Joe Fernandez | January 19, 2016
Free Malaysia Today
PAS Information Chief Nasharudin Tantawi urged to re-confirm whether God really indicated to him that he need not apologize to Guan Eng at the end of a defamation case.
KUALA LUMPUR: A political analyst, taking to his blog on a reported out-of-court settlement on a defamation suit between Lim Guan Eng the plaintiff and Nasharudin Tantawi, wonders whether it was really necessary to drag God into the case. “What’s important is proof based on the facts of the case.”
The case between Guan Eng and PAS Information Chief Nasharuddin was not one between Islam and non-Islam, pointed out Shahbudin Husin the analyst, but involves character values and the behaviour of human beings, something that can happen to anyone irrespective of religious leanings and race. “So, why invoke God by name as a factor, why sell the almighty’s name in a defamation suit?”
“Such an attitude will only serve to further blacken the image of Islam.”
Shahbudin wants Nasharudin to re-confirm whether God really indicated to him by a sign that he need not apologize to Guan Eng at the end of the defamation case.
If it was really true that God told Nasharudin not to apologise to Guan Eng, also DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, the analyst wonders whether the Almighty also advised him to withdraw part of his allegations and pay compensation to the plaintiff, the victim. “Does that mean that God doesn’t like the idea of apologising?”
“Did God really tell Nasharudin not to tender an apology and go on to advise the PAS Information Chief on other aspects of the defamation suit?”
Again, wonders the analyst, why didn’t God advise Nasharudin to fight Guan Eng to the bitter end in the defamation suit.
In fact, said Shahbudin, Nasharudin cannot escape being questioned by the people on the defamation suit by dragging in God’s name to cover himself, to excuse his “shameful” behaviour towards the plaintiff and his character failings. “The people are bound to ask why God is like this and not like that and so on and so forth.”
“It would not be surprising if many ask Nasharudin why he didn’t hold solat sunat prayers in the beginning, before the suit could be initiated, for a sign from God on whether his allegations against Guan Eng were true or otherwise.”
Shahbudin agrees that if it was indeed quite easy to obtain a sign from God, Nasharudin should have considered this option and thereby saved all that time, energy and money in Court in fighting off the defamation suit by Guan Eng.
The analyst hastened to add that he was more interested in finding out from Nasharudin his understanding of Islam and how he wanted to help project the image of the religion given his statement on the defamation suit.
Shahbudin was taking his cue from a Malaysiakini report on the defamation suit where Nasharudin was quoted as explaining why he decided to withdraw the allegations, albeit in part, of the allegations against Guan Eng on the grounds that “they hurt the feelings of the Penang Chief Minister and besides were baseless”.
The analyst noted that PAS Youth Chief Nik Abduh Nik Aziz, in a spontaneous reaction, went to the extent of even congratulating Nasharudin for not apologising to Guan Eng while conceding that the reported out-of-court settlement has helped avoid the case from being further dragged out in Court. “It’s not the done thing for Nasharudin to be proud of his determination not to offer an apology after having slandered someone and hurt him.”
“It became even worse when Nik Abduh praised Nasharudin for his refusal to apologise.”
Isn’t it in Islam, asked Shahbudin, that apologising was a virtue praised in the religion.
Although Nasharudin was proud that he got away without apologising, said Shahbudin, the fact remains that he was humiliated by the out-of-court settlement.
Firstly, Nasharudin refused to apologise.
Secondly, he was forced to pull back part of the allegations.
Finally, the PAS Information Chief had to cough up RM10,000 as token compensation as part of the out-of-court settlement.
Nasharudin, reiterated the analyst, should feel humiliated by the out-of-court settlement. “It was more shameful not only not to apologise but the terms of the out-of-court settlement was even more humiliating and shameful.”
Indeed, worst of all, Nasharudin has painted a very negative image of Islam by dragging in God as a factor in his defamation suit with Guan Eng, summed up the analyst. “His stand was wrong from the Islamic viewpoint.”
Nasharudin, lamented Shahbudin, should not have dragged God into his defamation suit with Guan Eng.