Explain inaction on racial, religious provocation cases, Bar asks police, A-G

The Malaysian Insider
15 October 2014

Ahead of its peaceful walk to protest the Sedition Act tomorrow, the Malaysian Bar has a list of at least a dozen cases of provocative racial and religious remarks since 2012, and wants the police and Attorney-General to explain the status of each to the public.

The list of cases was appended in a document when the Bar passed a resolution at its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on September 19 that the Sedition Act should be repealed and a protest march be held.

Its president Christopher Leong said it was not for de facto Law Minister Datuk Nancy Shukri to speak of these matters that came under the responsibility of these agencies.

“It is for the police to explain their non-action while the Attorney-General’s Chambers on why it refused to prosecute certain cases,” Leong told The Malaysian Insider.

He said this in response to the barrage of criticism against Nancy, who last week replied on behalf of the public prosecutor that no charges would be framed against Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali for his statement last year that Malay Bibles should be burnt.

In a written reply to Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng on October 7, Nancy said Ibrahim’s remark was made in defence of Islam as the constitution provided for the state and federal laws to control and restrict the propagation of other religions to Muslims.

Leong said police investigations and prosecution were not under her purview.

Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman in a recent interview with The Malaysian Insider also said that only the public prosecutor had the absolute discretion whether to frame or drop charges against accused persons.

Leong said the list of cases with unknown status were raised at the Bar EGM to show how the Sedition Act was being used selectively.

“The cases were referred to highlight the injustice of the situation and that the sedition law is open to abuse,” he said.

Among the notable cases in the Bar’s list were that of controversial lecturer Ridhuan Tee Abdullah and former Perkasa vice-president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin for allegedly disparaging the Hindu religion and insulting adherents of the faith in February and March last year.

Ridhuan also allegedly made inflammatory remarks in an article “Kesabaran Umat Islam ada had” (There is a limit to the patience of Muslims) on February 18 last year.

There were also police reports made after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the results of the 2013 general election was a “Chinese tsunami” on May 6 last year, and also after Utusan Malaysia published a front-page article entitled “Apa lagi orang Cina mahu? (What more do the Chinese want?) the following day.

The document presented at the Bar EGM also questioned the status of reports made against retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah for allegedly accusing an ethnic group of treason and then warning of retribution by another ethnic group on May 22 last year.

It also asked about the status of investigations against retired chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohammad for allegedly stating in early September that only Malays truly fought for independence while the other races were consumed by self-interest.

Other major cases on the Bar’s list are:

* The bloodletting of chickens in a street of Kuala Lumpur, allegedly by some members of Pertubuhan Permuafakatan Majlis Ayahanda Malaysia (Permas) and an overt reference to the racial riot of May 13 as an implied threat.

* The person involved in the burning of an effigy of Father Lawrence Andrew, a Christian priest, in January.

* A speech at a seminar entitled “Seminar Kalimah Allah dan Kristologi Nusantara” at Universiti Teknologi Mara on May 6.

* Segambut Umno division chief and Senator Datuk Kamruddin Ambok for allegedly stating that non-Bumiputeras were “biadap and kurang ajar” (uncouth and impolite) early last month.

* Former Perak state executive councillor Datuk Hamidah Osman for allegedly stating, “Bila nampak ular dan seorang India, pukul India dulu” (When you see a snake and an Indian, hit the Indian first) on Twitter on September 18, 2012.

The Sedition Act has been used against several politicians from Pakatan Rakyat, student activists, lawyers and even academicians who have been hauled up by the police since August, either for investigation or prosecution.

Among the big names are opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and law professors Dr Azmi Sharom and Dr Abdul Aziz Bari.

Leong said the Sedition Act was a bad and unjust law and must be repealed because it criminalised speech and expression of thought.

He said some people claimed that sedition was not a bad law but the Bar’s stand was that a legislation could not depend on the good faith of men.

“Our experience and history had shown that the repealed Internal Security Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act had been abused,” he added.

He said there were others spreading false information that those who wanted the Sedition Act repealed also wanted to remove provisions that protected the position of Islam, the Malays and the Rulers.

“The Malaysian Bar abides by the constitution as these are integral and important parts of nation building,” he said.

The Bar will hold a peaceful walk in protest against the Sedition Act tomorrow from Padang Merbok to Parliament.

Leong said at the end of the walk at Parliament, the lawyers will present relevant documents to the prime minister or his representative.

He said the Bar had given notice under the Peaceful Assembly Act to the police to facilitate the event.

“There is no pre-registration (for the walk) but the support from members is very encouraging based on queries about the event,” he said. – October 15, 2014.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Thursday, 16 October 2014 - 2:12 pm

    In dis 1DERful land, NO need 2 explain 1 lar

    Like DAP kaki questioned P’jaya’s granting of RM77 million 2 d brother of Defence Minister 4 a liquor security-labelling contract
    What kind of Q aaah

    Don’t forget, a few years ago, with 0 experience, d same brother oredi granted a few million worth of contract 4 security-labelling cigarettes
    Now, a follow up sweet heart deal 2 a guy experienced in security-labelling

    Rakyat sure there will b more security-labelling contracts 2 b awarded 2 him, like security-labelling Malay bibles, expensive handbags n diamond rings, etc

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