Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 19 July 2013
For those who are familiar with the antics of Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Member of Parliament for Kota Belud and new Housing and Local Government Minister, he will be the first in the House to stand up and concoct a reason to defend “why the chicken cross the road?”
However his latest response as to why Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali's urging to burn bibles containing the word ‘Allah’ cannot be compared with the present case against the sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee for insulting Muslims certainly takes the cake.
Datuk Rahman Dahlan argued that Ibrahim’s remark was merely to “correct the error of printing the said bibles”, and hence “burning them was the proper thing to do” just as Muslims burn copies of the Quran that have misprints.
He further added that "what Ibrahim Ali said was normal”, but has been “twisted”.
No right-thinking Malaysian would believe the explanation that Ibrahim’s fiery and emotional remark was just an innocent and virtuous attempt to “correct the error of printing” in the bibles. And even in the unlikely earth-shattering event that it was, that is no defence against the current Sedition Act.
For example in the landmark case of Public Prosecutor v Mark Koding, Justice Azmi Kamaruddin in the course of his judgment said: “... It is immaterial whether the accused intention or motive was honourable or evil when making the speech” when finding the latter guilty of sedition. All the judge has to do is to see whether the words are likely to create disaffection against the government, the ruler or the people.
What Datuk Rahman Dahlan has done is to defend the indefensible attempt by the right-wing Perkasa leader, Ibrahim Ali in his attempt to incite Malays and Muslims in the country to burn the holy books of Christians.
However, in the case of the bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, better known as “Alvivi”, who probably thought it was “funny” to ridicule fasting Muslims, “justice” was meted out before those charged has an opportunity to defend themselves.
Make no mistake, those found guilty must be punished accordingly and the acts of insulting another’s religion is not acceptable. However, in the case of Alvivi, they have been denied bail on the basis that “both accused had a tendency to upload pictures that could arouse public outrage”, making them guilty before their defence is called.
The clear-cut double-standards in Malaysian prosecution system proves the hypocrisy of “1Malaysia”, a slogan preached by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself. It also makes a mockery of our Federal Constitution which provides that all Malaysians are equal before the law.
The fact that Ibrahim Ali who the open and defiant call for bibles to be burnt was not only left uncharged, but also now defended by the UMNO Minister, while summary punishment was meted out to the blogging duo who carried out the tasteless prank confirms that the Federal Government practices not “1Malaysia” but Malaysia for 1Race and 1Religion.