Wednesday, July 16, 2014

For Khalid Samad, doing the right thing is not easy


COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
Published: 16 July 2014
 PAS’s Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad drew flak from the Selangor sultan for calling on the state government to curb the powers of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council. – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 16, 2014.
PAS’s Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad drew flak from the Selangor sultan for calling on the state government to curb the powers of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council. – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 16, 2014.
Doing the right thing is not easy or painless. Often, it invites ridicule, threats and a slap.
But doing the right thing and speaking up for Malaysians is more important than personal discomfort or public humiliation. That is why PAS's Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad can stand tall in Selangor, despite the dressing-down he received from the Sultan of Selangor yesterday.
He, like all of us godly Malaysians, needs only to answer to our God, and do right by the teaching of our God. Not the prime minister. Not a political party president. Not a sultan. Nobody. 
The Selangor sultan was unhappy with the Shah Alam MP for questioning the powers of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and for allegedly suggesting that its executive powers be withdrawn.

The sultan said Khalid should have read the state constitution and the Islamic Religion Administration enactment.

"The Shah Alam MP should not have questioned Mais's executive powers and suggested that the Pakatan Rakyat government abolish its executive powers.

"I am saddened and disappointed with this irresponsible statement.

"I call on Khalid to be careful in future when he issues statements and not be rude and 
ignorant when discussing issues in relation to my powers and Mais's role in advising me about Islam."

Khalid earned the sultan’s ire for asking on June 26 that two state enactments be reviewed, namely the Enactment on Islamic Laws Administration and Islamic Religion Administration Enactment.

He made the call after Mais defied the attorney-general's decision that The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) was innocent in importing Iban- and Malay-language Bibles. The council also refused to return the Bibles seized from the BSM in January.
 The Selangor Islamic Religious Council has yet to return the seized copies of the Iban- and Malay-language bibles, also known as the Bup Kudus and the Alkitab respectively, to The Bible Society of Malaysia.  – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 16, 2014.
The Selangor Islamic Religious Council has yet to return
 the seized copies of the Iban- and Malay-language
bibles, also known as the Bup Kudus and the Alkitab
respectively, to The Bible Society of Malaysia.
– The Malaysian Insider pic, July 16, 2014.

Khalid said that Mais was acting with impunity and behaving like "a government within a government" in Selangor.
The Selangor sultan said yesterday that Khalid was rude as the MP had questioned his position as the head of Islam in the state.
Perhaps Khalid was naïve and should have done more research on the state constitution. Perhaps he should have chosen his words carefully. Perhaps.
But, give us an elected representative like him any day: someone who is prepared to speak for all Malaysians and anchor his position on justice and fairness, not race or religion.
The sultan said that Mais would always guarantee that followers of other religions were allowed to practise their faith freely as provided in the Federal Constitution.
But, where was this guarantee when the Jais officers swept the BSM office in Petaling Jaya and seized the Bibles in January, even though they knew that the government's 10-point resolution allows the import of Malay-language Bibles?
And how does a state body guarantee anything when it is unwilling to even accept the decision of the attorney-general?
Until Mais or Jais walks the talk, these are just words from the sultan. Nothing else.
So Khalid, you may be a bit down today. Columnists and writers in the government-controlled media may ridicule you, and Umno will clamour for some form of punitive action against you.
But there are countless Malaysians who appreciate you for being a man of justice and fairness.
Your "crime" does not even come close to the offences carried out by those who ran the state on behalf of Umno till 2008. Funny, as no one can remember those thieves or corrupt individuals being chastised in public. – July 16, 2014.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/for-khalid-samad-doing-the-right-thing-is-not-easy#sthash.DyTsLlim.dpuf

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