ISA May be Repealed in Bold Letters but Maintained in Fine Print

Prime Minister Najib Razak promised to abolish the ISA (Internal Security Act 1960) recently – a convenient promise with General Elections round the corner. He seems to make good his promise by tabling in Parliament the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012.

But voters beware! We know that the legal ‘reforms’ of the BN government work just like insurance policies, “What the bold print giveth, the fine print taketh away.” Don’t miss out the exclusion clauses in the fine print too.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia in its media statement (17 April 2012) voiced its concern – “that as part of Clause 32 of the Bill dealing with the saving provisions, ‘The repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960 shall not affect – (a) any order issued or made under the repealed Act prior to the date of coming into operation of this Act, unless earlier revoked by the Minister.'”

In particular, the earlier restrictions/ban on the use of the Alkitab that were gazetted under the ISA remain in effect.

The CFM therefore urges the Prime Minister: “Pursuant to Clause 32 of the Bill, such orders will remain in force notwithstanding the repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960. This is wholly unacceptable.

We call on the Prime Minister, in the spirit of the Global Movement of Moderates which he himself has launched and championed, to take immediate steps to revoke these orders…

As long as they remain part of the corpus of legislation in Malaysia, they represent an odious and obnoxious derogation from the freedom of religion in Malaysia…It adds insult to injury if they are allowed to remain on our statute books…We urge the Malaysian Government to take this golden opportunity to remove once and for all this stubborn stain on the rule of law in Malaysia.

——————————————-

Full Statement from Christian Federation of Malaysia

CHRISTIAN FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA (PERSEKUTUAN KRISTIAN MALAYSIA)

Address: 10, Jalan 11/9, Section 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia Telephone: (03) 7957 1278, (03) 7957 1463, Fax: (03) 7957 1457
Email: cfmsia@yahoo.co.uk

 17 April 2012

CFM MEDIA STATEMENT

REVOKE ISA ORDERS

The Christian Federation of Malaysia welcomes the Honourable Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib bin Tun Razak’s tabling of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, 16 April 2012.

Once the Bill comes into operation, at a date yet to be fixed, the Internal Security Act 1960 will be repealed.

We acknowledge the Prime Minister’s attempt to remain true to the announcement he made on 15 September 2011 that he would abolish the Internal Security Act 1960.

Nonetheless, the CFM is concerned that as part of Clause 32 of the Bill dealing with the saving provisions, “The repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960 shall not affect – (a) any order issued or made under the repealed Act prior to the date of coming into operation of this Act, unless earlier revoked by the Minister.”

There are 3 orders issued under the Internal Security Act 1960 which are particularly offensive to the Christian community. These are:-

  1. Internal Security (Prohibition of Publications) (No. 4) Order 1982
    This is a prohibition order on the Alkitab published by the Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia and printed in Korea. This order deems the Alkitab (The Bible in the Malay language) to be prejudicial to the national interest and security of the Federation and prohibits the printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation or possession of the publication with the condition that the prohibition “shall not apply to the possession or use in churches of such publication by persons professing the Christian religion, throughout Malaysia”. The order was signed on 22nd March 1982.
  2. Internal Security (Prohibition of Publications) (No.2) Order 1983
    The publication “Kalam Hidup” published by the Kalam Hidup (Kemah Injil Gereja Masehi Indonesia) was prohibited throughout Malaysia and was stated as “prejudicial to the national interest of the Federation”. The order was signed on 4th May 1983.
  3. Internal Security (Prohibition of Publications) (No.3) Order 1983
    The “Perjanjian Baru” published and printed by the Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia was prohibited because it was “prejudicial to the national interest of the Federation” but was allowed “subject to the possession or use in churches of such publication by persons professing the Christian religion, throughout Malaysia.” The order was signed on 4th May 1983.

Pursuant to Clause 32 of the Bill, such orders will remain in force notwithstanding the repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960. This is wholly unacceptable.

We call on the Prime Minister, in the spirit of the Global Movement of Moderates which he himself has launched and championed, to take immediate steps to revoke these orders.

As long as they remain part of the corpus of legislation in Malaysia, they represent an odious and obnoxious derogation from the freedom of religion in Malaysia.

Article 149 of the Federal Constitution, under which provisions the Internal Security Act 1960 was passed, clearly prohibits any inconsistency with Article 11 of the Federal Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion.

As such, these orders violate the Federal Constitution and should NEVER have been made in the first place.

These orders represent an unwarranted and illegitimate restriction of the right to profess, practice and propagate one’s religion.

It adds insult to injury if they are allowed to remain on our statute books.

We urge the Malaysian Government to take this golden opportunity to remove once and for all this stubborn stain on the rule of law in Malaysia.

Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing
Chairman and the Executive Committee, The Christian Federation of Malaysia.

———————————-
Revoke ISA ban on Alkitab, Christians tell PM
Malaysian Insider LINK
17 April 2012 Debora Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) today urged Datuk Seri Najib Razak to lift immediately the government’s outdated orders banning the import of the Alkitab to prove his global movement of moderate reforms.The umbrella body, representing over 90 per cent of Christian groups in the country, reminded the prime minister of three outstanding orders dating back 20 years under the Internal Security Act (ISA), which is being replaced by a new security law currently the subject of hot debate in Parliament.
The first, signed in March 1982 under the Internal Security (Prohibition of Publications) (No. 4) Order 1982, outlaws the Indonesian version of the Alkitab published by the Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia and printed in Korea.
The other two orders ban the publication of a book titled “Kalam Hidup”, published by the Kalam Hidup (Kemah Injil Gereja Masehi Indonesia), and “Perjanjian Baru” (New Testament), published and printed by the Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia, in 1983.
“This order deems the Alkitab (the Bible in the Malay language) to be prejudicial to the national interest and security of the Federation and prohibits the printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation or possession of the publication with the condition that the prohibition ‘shall not apply to the possession or use in churches of such publication by persons professing the Christian religion, throughout Malaysia’.
“Pursuant to Clause 32 of the Bill, such orders will remain in force  notwithstanding the repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960.  This is wholly unacceptable,” Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing, who chairs CFM, said in a statement today.
He added that all three orders must be lifted to be in line with Najib’s raft of law reforms.
“As long as they remain part of the corpus of legislation in Malaysia, they represent an odious and obnoxious derogation from the freedom of religion in Malaysia,” Ng stressed.
The Federal Constitution, the country’s highest law, states that Islam is the religion of the federation but provides for Malaysia’s diverse ethnic and religious groups the freedom to profess their faiths.
While Christians make up only about 10 per cent of the country’s 28 million population, it forms the biggest religious group in East Malaysia, where bibles in the national language are widely used as a common denominator.
In recent years, the Christian and Muslim religious communities have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the word “Allah”, with the latter group arguing that its use should be exclusive to them on the grounds that Islam is monotheistic and the word “Allah” denotes the Muslim God.
Christians, however, have argued that “Allah” is an Arabic word that has been used by those of other religious beliefs, including the Jews, in reference to God in many other parts of the world, notably in Arab nations and Indonesia.
A 2009 High Court ruling in favour of the Catholic Church using the word to also refer to God has however been blocked pending an appeal by the Home Ministry for the past three years.
A number of conservative Muslim groups have also accused Christians of attempting to convert Malays, resulting in heightened tension between followers of the two religions.
Last month, an officially-sanctioned seminar focusing on the “threat of Christianisation” jointly-organised for religious teachers by the Johor Education Department and the Johor Mufti Department saw another flare up among Christians and Muslims.

One Response to “ISA May be Repealed in Bold Letters but Maintained in Fine Print”

  1. Paul Long Says:

    I believe that proof of insincerity is evident when there are all kinds of qualifications added to laws, making the laws meaningless. I have been anti BN since my late 20s when I read and hear statements that explain things like “.. a law may have been gazetted but there is no intention to implement it.” Then why the need for these laws in the first place?

    I could not help then (and still cannot today) come to the conclusion that all these laws (and qualifications) are but insincere manipulations to gain by trickery political support from “minorities” UNTIL the “minorities” are too small to be of any significance (or threat?) … and then the ruling elite will follow the letter of these laws and do as they please.

Comments are closed.


%d bloggers like this: