I thought I would slow down writing on socio-political issues since I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and spending most of my time there on such issues, but I need to pen down more than 140 characters for this particular issue.
Remember the covert mission by two Al Islam journalists who went undercover to spy on Catholic church by pretending to be Christians and taking part in its rituals – receiving and spitting out the Holy Communion wafer for photographs – believed to take place somewhere in April 2009? Malaysians were only made aware of such unethical and insensitive actions of Al Islam journalists after a police report were made in July 2009 after an article titled “Tinjauan Al Islam Dalam Gereja: Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Murtad” was published in the May 2009 issue of Al Islam magazine.
In the latest development, our very wise and forward thinking Attorney General has decided to let the two Al Islam journalists of the hook, without any reason given for such decision. So he is playing judge as well, deciding whether criminals can be let free or not, eh?
The duo were then investigated under Section 298A (1) of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.
It was reported yesterday that the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, through the officer in charge of the case, had sent a letter to the complainant telling him that the AG’s office would not be pressing charges.
No reason was given for the decision.
Well, guess who came to the AG’s rescue for his decision? Khairy Jamaluddin, Umno Youth chief, who also happened to be the first Malaysian Muslim politician to condemn the action of the two irresponsible Al Islam journalists when the issue came out.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (picture) said today the Attorney General’s decision to let two Al-Islam magazine journalists off the hook for allegedly desecrating Catholic Communion hosts should not matter so long as the magazine has “learned its lesson from this episode.”
Allow me to use famous point-form blog writing style ala Che Det here.
1. Stupid reason for not prosecuting.
‘So long as the magazine has learned its lesson from this episode‘ is one of the most stupid reason for not prosecuting.
What kind of signal the government is trying to send out? That rule of law can be undermined by politics? This episode happened way before the cow-head incident (happened in September 2009), churches arson attacks (happened early of January 2010) and pig head incident (happened end of January 2010).
When it happened, no swift and immediate action was taken, apart for the usual condemnation by politicians and promises to investigate the matter. Because of the efficiency of such inaction by the government and the authorities, it gave some sort of blessings for more untowards incidents to happen after, which we witnessed.
2. Lackadaisical action by the government and authorities in dealing with ‘sensitive’ matters like this.
Lackadaisical action by the government may have led to a perception that certain groups of people with vested interests and subversive tendencies have the immunity to carry out their despicable acts to disturb the peace and harmony in the country.
When the ‘cow head incident’ took place, the government and the authorities took the ‘cow head incident’ played down the incident, taking it lightly and were even seen to show some support and sympathy for that provocative, senseless and insensitive action (Hishammuddin ‘Keris’ Hussein even went to defend cow head protester!). Malaysians couldn’t help but to think that those people had the blessings of someone or some groups with the required political clout to protect them.
Thanks to many sensible Malaysians who made it clear that such nonsense and ineptitude cannot be tolerated. Had it not been for the public outcry over that heinous behaviour, those responsible would not have been charged in court. Even that has been rather slow and lacked the urgency or importance for a highly-sensitive provocation with seemingly religious overtones.
3. Missed the train? Get on a plane, chap!
In few Twitter exchanges with Khairy Jamaluddin – @khairykj regarding his comments over AG’s decision, he explained that his comments were in the context of now, as we have missed the train.
@bongkersz Perhaps, but the train has left the station on ‘taking action’. Tensions must be eased first. 3:36 PM Feb 26th via UberTwitter in reply to bongkersz
Well, if I miss the train, I’ll be sure to take a plane to catch up, or at least give chase and not letting the train goes without me. To be honest, Malaysians are sick of inactions over matters like this, not the timing of such actions to be taken. Also interesting to note, this argument by Khairy.
He, however, argued that the decision may have been reached to “balance out” the racial and religious tension caused by the “Allah” row in a bid to prevent further unease.
Funny, because these two journalists were investigated under Section 298A (1) of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion. Now, instead of using available laws provisioned to take care of offences that will jeopardise harmony or unity, we should ‘let go’ to get the same result – maintain harmony and unity? Aiseh, this is so confusing..
“I don’t want to speculate on the reason..but there are things that you can take to court and others best to leave it to other sensible ways for solution,” Khairy said.
Letting them off the hook is a sensible way of solution? This ‘sensible’ solution is to please few stubborn extremists or the many good Muslims and Malaysians? Are we going to sacrifice the rule of law under the pretext of maintaining peace and harmony at the mercy of few troublemakers? What, they got the AG (government, police and KJ) by the balls now? Malaysian is held hostage by these crooks?
Many good Muslims out there would see the wrong committed by these two journalists and to press charges would bring satisfaction to many. (except for people like Ibrahim Ali) Give Malaysians more credits, they are wiser now and united to crush any element of chaos and destruction to their peaceful and harmonious living.
4. Glaring inconsistencies
Why we are letting some people off the hook for major issues, but calling heads for minor issues? Why the cow head protestors are charged but the two Al Islam journalists not? Would there be a lesser sentence meted out for the cow head protestors later if they are found guilty, because this is their first offence and they have learned their lesson well? Just recently, Malaysians were mind-fucked by this piece of news:
Man who raped minor gets sentence reduced
SEREMBAN: A 32-year-old odd-job worker had his jail sentence for raping a minor reduced by 10 years, after the High Court here took into consideration that he was a first-time offender and had cooperated with the police.
WTF is that?
Oh, I think Gunasegaran of The Star should use such argument over his caning article episode. Home Ministry is considering to take action against The Star and Gunasegaran for sedition (see what I said about inconsistencies?) so maybe Gunasegaran should say he has learned his lesson too. For greater impact, Khairy Jamaluddin can help to put out a good word for him and The Star too.
We cannot, in any way compromise the security, peace and harmonious living of the Malaysian community. We must reject those who use it to gain political superiority and power. Anything that threatens these vital requirements for a progressive and tranquil way of life should be dealt with swiftly while imparting a strong message to the perpetrators of the severe consequences of their actions.
The government has to set strong examples that Malaysians do not condone any disruption to their normal way of life, so enjoyed and valued for a nation of great hope. The right decision must be made in a swift and consistent manner.
ps: Of course, I am writing this with the assumption the rule of law still has meaning here. *chuckles*
Quoting Pete Teo in his reply to me when I tweeted that I was going to write this entry to highlight the inconsistencies of the government in dealing with Al Islam issue.
Consistency? That assumes the rule of law still has meaning here. Rule by cabalistic fiat is the new byword.
Have a great weekend peeps!
Tags: Al Islam, Attorney General, BN, Catholic Church, Cow Head Incident, Government, Home Ministry, Inconsistencies, journalists, Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia, News, Politics, Rants, Rule of Law, Spy, Undercover