 to catapult to top-third of TIMSS and PISA international educational assessments when Malaysian students have continued to plunge in international educational standards;

• Crisis on the corruption front, despite the biggest budgets in past few years for the anti-corruption agency, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. In the last 19 years when Transparency International maintained its Corruption Perception Index, Malaysia achieved the dubious distinction as one of the countries which had been downgraded both in TI CPI ranking and score, as well as losing out to several countries which had lower CPI ranking and score in 1995.
Now, we are at the risk in the near future of being overtaken by countries including China and Indonesia which had been behind Malaysia and at the bottom of TI CPI in 1995. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has UMNO transformed from a nation-building to a nation-destroying party with Muhyiddin supporting protests outside Churches and Noh Omar defending Selangor UMNO protesting against Christians?

The first few days of the 2014 New Year have provided much food for thought for Malaysians concerned about the future of the nation.

One of the question vexing Malaysians is whether UMNO has been transformed from a nation-building to a nation-destroying party with the Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin supporting protests outside Churches and the Selangor Umno Chief Datuk Noh Omar defending Selangor UMNO protesting against Christians.

In fact, the support given by Muhyiddin and Noh Omar to the illegal and unconstitutional Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) fully aided and abetted by the Police raises the serious question about sincerity, seriousness and commitment of UMNO leaders’ to fundamental and constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion for all Malaysians as well as 10-Point Solution to end the Bible controversy endorsed by the Cabinet in April 2011.

As there is no dispute that the Jais raid on the BSM and the confiscation of the 300 copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and another 10 in Iban is a clear transgression of the 10-Point Solution arrived at between the Federal Government and the Christian community on April 2, 2011, which was reiterated in an official letter from the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to Bishop Ng Moon Hing, chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia on April 11, 2011, Muhyiddin and Noh Omar (who was a Cabinet Minister in 2011) must now declare whether they still support the 10-Point Solution or whether they want to dissociate themselves from the accord! Read the rest of this entry »

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IGP Khalid should explain why the police aided and abetted in the illegal/unconstitutional Jais raid on BSM when it is the first duty of the police to protect the constitution and uphold the law

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar should explain why the police aided and abetted in the illegal and unconstitutional Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) when it is the first duty of the police to protect the constitution and uphold the law.

Instead of tarnishing the police image and professionalism with “fairy tale” conspiracies like a plot to “topple the government” on New Year’s Eve in Dataran Merdeka, which has been proved to be a total pack of lies, Khalid would be doing something productive to restore public confidence in the independence, efficiency and professionalism of the police force if he could explain and convince Malaysians that the police had not aided and abetted Jais in an illegal and unconstitutional act.

There is no doubt that without police back-up, Jais’ illegal and unconstitutional raid of BSM and the seizure of over three hundred copies of Malay and Iban Bibles would not have taken place.

Didn’t the police have the proper constitutional knowledge and legal advice that it is unlawful and unconstitutional to trample on the rights of all Malaysians in the exercise of their fundamental constitutional rights with regard to freedom of religion?

Is the police ignorant and unaware that the Jais raid of the MBS and seizure of the Malay and Iban Bibles would be gross violation of the 10-Point Solution to end the Bible controversy? Read the rest of this entry »

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Politics and religion a tinderbox of tension

Anisah Shukry | January 3, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia’s leaders and Islamic scholars are just using Islam to serve their own interests, says former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia would be better off separating religion from politics, rather than using matters of the faith as a tool to crackdown on political dissent, said former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

Weighing in on Harussani Zakaria’s statement that those who protested at the New Year’s Eve anti-hike rally were bughah (traitors), Mohd Asri said he was disgusted at the blatant misuse of religion by “so-called scholars”.

“Religion has been used as a political weapon to the point that an announcement was made permitting the bloodshed of the weak. I’m not asking for separation of religion from politics, because that is not a habit of Islam.

“But at the same time, if religion is merely used as a weapon to serve political interests, it is better for the two to be separated,” the Islamic scholar wrote on his blog drmaza.com yesterday.

Harussani, who is the mufti of Perak, reportedly said yesterday that it was haram (forbidden) for Muslims to participate in the mass protest against the rising cost of living.

“…all the protestors should be arrested for being traitors to the government and accordingly in Islam, bloodshed is permitted on the bughah,” Harussani was quoted by Malay daily Berita Harian. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muslim-Christian ties deteriorate while extremists celebrate

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
January 04, 2014

What’s up with the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais)? This seems to be the catch-all phrase when describing its raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia office on Thursday where some 300 Bahasa Malaysia and Iban Bibles were seized.

And the more some leaders and pundits struggle to come up with answers through the fog of silence that shrouds Jais, the more it looks like “politics” instead of “law” emerges as an explanation.

This latest incident also highlights (again) the persistent contradictions and problems in the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) handling of the “Allah” issue.

Also, it reflects a deep gap in the understanding of Islam, not just among Muslims, but also the authorities who are supposed to be in charge with regulating its practice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Abide by the Federal Constitution; Focus on achieving harmony and unity — Bar Council Malaysia

Christopher Leong
President
Malaysian Bar
The Malay Mail Online
January 3, 2014

Jan 3 — The Malaysian Bar is concerned by reports that Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (“JAIS”, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department) had on 2 January 2014 conducted a raid on the office of the Bible Society of Malaysia (“BSM”), confiscated more than 300 copies of the Alkitab (Bahasa Malaysia bible) and Bup Kudus (Iban bible), and arrested the President and the Office Manager of BSM. It is also reported that the President and the Office Manager have been required to present themselves to JAIS officers on 10 January 2014.

It is alarming that the religious body or enforcement agency of one religion would purport to have jurisdiction or purview over other religions. This is not what is envisaged under the Federal Constitution. The actions of JAIS are purported to have been carried out pursuant to the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment No 1 of 1988 of Selangor (“said Selangor Enactment”), in particular sections 9 to 13 thereof.

The said Selangor Enactment is stated in its preamble to have been enacted pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, which provides that State law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam. The purpose of the said Selangor Enactment is therefore an enactment against the propagation of other religions to Muslims or the proselytisation of Muslims. Read the rest of this entry »

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