By Refusing To Charge Ibrahim Ali For His Inflammatory Calls To Burn Malay And Iban Copies Of The Bible With The Word “Allah” Allegedly Distributed In A School In Penang When No Such Bibles Were Distributed, Clear Double-Standards And Selective Prosecution Of The Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) In Failing To Let The Courts Decide. (EN/CN)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 3.11.2014.

By Refusing To Charge Ibrahim Ali For His Inflammatory Calls To Burn Malay And Iban Copies Of The Bible With The Word “Allah” Allegedly Distributed In A School In Penang When No Such Bibles Were Distributed, Clear Double-Standards And Selective Prosecution Of The Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) In Failing To Let The Courts Decide.

Sabah State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak disagreement with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s justification for Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn Malay-language Bibles follows the condemnation of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem. This raises questions as to whether Sabah and Sarawak’s views are unimportant as compared to the extremists in Peninsular Malaysia supported by UMNO.

Clearly it is wrong for the Bibles to be burned by Muslims, especially when it is not done as a mark of respect towards Christians but as a protest against Christians. Even a former AGC prosecution chief Stanley Isaac, said that the reasoning of AGC that the “burn Bible” call had no seditious tendency or that Ibrahim had no intention to provoke are “flawed in law”. He said that Section 3(3) of the Sedition Act makes it clear that intention is “irrelevant” if the statement has seditious tendency.

The double-standards and selective prosecution of the Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) in refusing to charge Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali, for his inflammatory calls to burn Malay and Iban copies of the Bible with the word “Allah”, which is no different from behaving like a defence counsel for Ibrahim Ali, is all due to cabinet’s tacit approval and indifference towards the rights of non-Muslims. Even though several Cabinet members have individually opined that Ibrahim Ali should be charged for trampling with impunity over the sensitivities of Christians, they have all passively submitted to Cabinet’s decision to fully endorse the AGC’s decision to let Ibrahim Ali escaped unpunished.

This is highlighted by de facto Minister of Law Nancy Shukri who merely “read out” her written answer to my question in Parliament justifying that Ibrahim Ali would not be charged because he was merely defending Islam. Worse she compounded that error of an answer with an even worse grievous error by stating that this is in line with the Federal Constitution. So far, Nancy Shukri has still not explained where in the Federal Constitution or in the Holy Quran, is stated that burning Bibles is justifiable to defend Islam.

The AGC’s explanation yesterday that Ibrahim’s call for Bibles to be burned must be viewed in its entire context, adding that the Perkasa chief’s statement was aimed at the Bibles distributed to Muslim students of SMK Jelutong in Penang, is wholly ridiculous. Where is it stated under sedition laws that an exception can be made for a statement made with seditious tendencies merely because of the context it was viewed?

When I was convicted and imprisoned for 18 months under the Sedition Act in 1998 for defending a minor who was raped but “imprisoned” whilst her rapists escaped scot-free, even speaking out the truth is no defence against the sedition charge so long as a seditious tendency can be proved. DAP does not approve of sedition laws but if the government wants to apply it, they must apply it fairly and impartially. Practicing double-standards like in Ibrahim’s case clearly shows that the sedition law is a weapon of mass destruction against BNs political opponents.

The AGC stressed that when studied in its entire context, Ibrahim’s statement is not categorised as having seditious tendencies because it was clear that Ibrahim Ali had no intention to create religious tensions, but was only defending the purity of Islam. Why then was I still convicted when I showed that my intention was to defend the purity of justice? The AGC should charge Ibrahim Ali and let the courts decide if Ibrahim’s defence of “context” and “intention” stands.

The AGC also confirmed that the Bibles were distributed outside the school in Jelutong, Penang last year, was not in Bahasa Malaysia nor in Iban as alleged by Ibrahim but in English and neither did the Bibles contained the word Allah.

Clearly the AGC is engaging in sheer nonsense by claiming that the faith of Muslim students is at stake when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem and Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud attended Christian missionary schools without having their faith shaken nor were there any recorded cases of missionary schools attempting to convert their Muslim students.

LIM GUAN ENG

— CN Version —

槟城州首席部长林冠英于2014年11月3日在乔治市光大发表的文告

依不拉欣阿里之前恫言要焚烧在槟城学校派发印有“阿拉”字眼的马来文及伊班文圣经,之后证明该派发圣经事件子虚乌有,但是总检察署却迟迟拒绝提控依布拉欣阿里,足见总检察署持有双重标准及选择性提控,无法让法庭裁决。

自砂拉越首长阿德南谴责依布拉欣阿里恫言焚烧马来文圣经之后,沙巴州州议会议长拿督斯里沙列沙益也不同意前首相马哈迪对阿里言行的说法。这产生了一个疑问,如今与西马半岛巫统支持的极端份子比较,沙巴及砂拉越的看法似乎不重要了。

很明显的穆斯林要焚烧圣经是错误,特别是这么做不只不尊重基督徒,相反的是直接反对及针对基督徒。即使前总检察长以萨史丹利也表示,总检察署辩称阿里恫言“焚烧圣经”并没有煽动的意图,根本是在钻法律漏洞。以萨史丹利指出,煽动法令第3条文第3节明显指出只要言论含有煽动的成分,意图如何根本“毫不重要”。

总检察署双重标准及选择性提控拒绝提控土权主席依布拉欣阿里恫言焚烧印有“阿拉”字眼的马来文及伊班文圣经,这无疑跟成为依布拉欣阿里的辩护律师没两样,而且这都是在内阁默许之下,漠视非穆斯林的权益。即使一些内阁成员个人针对依布拉欣阿里言行,认为阿里应该为肆无忌惮践踏基督徒的敏感神经而受到提控,但这些部长最终还是得被动地根据内阁决定,全力支持总检察署的决定,让阿里逃出法网,免受惩罚。

掌管法律事务的首相署部长南茜在国会回答我的问题时“照稿唸”出上述的说法,并合理化阿里因为只是捍卫伊斯兰教,所以免受提控。糟糕的是南茜不只在回答中连篇错谬,更严重的是她还错辩这是符合联邦宪法。但南茜却始终无法解释,联邦宪法及神圣的可兰经中,到底哪一章节有记载焚烧圣经是合理捍卫伊斯兰教。

总检察署昨天解释,依布拉欣阿里恫言焚烧圣经的言论必须要完整看待其内容背景,还补充说明阿里指的只是派发给在槟城日落动国中学生的圣经,这简直荒谬得太离谱。煽动法令哪曾因为考量煽动言论的内容背景,而可以成为例外,免受提控?

1998年,当我因为捍卫被性侵的弱者,却在煽动法令下被判罪坐牢18个月,而强奸嫌犯却逍遥法外,当时,即使说真话都要被指拥有煽动倾向,而难逃遭煽动法令提控。民主行动党不曾批准过煽动法令,但若联邦政府要沿用这法令,他们就必须公平及一视同仁。以双重标准对待依布拉欣阿里,证明了煽动法令根本就是国阵对付政治异己的强大武器。

总检察署辩说当研究阿里整个言论背景的时候,阿里的言论并不含有煽动倾向,因为阿里并没有制造宗教冲突的意图,但只是捍卫圣洁的伊斯兰教。 那么,为何当初我证明我的意图乃捍卫圣洁的正义,我仍然被定罪?照理,总检察署应该提控依布拉欣阿里,让法庭裁决依布拉欣到底是不是捍卫他们所谓的“言论背景”及他的“本意”为何。

更何况,总检察署更证明了,去年在日落洞学校外派发的圣经,根本不是马来文或伊班文圣经,而是英文版圣经,而且内里并没有“阿拉”字眼。

很明显的,总检察署认为穆斯林学生的信仰将因此受到影响根本纯属无稽之谈胡说八道,因为我们何曾看过就读教会学校的现任首相拿督斯里纳吉、砂拉越首席部长丹斯里阿德南及砂拉越州元首泰益的信仰受到动摇,也不曾有记录记载教会学校意图让穆斯林学生改教。

林冠英

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