Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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). (more…)

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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

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. (more…)

Court Orders Return of Confiscated Christian CDs

July 21, 2014

Malaysiakini Jul 21, 2014

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered the Home Ministry and government to return the eight Christian religious CDs with the word “Allah” that it seized from Sarawakian Christian Jill Ireland in May 2008.

However, Justice Zaleha Yusof declined to rule on the constitutional prayers under Article 8, 11, sought by Jill.

Justice Zaleha ruled that the senior authorised officer from the Customs Department Suzana Muin, who issued the seizure order, had acted illegally in withholding the CDs as such powers lie with the home minister.

She held that the respondents had acted in error of the law under Section 9 of the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984, by withholding the CDs.

“Suzana acted ultra vires as such detention (of CDs) must be authorised by the minister himself and is not delegated to anyone else.

“Following this, the CDs are to be returned to the plaintiff. Though this is a public interest case, I order respondents to pay RM500 costs,” Justice Zaleha ruled. (more…)

‘Allah’ Controversy Resurfaces in Another Court

June 30, 2014

Highlights: [Lead Counsel] Lim said Jill Ireland is seeking justice from the court. “This case is not about Christians pitting themselves against Muslims; Christianity against Islam…but a native Bumiputera Chritian seeking her constitutional rights…

Lim pointed out that the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law appear to have been seriously subverted and transplanted by the alien doctrine of supremacy of the religious bureaucracy and the rule and dictates of the religious authority…the involvement of JAKIM, the federal Islamic Development agency, brings another objectionable feature of the administration of the Printing Presses and Publicatins Act 1984 (PPPA) by the minister and government into focus.

“There is clear evidence of surrender of discretionary power to an extraneous third party. As noted above, one of the three (3) grounds cited is “Melanggar Garis Panduan JAKIM”. Here we have a department which is not vested with any lawful authority in the administration of the PPPA dictating and directing how an officer under the PPPA is to exercise his powers,” he said.

Lim asked, “Are we governed by rule of law or religious bureaucracy?”

“Are we a nation governed by rule of law or religious bureaucracy?” – See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/even-the-quran-says-allah-used-by-christians-and-jews-high-court-told#sthash.WY5kyjbV.dpuf“It is submitted that viewed objectively it is evident that rather than exercising an independent statutory discretionary power, the Minister had acted under the dictation of JAKIM.”.

He also said the Respondents who are Federal Government and a Federal Minister have taken upon themselves the constitutional power to control or restrict propagation of religious doctrine or faith among Muslims. This is a jurisdiction vested in the various state legislative assemblies pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

“The Respondent’s action constitutes an act on the part of the Federal Government and its officials using the PPPA to enforce the several state enactments controlling and restricting propagation. Enforcement of the enactment with regard to Selangor is by “authorized officers” appointed by the Ruler in Council. This is tantamount to a collateral use of the PPPA by federal agencies to enforce state enactments which are for the states to determine and not the Federal Government. Thus, the disputed decision constitutes not only unlawful and unconstitutional usurpation of state powers under the guise of the PPPA but also a colourable excuse and collateral use of the PPPA,”Lim said.

(more…)

Bar Council: MAIS/JAIS Should Abide by AG’s Decision & Federal Constitution and Release Seized Alkitab & Bup Kudus

June 21, 2014

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Majlis Peguam

Bar Council Malaysia

Press Release
MAIS and JAIS Should Adhere to the Attorney General’s Decision and Abide by the Federal Constitution

The Malaysian Bar supports the Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute the Bible Society of Malaysia (“BSM”) over the more than 300 copies of the Alkitab (Bahasa Malaysia bible) and Bup Kudus (Iban bible) that contained the word “Allah” and that were seized by Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (“JAIS”) on 2 January 2014.
The Malaysian Bar views with much concern reports of the refusal by Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (“MAIS”) and JAIS to abide by the findings of the Attorney General and to comply with his request that JAIS take consequential and appropriate action in accordance with the law. (more…)

Judge Rules Civil Court Superior to Syariah

May 30, 2014

Malaysiakini 20 May 2014
The civil High Court has a higher jurisdiction than the syariah court on the religious dispute of a spouse who does not convert to Islam, the High Court in Ipoh ruled today.
In giving convert father K Pathmanathan @ Muhammad Ridhuan Abdullah one week to return his six-year-old daughter to the non-Muslim mother, M Indira Gandhi, the court also found the father guilty of contempt.

Judge Lee Swee Seng said failure to hand over the child would require the police to enforce a warrant of arrest on Pathmanathan for committing contempt and not abiding by the court order.

Reading out his two-and-a-half hour judgment, Justice Lee said the supervisory jurisdiction of the civil High Court is based on the fact that a syariah court decision cannot bind a non-Muslim party in a marriage.

He said the country practises secular law under which the civil High Court has unlimited jurisdiction and is superior in nature to the syariah court. (more…)

Sabahans Slam their Christian leaders in Cabinet for Remaining Silent on Religious Issues

February 22, 2014

PRESS STATEMENT (22 Feb 2014) by Perpaduan Anak Negeri Sabah

Officiated by Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong.

Precis: History tells us that on 1 August 1972, the then Chief Minister of Sabah, Tun Mustapha Harun announced the policy of unity under the USNO government as “one language, one culture, one religion” in Kota Kinabalu in the presence of the then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and his deputy Tun Razak Hussein.

The following year on 27 Sept 1973, the State Constitution of Sabah was amended to make Islam the religion of Sabah.

This is in gross violation of the 20-point agreement that Sabah insisted before consenting to confederate with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia. The first point is that there should be complete freedom of religion in Sabah. We only agree to Islam being the religion of the Federation and not Sabah and that Malaysia is to be a secular country.

Today, after 42 years of the “one language, one culture, one religion” policy, the Anak Negeri has become restless wanderers and aliens worst that second -class citizens in our own land. This is our history, a history of a betrayed people. If we forget our history, we forfeit our destiny as a people called forth by God for His glory alone. (more…)

Jais Seizes Al-Kitab, Iban Bibles; Bible Society Malaysia Officials Held

January 3, 2014

The Malay Mail Online 2 Jan 2014 LINK For Analysis – See Krisis & Praxis article, “The Beginning of Persecution of Christian Minorities in Malaysia? LINK

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 – Selangor Islamic authorities raided the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) in Petaling Jaya today and seized copies of both the Malay-language and Iban bibles that contain the word “Allah”, while three BSM officials are also being held by police.

BSM executive council member Nic Ng told The Malay Mail Online today that a team of about 20 people including police officers and officials from the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) arrived at the society’s premises over an hour ago and demanded entry despite not bearing a warrant.

“I told the staff not to let them in because Jais has no authority over non-Muslims, but they insisted,” said Ng.

 Ng said that the BSM workers were forced to allow the team entry after they allegedly threatened to break down the door.

“They took at least 321 copies of the Al-Kitab, which contains the word “Allah”, and they took 16 copies of the Iban bible, the Bup Kudus. In Iban, the word for God is “Allah Ta’ala.” (more…)

UN Expert Urges Malaysia to Reverse Decision that Restricts Use of ‘Allah’ to Muslims

November 28, 2013

United Nation Office of Human Rights
Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights

UN expert urges Malaysia to reverse decision that restricts use of ‘Allah’ to Muslims LINK

GENEVA (25 November 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, today urged the Government of Malaysia to reverse its decision to ban a Catholic publication from using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, warning that the case may have far-reaching implications for religious minorities in the country.

“Freedom of religion or belief is a right of human beings, not a right of the State,” Mr. Bielefeldt stressed. “It cannot be the business of the State to shape or reshape religious traditions, nor can the State claim any binding authority in the interpretation of religious sources or in the definition of the tenets of faith.” (more…)