Over 70 NGOs submit memorandum urging action against Islamic preachers insulting other religions

From second left: Peter John, Sashi and activist Siti Kasim photographed in front of Attorney General Chambers' Office in Putrajaya on April 1, 2024. Photo credit: Peter John Jaban

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, April 1: Global Human Rights Federation (GHRF) together with 71 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including those from Sabah and Sarawak, and concerned Malaysians have submitted a memorandum to Attorney General Datuk Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh today.

The memorandum calls for action to be taken against Islamic preachers in Malaysia who have been spreading hate speech and inciting religious discord against their non-Islamic counterparts.

The group, led by GHRF president S. Shashi Kumar and deputy president Peter John Jaban arrived at the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) Office at 2.30pm with about 250-strong supporters.

They then handed over the memorandum, police reports and other reports pertaining to all cases of religious insulation to non-Islamic religions, to the personal assistant of Attorney General.

In a statement, Shashi cited Article 145 Clause (3) of the Federal Constitution which grants the Attorney General to exercise the power to institute proceedings for offences against Islamic preachers who insults non-Muslim religious beliefs and practices.

“We hereby call and urge the Honorable Attorney General to act fairly and equitably without bias and without favoritism to take appropriate prosecution and action against these Islamic preachers who commit serious offenses by insulting, condemning non-Islamic religious beliefs and practices in Malaysia,” he said.

He further pointed out that the Attorney General had recently taken very immediate prosecution action against two Chinese individuals who were arrested, charged and imprisoned simply for commenting on Facebook regarding the issue of printing the name ‘Allah’ on socks sold at KK Mart.

However, when it comes to reported cases of Islamic preachers attacking non-Muslims, even though thousands of police reports have been made, no prosecution was conducted against these preachers.

“The actions of the Honorable Attorney General portray as if only those who are convicted of insulting Islam are punished and imprisoned while those who insult the religion and belief of the helpless non-Muslim minorities are allowed to enjoy legal immunity.

“These controversial preachers or speakers continue to fan the flames of racism and openly turn their backs on the principles of Rukun Negara and Articles 8 and 11 of the Malaysian Constitution without any concern because no legal action will be taken against them.

“Actions or inactions on the part of the Honorable Attorney General will not only cause feelings of disappointment, but also result in a loss of trust in the Honorable Attorney General as the guardian of the sovereignty of the Federal Constitution and Law in Malaysia,” he added.

When asked further by DayakDaily, Peter John shared a list of Islamic preachers who have allegedly insulted non-Muslim religious beliefs and practices.

They are Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Firdaus Wong Wai Hung, Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu, Shakir Nasoha as well as United Malays National Organisation (Umno) Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Salleh. – DayakDaily