Have the authorities gone too far by hauling up social activists who feel Anwar’s public conversion of Hindu youth is unjust?

AT A TIME when no so-called multi-racial component parties in Pakatan Harapan (PH) has come forward to comment on Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s action of solemnising the conversion of a Hindu man into Islam recently, perhaps it is just and justifiable for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to offer their views on the matter.

But the hauling up of social activist Arun Dorasamy (main pic, left) by the Bukit Aman police for questioning yesterday (Aug 23) over a recent video he posted could leave a bad taste with regard to freedom of speech and citizenry rights to question the action of the leaders they have entrusted to spearhead the country to greater heights.

This is especially so as Arun only intended to convey a constructive criticism on behalf of Malaysian Indians of the Hindu faith who feel intimidated/insulted by Anwar’s action of taking the lead in the conversion process publicly rather than questioning Anwar’s right to convert the youth as such action is regarded as a noble act to Muslims.

Besides Arun, Global Human Rights Federation (GHRF) founder and the president S. Shashi Kumar (main pic, right) also has ‘a date’ with Bukit Aman at 11.30am today over a five-minute video clip on the conversion matter despite having articulated his views in a fair and just manner.

“I’ve been called up by Bukit Aman USJT tomorrow with an investigation paper now open against me for speaking out on the PM. Just to update. Thank you,” read his WhatsApp text sent at 10.30pm last night (Aug 22).

It is understood that Arun is being investigated under Section 504 of the Penal Code related to intentional insult and provocation of public peace and Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Act related to abuse of internet facilities.

He is also additionally being investigated under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act related to “insulting behaviour”.


Commenting on the latest police action, former DAP Perai state assemblyman Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy reckoned that Anwar as the PM who constantly engages intellectualism, democracy and justice – whether he likes it or not – must be prepared to face criticisms.

“Not because he is Anwar but because occupying the highest office begets criticisms,” the former Penang chief minister II told FocusM. “As the father of the reformist movement in the country, he should not forget the hardship and struggles engaged by his followers for the creation of better Malaysia.”

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

Added Ramasamy: “Why the need for the police to haul up and question those who criticised Anwar for presiding over the religious conversion. Shouldn’t the public have high expectations of Anwar rather than engaging in mundane or ordinary act of conversion?

“Should the public have high expectations of Anwar to rise over mundanity to focus his energies on the state of the nation, the polarised ethnic and religious atmosphere and to move the country forward?”

Earlier in his media statement, Ramasamy has described the conversion process as “a gain for the Malay-Muslims and a loss for the Indian community who are predominantly Hindus”.

“Even right-thinking Muslims who might not be pleased with Anwar’s role in the conversion matter might not come out in the open to say that Anwar as the leader for all Malaysians should have refrained himself from presiding over the religious conversion,” he further opined.

“(Former health minister) Khairy (Jamaluddin) and others might support Anwar but they fail to realise that the latter’s action has hurt and humiliated the Indian community to the extent the action seems irreversible.

“The religious conversion of a Hindu reinforces years of discrimination and humiliation of the Indian community in the country.” – Aug 23, 2023

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