Does cabinet support AG's 'defending Islam' excuse?
10:31AM Oct 17, 2014
The cabinet has been told to decide on its stand on Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri's parliamentary reply on the inaction against Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali.
"The cabinet at its meeting today must take collective ministerial stand to endorse or disassociate from the Nancy’s parliamentary answer… (that) Ibrahim Ali is not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay language Bible as he was defending the sanctity of Islam and his action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution.
"(Nancy's recent statements show) there are several questions and issues which must be resolved at the cabinet meeting today," DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said.
Lim noted that since the uproar over her parliamentary reply, Nancy has made several claims, including that she "does not supportIbrahim Ali (left) or his religious views" as reported in the Borneo Post, and that she was merely "reading out" the attorney-general's (AG) decision.
"Neither the police nor AG can give any reply in Parliament," she was reported as saying, hence she, as the minister in charge of law read, out their findings "because they could not do it there".
Lim pointed out that the prime minister and his cabinet are ultimately answerable to the actions of the police and the AG.
"Although Article 145(3) of the constitution vests in the attorney-general the sole discretionary power 'to institute, continue or discontinue any proceedings for any offence', the AG’s prosecution decisions are actions of the executive and not of the judiciary.
"This means the prime minister and the cabinet must assume full collective responsibility for the AG’s decisions and actions and cannot disclaim responsibility in any manner," he said.
Therefore, Lim said, the cabinet must state whether it endorses or will repudiate the AG's decision not to prosecute Ibrahim.