Sunday, January 12, 2014

MCA has No Moral Standing To Criticise Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim

Media statement by Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara and DAP National Publicity Secretary on Sunday, 12 January 2014 in Kuala Lumpur.
The MCA has no moral standing to criticise Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim over the measures being taken to return the Al-Kitabs seized by JAIS to the Bible Society of Malaysia.
The MCA has called on the Pakatan Rakyat-ruled Selangor government to order the immediate return of the Bibles which were seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) by the state Islamic Religious Department (JAIS).
MCA has no moral standing at all to criticise the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Selangor who is trying its very best to resolve the issue in a highly-charged environment.  The whole problem arose because MCA had in 1988 passed the relevant controversial Non-Islamic Religions Enactment its significant other, UMNO.
It is the very enactment which was passed by Barisan Nasional, with the full support of MCA, which is giving rise to JAIS assertiveness today in curbing the rights of the non-Islamic religions.
Section 9 of the Enactment criminalises a person who in any published writing, in any public speech or statement uses the term “Allah” and 35 other phrases pertaining to any non-Islamic religion.
Worse, it was MCA, together with its paramour UMNO which passed Section 11 and 12 of the same Enactment which gives powers for “an authorised officer” to seize all relevant evidence and “may arrest without warrant any person suspected of having committed any such offence”.

To top it all, the Enactment actually grants JAIS officers near-total autonomy to take actions as they see fit without having to consult the State Executive Council (Exco).  It is this law that allows the State Religious Council (MAIS) to thumb its nose at the State Exco, claiming that the Exco has no authority to impose even a “standard operating procedure” on raids by JAIS.
Despite their complicity in passing such an unconstitutional law, MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had the cheek to preach to the Pakatan Rakyat state government that “throughout the years, BN have laid out the foundation and built a united nation living in harmony since independence by practising tolerance among our diverse cultural and religious practices.”
25 years ago, MCA failed in their duties to protect the constitutionally enshrined freedom of religion for the non-Muslims. Malaysians today are paying the price of their folly. Hence MCA has no moral right to lay blame on the current state government which is working hard to pick up the pieces.
At the very least, the Menteri Besar has offered a non-political and non-partisan solution out of the quagmire by offering to work with the Federal Government to secure a common position to the “10-point Agreement”. The Menteri Besar has announced that should the Home Ministry confirm that the Al-Kitabs are in compliance with the 10-point Agreement, then JAIS should return the holy books to BSM.
The least that MCA could do today is to demand an agreement from the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak that the 2011 10-point Agreement which allows for the printing, import and distribution of Malay language bibles within the country, remains valid. 
In addition, if Datuk Seri Liow, who is also the MCA Selangor Liaison Chief is really sincere in wanting an end to the crisis, he should chastise his UMNO counterpart, Datuk Noh Omar for worsening the already tense situation by claiming that the Menteri Besar is allegedly failing to defend Islam and the Sultan by seeking to return these bibles to BSM.
Anything less than a directive by the Najib administration for all civil servants to abide by the 10-point agreement, and the continued inflammatory actions taken by UMNO leaders will only prove that MCA has not only failed to defend the rights of the non-Muslims in this country, it is also completely impotent in atoning for its past sins.