Saturday, October 11, 2014

Minister from Sarawak rapped for Ibrahim Ali defence

2:00PM Oct 10, 2014
By Joseph Tawie
More Sarawakians came out to condemn Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri for defending alleged religious extremist and racial bigot Ibrahim Ali who threatened to burn Bibles in the Malay Language.

In Parliament yesterday, Nancy said Ibrahim’s  threat was not a crime as he was defending Islam.

When the news was uploaded in Facebook, she became the target of many unpleasant comments from Sarawakians. Nancy has now been turned into a 'condemned person'.

Excerpts from such FB comments:

One Gary Tan asked what the reaction of Nancy Shukri and the police would be if it were the Christians, Hindus, or Buddhists who made the call to burn the Quran in defence of the sanctity of Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.

"Are Christians happy with Nancy's comment? I am in the opinion that this will open a gate for hundreds of people in future to utter the same words. Who can guarantee that such 'words' cannot threaten peace and security?" asked retired police officer Edwin Brangking.

James Melling said Ibrahim Ali and Nancy are of the same status, while Edward Andrew Luak said Nancy should be charged with sedition as her statement is seditious in nature.

"How could she defend a criminal?" he asked.

Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP in a statement last night expressed deep regret and disapproval over the reply given by Nancy that the threat to burn the Malay language Bible is not a crime as it was in defence of Islam.

Mindlessly following biddings,accusation

"It is especially shocking to receive such a parliamentary answer from a minister coming from Sarawak, where different religions are practised freely in different languages and there are no conflicts among the followers of different religions.

"Has Nancy Shukri forgotten where she comes from or is she just carrying out the biddings of her Umno masters mindlessly?" asked Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen.

Chong (right), who is the MP for Bandar Kuching and Kota Sentosa assemblyperson, said: "In Sarawak, many of the churches conduct their congregations, especially the Dayak congregation, in Bahasa Malaysia and the Bible used is printed in Bahasa Malaysia.

"The existence of the Bible in BM has never been seen as a threat to Islam.

"Even more so, many of the Muslim political leaders in Sarawak went through missionary school education and they were exposed to Christian prayers and teaching throughout their school life and yet they still remain Muslims.

"That the notion of having a Bible in Bahasa Malaysia poses a threat to Islam is itself an incredulous notion. And to threaten to burn the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia because it is treated as a threat to Islam is utter religious extremist and most unacceptable in our country," stressed Chong.

He said that for the government to allow such threats to be made and still try to justify the act for the offender goes to show that it has no respect for the other religions and has no intention of upholding the constitutional provisions when it comes to the freedom of non-Muslims to practice their religions.

'Reverse decision, charge Ibrahim Ali'

Sarawak DAP therefore urged the government to review its decision not to prosecute Ibrahim because, by condoning his action, it is actually encouraging religious extremism among the Muslims, he said.

"Such encouragement by the government will ultimately lead to religious conflicts and disharmony in Malaysia," warned Chong.

Echoing him, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian (left) described  the statement coming from a minister as "very appalling".

"By making such a statement, Nancy is perceived to be defending a known extremist like Ibrahim. She should be reprimanded by Prime Minister (Najib Abdul Razak) and Chief Minister (Adenan Satem) for her stand.

"A purported defence of one's religion cannot be used to exculpate one's blatant breach of the law. A wrong under the law is a wrong.

"Not only should the Christians not support her, any reasonable voter should not support such stand," said Baru, who is the Ba'Kelalan assemblyperson.

Sanctity passport to anything charge

Sarawak DAP organising secretary Violet Yong said she was shocked and disappointed with Nancy's statement, especially as she is from Sarawak.

"She is from Sarawak, where the majority of the people are Christians and she should not come out with such an insensitive and irresponsible answer.

"She should apologise to all Christians in the country for her statement. It is obvious that the BN government is strongly backing Perkasa and is the real culprit that practises religious extremism.

"The way BN leaders govern the country  is bringing it to doom," said Yong, who is the Pending assemblyperson.

Meanwhile, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing (right) said that in the defence of the sanctity of Islam, anything goes.

"Wow! This is the battle cry of the world jihadists.

"Where are we as a multiracial, multi-religious and a moderate nation heading to?" asked Masing, who is a senior Sarawak minister for land development.

"I am happy to reside in Sarawak where tolerance, respect and peace still prevail. God bless Sarawak," he said.

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