Lai joins calls for PAS MP to apologise for Parliament statement deemed insulting to Christians

Datuk Lawrence Lai

MIRI, Aug 30: Former Miri mayor Datuk Lawrence Lai has condemn as baseless and seditious the statement by Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Nik Salleh in Parliament alleging that the Christian Bible was “distorted or changed” when debating amendments to increase penalties for drink driving on Aug 26.

“I strongly condemn the baseless seditious statement,” he asserted in a statement today.

Lai who is also a senior lawyer, opined the said Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) MP had added salt to injury by claiming Christians have no right to feel offended as what he said was a fact, when informed that Christians have taken offence to his remarks, according to a Malaysiakini report.

Lai noted that under the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), religious freedom is guaranteed for all Malaysians .

“Every Malaysian has constitutional rights to practise his religion freely, everyone must respect others of different religions. In simple layman terms, a Christian must not insult any other religion including their Holy Books; similarly, a Muslim must not insult other religions, including their Holy Books,” he opined.

Lai added that in a multi-religious society like Malaysia, when the said PAS MP made such baseless accusation, the latter not only insulted Christians but also committed sedition by inciting serious disturbances, social unrest and deep dissatisfaction among Christians and all right thinking Malaysians.

“In this case, it’s made much worse because the said PAS MP openly insulted Christians and their Holy Bible in Parliament sitting and therefore, gives wrong and misleading perception to all Malaysians and overseas that his open attack on Christians and Holy Bible is acceptable and approved by Parliament,” Lai explained.

Hence, Lai fully supported and endorsed the press statement issued by Archbishop Simon Poh who is the chairman of Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) which demanded an apology from Nik Muhammad Zawawi for his statement in Parliament.

“The said PAS MP should also retract his insults to Christians made in Parliament and promise not to insult interfere in any religions and their Holy Book,” Lai stressed.

So far, Nik Muhammad Zawawi has refused to apologise for his remarks.

Lai also referred to a court case reported on September 13 last year, where a 22-year-old Sarawakian was sentenced by the Sessions Court to 10 years’ imprisonment and fined RM50,000 for insulting Islam, but on appeal, the Kuching High Court reduced the jail sentence from 10 years to six years .

“I sincerely hope the Federal Attorney-General with the police will also conduct a similar speedy and efficient investigation into the speech of the said PAS MP for insulting Christianity and their Holy Bible,” he concluded. — DayakDaily