12 April, 2007

Nazri's statements shocking

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang described as "astounding" the statements by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz on the proposed Inter-Faith Commission (IFC).

"What was he saying? You mean to tell me if the Malays do not want to participate, the Federal Constitution cannot be upheld?" Lim asked.


"He said my arguments were valid but there is no way the Barisan Nasional (BN) government would agree because there is no way to convince and persuade Malays, who constitute the majority of the electorate, to support such a constitutional amendment,"

"His arguments are unacceptable ... it's setting a dangerous precedent for the erosion of the constitutional guarantees in the Merdeka Social Contract of Malaysia as a democratic, tolerant, multi-religious and secular nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state."

Lim said he had stressed that the amendments of Article 121(1A) of the Constitution in 1988 was to provide to Muslims the constitutional protection for their rights to be adjudicated in Syariah courts without detracting the rights of non-Muslims.

"In the past few years, particularly after the Ô929 Declaration' of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Malaysia is an Islamic state, non-Muslims here have seen their religious and constitutional sensitivities and rights adjudicated in civil courts and Syariah courts eroded.

"The time has come for an amendment to the Constitution to make it clear that Article 121(1A) does not derogate the rights of non-Muslim Malaysians which they had enjoyed without challenge before the 1988 Constitutional amendments," he said.


Nazri’s reply in Parliament completely unsatisfactory and unacceptable- Kit Siang

The reply by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datu Nazri Aziz in the final winding-up of the debate on the Royal Address yesterday is totally unsatisfactory and unacceptable, particularly on four public interest issues of national importance.

As Nazri’s reply blatantly disregarded the paramount principle in nation-building which had recently been enunciated by the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, MCA Ministers are challenged to speak up in Cabinet to dissociate themselves from Nazri’s reply on four important public interest issues:

• Brain drain with migration overseas of one to two million of the best and brightest of Malaysian sons and daughters for over three decades;

• Education Minister and UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s keris-wielding at the recent Umno Youth assembly in the context of rising chauvinist and extremist demands and pressures;

• Rejection of the Inter-Faith Council proposal;
• Worst corruption crisis in nation’s 50-year history.

Excerpt :

Rejection of the Inter-Faith Council proposal

I find Nazri’s explanation why the Cabinet rejected the Inter-Faith Council proposal and the proposal to amend the Federal Constitution on Article 121(1A) to end the deepening crisis over the rights and sensitivities of non-Muslim Malaysians over freedom of religion the most astounding of all.

I had raised two important issues:

Firstly, why the Cabinet cannot accept the proposal for an Inter-Faith Council when in the early decades of Independence, there was a similar body, the Inter-Religious Council, which was initiated by the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman and chaired by a Cabinet Minister.

Secondly, the increasing insensitivity and intolerance of the religious rights and sensitivities of non-Muslim faiths in the country, as illustrated by the series of controversies from Moorthy to the Subashini cases.

I had stressed that the amendment of Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution in 1988 was to provide to Muslims the constitutional protection of their rights to be adjudicated in syariah courts without detracting any constitutional rights from non-Muslims.

However in the past few years, particularly after the “929 Declaration” of Tun Dr. Mahathir that Malaysia is an Islamic state, non-Muslim Malaysians have seen their religious and constitutional sensitivities and rights to be adjudicated in civil courts and not shariah courts come under relentless erosion.

The time has come for an amendment to the Federal Constitution to make it clear that Article 121(1A) does not derogate from non-Muslim Malaysians any rights which they had enjoyed without challenge or dispute before the 1988 Constitution amendment.

What was Nazri’s reply? He said my arguments were valid but there was no way the Barisan Nasional government could agree because it could not convince and persuade Malays who constitute the majority of the electorate to support such a constitutional amendment!

How can such an argument be accepted – which will set a most dangerous precedent for the erosion of the constitutional guarantees and rights in the Merdeka social contract of Malaysia as a democratic, tolerant, multi-religious and secular nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State, just on the ground that there is no way to get the support of the Malays, the majority of the electorate!

It is most shocking that MCA Ministers and MPs can accept such an outrageous justification for the arbitrary and unconstitutional erosion and violation of constitutional rights and principles of Malaysians.

(Blog : Lim Kit Siang for Malaysia)



Meanwhile, Human Rights commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) questions the "Different Treatment Of Syariah And Civil Judges"

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman has questioned the different treatment of syariah and civil court judges despite the fact that both courts are of equal standing.

He said that in terms of service and even protocol at official functions, syariah judges were not given equal treatment as their civil counterparts.

"I'm wondering why this is so as both parties are doing the same job of upholding justice. Moreover, both judicial branches are of equal standing," he told reporters after opening a workshop on the syariah court here Thursday.

"The government should address the prevalent perception that syariah judges were inferior."

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home