WITH the authorities seemingly dragging their feet in taking action against Muslim preachers insulting other religions, the Global Human Rights Federation (GHRF) has appealed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong al-Sultan Abdullah Almarhum Sultan Ahmad Syah to intervene on the matter.
“We appeal to Your Majesty to protect the rights of your non-Muslim subjects so as to dispense justice to us. Several of your subjects are trying to create animosity among multiracial Malaysia by skewing the provisions slated under the Federal Constitution.
“Hence, we are seeking your intervention as a last resort. Please stop these individuals who are constantly insulting non-Muslims and our faiths,” GHRF president S Shashi Kumar said in a memo delivered to Istana Negara.
Yesterday (April 12), the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed a petition for leave application for a judicial review to challenge the Attorney-General’s (AG) decision in not prosecuting two Muslim preachers, Firdaus Wong and Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu for allegedly insulting non-Muslim religions.
In a verdict delivered via Zoom, Justice Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid said that the petitioners, S. Sivakumar and M. Rajasegaran had failed to prove mala fide on the part of the AG in its decision to not prosecute the case.
He added that the petitioners also failed to rebut the legality of the AG’s decision on the matter.
“However, I concur that the petitioners have locus standi on the case as per the videos and other materials provided as proof of evidence,” Wan Ahmad was reported as saying.
Touching on the matter, Shashi Kumar said that Article 8 of the Federal Constitution guarantees equality before the law, which prevents any forms of discrimination or injustice against Malaysians.
He added that Article 11 (1) also protects religious freedom, subject to Clause (4) which restricts propagation of non-Muslim faiths.
“And Article 153 states that the Agong is responsible to protect the special privileges of the Malays and bumiputera of Sabah and Sarawak, in addition to protecting the legitimate interest of other communities.”
Despite the constitutional protections, Shashi Kumar lamented that the authorities have failed to act against the individuals insulting other religions despite filing numerous police reports against them.
“But I wish to inform Your Majesty that those insulting Islam are swiftly dealt with while those insulting other faiths seem to enjoy immunity, leaving us helpless.
“Therefore, I implore to Your Majesty to act against your subjects such as Firdaus, Zamri, Ahmad Iqram Mohd Nor, Syakri Nasoha, Idris Sulaiman and their ilk who are not only going against the Rukun Negara but also the Federal Constitution,” he mentioned.
Meeting at the door of the Istana Negara
At 3.30pm today (April 13), Shashi Kumar handed the memo to Istana Negara public relations officer Mohd Husni Yusop.
“We explained to him regarding the racism, fanatic preachers and extremism and told him what was happening and he was a bit shocked. He then asked whether the police took any action and I answered no.
“Even though we have taken it up to the court the case has been dismissed,” Shashi Kumar told FocusM.
According to Shashi Kumar, the reason he decided to bring forward this matter to Istana Negara was because the Agong is the Supreme Head of the Federation and the head of state of Malaysia.
“We should have an audience with him because he must be aware of what is going on here and he is in charge of the Islamic religion,” he added.
Husni agreed to bring up the matter to the Agong.
“They want a compilation of evidence, which means I will be going to the Istana Negara again either on Friday or the next Monday to hand over the necessary documents.”
The memorandum is also endorsed by over 60 other NGOs, including those from Sabah and Sarawak. – April 13, 2022