Be Assured that Syariah Law WILL be Imposed on non-Muslims

August 10, 2016

PAS politicians and some UMNO government officials repeatedly assure non-Muslims that that Syariah law will not be applied to them even as Abdul Hadi Awang tables the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016 to widen the scope of the criminal jurisdiction of Syariah Courts. However, non-Muslims have reasons to doubt whether the assurance is empty, if not disingenuous, when the authorities in Kelantan and officials in various government departments repeatedly impose public policies that infringe on the fundamental liberties of non-Muslims. It is the duty of every conscientious Member of Parliament to reject any proposed legislation that violates the provisions in the Federal Constitution that protect the rights of non-Muslims and Muslims against punitive criminal actions based on religious precepts.

Beware when the wolf ‘courteously’ invites the lamb for supper in his den when it is seen sharpening its claws and teeth.

Read also Shad Faruqi’s analysis on the wider implications of the Syariah Courts Amendment Bill given below: Enhancing Syariah Courts’ Powers. Read the rest of this entry »

National Security Council (NSC) Act : A Lurch Towards Authoritarian Government

August 1, 2016

Press Release (3 Dec 2015): The National Security Council Bill 2015 is a Lurch Towards an Authoritarian Government

This item has been updated since initial publication.

The Malaysian Bar is alarmed by the proposed National Security Council Bill 2015 (“the Bill”) that was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on 1 December 2015 by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim, and which is reportedly scheduled for its second reading today.  The basis for this new law is unclear, and the manner in which it is being rushed through the Dewan Rakyat is inexcusable.

The Bill is an insidious piece of legislation that confers and concentrates vast executive powers in a newly created statutory body called the National Security Council (“NSC”). Read the rest of this entry »

G-25 Rejects Syariah Courts Bill 2016 (UMNO-Pas Bill) as it Opens Doors to Hudud Implementation

June 1, 2016

G25’s Statement on Dato’ Seri Najib’s Press Statement on the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016

In an unprecedented move last Thursday, the government had tabled a motion to suspend its business in the Dewan Rakyat in order to fast-track a Private Member’s Bill brought forth by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang (MP for Marang). The motion to prioritise the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016 (‘Hadi’s Bill’) was moved by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Azalina Othman.

The prime minister in a press statement had denied that Hadi’s Bill was meant to implement Islamic criminal laws, that is to say, hudud. He was reported to have said: “I would like to clarify to our friends in BN that there was a misunderstanding…I would like to state that it is not for the implementation of hudud. It is just to give Syariah Courts enhanced punishments. From six-strokes of the cane, to more depending on the offences.” (Malay Mail Online 27 May, 2016)

We, members of G25, are not convinced by Najib’s assertion in his press interview on Friday that the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016, is not about implementing hudud. Read the rest of this entry »

MCCBCHST: WE REJECT THE PRIVATE MEMBERS BILL ON HUDUD

June 1, 2016

Henceforth, the new Hudud Bill or the “Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016” that is tabled in Parliament should be called UMNO-PAS Hudud Bill. After all, without special assistance from UMNO, the Bill that was tabled by PAS (Hadi) would not get a chance to be debated in Parliament. If passed, the Bill will place the Federal Constitution on a slippery slide leading to a Shariah dominated Constitution. Malaysia will go the way of Pakistan where religious minorities (Christians) are often subject to false accusations and punishment under the Islamic Blasphemy Law. Nearer home, we should be alarmed at the prospect of non-Muslims being caned for  ‘violating’ Islamic offences: Re: “Woman, 60, Caned for Selling Alcohol in Aceh” StraitsTimes (14 April 2016); See Also “For First Time in Indonesia, non-Muslim Caned under Islamic law” LosAngelesTimes (16 April 2016). Read the rest of this entry »

Forced Conversion: Sarawak’s Christians Will not Keep Quiet, BUT…

November 9, 2015

Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have been complaining about  surreptitious conversion of Christian natives for twenty over years, but to no avail. Islamic proselytizing and conversion of Christians have become more flagrant than ever. Perhaps, the authorities perceive that many Christian natives, especially those in the rural areas, will not go beyond complaining (or groaning) as poverty renders them vulnerable to inducement that accompanies conversion to Islam. Indeed, some natives may not mind their children converting to Islam when they marry a Muslim as this would open opportunities for social mobility and uplift.

It is a matter of great urgency that pastors and community leaders work together to confront and contain Islamic proselytization. This would require:

1) Systematic and comprehensive Christian education to build up the faith of believers, especially Christian parents whose children are targeted when they attend the tadika-taska (Islamic kindergarten-nursery) set up government agencies.
2) Initiatives in economic empowerment that include assisting economic micro-enterprises, organizing economic cooperatives among the Christian villages, and creating SMEs that would provide jobs for the semi-rural Christians.
3) Mobilizing churches and NGOs to hold their wakil-wakil rakyat  accountable for their failure to prevent conversion to Islam through economic inducement.

The Christian natives are literally overwhelmed by Islamic proselytization programs that are funded by vast government resources. Will Peninsular Malaysian Christians readily share resources with their besieged brethren as they face an unprecedented threat to the existence of the East Malaysian church?

To read the full article go to: Krisis & Praxis – 8 Nov 2015

Forced Conversion: Sarawak Christians Will Not Keep Quiet

TWO-YEAR-OLD Boy Denied treatment at government Hospital because Mother’s pants were to short

November 7, 2015

The Islamization program since the 1980s has produced more incidents of imposition of  Islamic values on non-Muslims in the government bureaucracy. We read earlier of citizens who were denied entry into government offices on grounds of ‘inappropriate’ dressing. Imposition of Islamic cultural values on non-Muslims reminds us of the injustice suffered by ‘dhimmis’ (non-Muslim minorities) under Islam in its early history. The recent incident of denying medical treatment to a wounded boy takes ‘dhimminization’ of non-Muslims to a whole new level.

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A TWO-YEAR-OLD boy was allegedly denied treatment at two government clinics and a hospital because the pants his mother and aunt were wearing were too short. Read the rest of this entry »

CFM Against Curbing Religious Expression and Increasing Religious Repression

May 22, 2015

CFM MEDIA STATEMENT images

CFM Statement Against Increasing Religious Repression May2015

CFM AGAINST SHRINKING PUBLIC SPACE FOR RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION AND INCREASING RELIGIOUS REPRESSION
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) has observed with deep concern the ever-shrinking public space for religious expression in Malaysia. The CFM also notes the worrying trend of curbing freedom of religious expressions without prior consultation with stakeholders. The overall environment of religious acceptance and understanding deteriorates as the country is dragged from one incident of intolerance to another.

 
The recent controversy surrounding the demand by a group of Muslims for the removal of the sign of the cross from a church in Taman Medan in Selangor is but the latest expression of that intolerance. Even the central symbol of our faith, the cross, which is the symbol of love and sacrifice of God for humankind is now seen or projected by some as a threat. It joins the list of other expressions of intolerance, including a continuing push for prohibition against religious words and expressions in Bahasa Malaysia which have been commonly used in Christian worship even before our nation was born. There is the fear that common parlance results in influence, propagation and conversion. This fear has caused tension and has led to numerous incidents in recent years where copies of the Al-Kitab, our sacred book, were detained or out-rightly seized, only to be returned after they were mutilated by endorsements of prohibitive words.

 
Worse, it is now proposed that the importation of the Al-Kitab be subject to newly-announced administrative requirements and procedures in Sabah and Sarawak albeit in draft form for discussion. The latest edition of these administrative requirements contain outright prohibitions of importation of the Al-Kitab into Peninsular Malaysia, save for personal use, in total violation of the Federal Constitution’s protection for freedom of religion.

Read the rest of this entry »

New curbs for Malay Bibles

April 29, 2015

MALAYSIAKINI By Bob Teoh 29 April 2015

Putrajaya has unilaterally introduced new curbs on the import of the Alkitab, or the Malay-language Bible, under the Home Ministry’s new SOP or standard operating procedures. It also affects the import and use of other Malay-language Christian publications.

But Joseph Kurup, the de facto national unity minister who unveiled the SOP last week is quick to assure church leaders that Barisan Nasional is “sworn” to protect their freedom of religion as guaranteed by the federal constitution.

This is far from the truth. The new SOP specifically targets Christians and concerns mainly the import and use of the Alkitab. Such imports are now subject to a law that was originally intended only for Muslims – the Printing of Qur’anic Texts Act 1986. Importers must now apply to the Qura’nic Text Division of the Home Ministry which has the final say whether such imports are allowed.

The sole criterion is that such publications cannot contain the word ‘Allah’. This is clearly in contravention of constitutional provisions for freedom of religion.

Article 11 (3a) of the federal constitution states, among other things, “Every religious group has the right to manage its own religious affairs.” The right for Malay-speaking bumiputra Christians to have their own Scriptures in the Malay language is an inalienable universal human right and Putrajaya should not interfere in ecclesiastical matters of other faiths. Two-thirds of the church in Malaysia comprise Malay-speaking bumiputras in East Malaysia.

What is alarming is that the new SOP comes at a time when the very constitutionality of the prohibition of the use of the word ‘Allah’ to refer God by Bumiputra Christians is still being litigated in the courts known as the Jill Ireland Sarawak and Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sabah cases. To introduce the new SOP at this stage smacks of not only religious hegemony and arrogance but it also borders on contempt. Read the rest of this entry »

Sabah Council of Churches Invites Protestors to Understand True Meaning of the Cross. Plus State Exco Press Statement

April 23, 2015

We trust that if the protestors were to understand the true meaning of the cross – regardless of whether they agree with the rest of the Christian faith or not – they would not perceive it as anything other than a symbol of the love and mercy of God. The cross is also a symbol of humility and forgiveness, and could and should never be conceived as a challenge or provocation in any way, shape or form.

SABAH COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
Majlis Gereja-Gereja Sabah
P O Box No.444, 88856 Likas Post Office, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Press Statement

1.    We are disturbed, and saddened, by the protest by a group of people on Sunday, 19 April 2015, at Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, against a church which has been in operation since August 2014. It was also reported that the protestors had demanded that the cross be removed from the church because it was perceived as “challenging Islam” in the predominantly-Muslim neighbourhood.

2.    We are disturbed, because we believe that this latest episode of religious tension is a symptom of the deterioration of religious harmony in Malaysia. Never before has our multi-racial and religiously diverse nation faced so much anger and intolerance.

3.    Yet, at the same time, we still maintain our conviction that such hatred and provocative actions by a handful of extremists are certainly not representative of the Malaysian society as a whole, and that the overwhelming majority of our Muslim brothers and sisters strongly uphold the true Islamic value of respect and tolerance towards other religions and their places of worship.

4.    It goes without saying that it is the constitutional duty of the authority to guarantee that non-Muslims could practice their religions in peace and harmony (Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution). Such duty extends to protect not just the many in a cathedral, but also every small congregation of the few – Indeed, especially the small congregations of the few.

5.    Rather, we believe that the government also has a greater and more onerous, moral duty to foster greater understanding among all Malaysians. Incidents such as this usually stem from ignorance, and ignorance breeds hatred. Read the rest of this entry »

Sedition Amendments a Dire Blow to Rule of Law

April 17, 2015

Malaysiakini 17 April 2015 LINK

Related: See below for press statement by United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Press statement by:

Steven Thiru, Malaysian Bar president
Leonard Shim, Advocates’ Association of Sarawak president
GBB Nandy @ Gaanesh, Sabah Law Association president

 

The Malaysian Bar, the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak and the Sabah Law Association are appalled by the amendments to the Sedition Act 1948 passed by the Dewan Rakyat in the early hours of 10 April 2015.

We are extremely disappointed that the Malaysian Government has not only reneged from the promise made in 2012 to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 and replace it with the National Harmony Act, but has substantially strengthened the former with drastic and oppressive provisions.

The Sedition Act 1948 is an archaic, obsolete, and regressive law that must be abolished. It severely restricts, or even extinguishes, the freedom of speech and expression, and hence tramples on the constitutional rights of Malaysians. It is the antithesis of democracy, justice, and human rights.

The amendments to the Sedition Act 1948 have dealt a crippling blow to the rule of law in Malaysia, and lend weight to the widely held public perception that we are becoming an intolerant authoritarian state.
The democratic space for frank, meaningful, and robust discourse has been palpably reduced.

The amendments reinforce the concern that the limits to freedom of speech and expression are to be determined by those in our society who are not open to adverse comments or contrary ideas, or who are easily offended or angered. This nurtures an environment of intemperance and intolerance.

The amendments passed by the Dewan Rakyat will result in a false sense of unity and harmony that is actually created by intimidation and a climate of fear. This perpetuates insecurity and suspicion amongst our citizenry, and does not augur well for the growth and maturity of our nation. Read the rest of this entry »


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