Permanent court injunction issued against Wan Asshima Kamaruddin for religious hate speech

Ng (fourth left) presenting copies of the High Court judgement to Ben, Bobby, William and members of the Christian community in Sarawak.

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By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Aug 10: A 38-year-old female religious activist from Pondok Hijrah Muslimah Malaysia was issued a permanent injunction by the High Court of Kuching for inciting the public on religious issues and causing unlawful acts of violence against worshippers of Christianity or other faiths.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Zaleha Rose Pandin also ordered a permanent injunction on members from her non governmental organisation (NGO) for causing destruction, damage and desecration against properties belonging to all Churches, and for unlawful interference of the constitutional right of worshippers of the Christian faith or other faiths under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

A permanent injunction is a court order requiring a person to do or cease doing a specific action that is issued as a final judgment in a case.

Zaleha made the judgement on July 14 this year after Wan Asshima failed to appear in the Kuching High Court for a civil suit filed against the latter.

On March 11 last year, Wan Asshima, who styled herself as ‘Puteri Mujahidah Wan Asshima Kamaruddin’ and claiming to represent several Islamic groups in Peninsular Malaysia, uploaded a 12-minute video clip threatening Christians and to close down all churches in Sarawak.

Wan Asshima Kamaruddin as she appeared in the viral video.

According to the police, a total of 61 police reports were lodged against her throughout Malaysia, of which most complaints came from Sabah, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

A civil suit was filed against her on March 11, by three individuals namely Ben Diomedes Ujai, Bobby William and Francis James Noew, who represented Sarawakians of the Christian faith. They were presented by counsel Dominique Ng.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference today, Ng said they have succeeded in obtaining a judgement in the High Court of Kuching in the suit of Ben Diomedes and two others against Wan Asshima.

“The suit was personally served to her at her residing address Taman Permata, Kuala Lumpur. Despite this, she failed to appear in the High Court at Kuching or to file a defense to our suit.

“On July 14, we managed to get a judgement before Zaleha, in default of appearance and defense. One of the most important judgements were several declarations against Wan Asshima and her agents, members of her NGO, either individually or collectively, had violated the rights of the Plaintiffs under Article 13 of the Federal Constitution, breaching the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), constituting a provocation, promotion of ill feelings and causing disharmony amongst Muslims and non-Muslims in a multiracial, multi-religious nation or federation, and had slandered and committed libel against the Plaintiffs as worshippers of the Christian faith,” Ng said.

He added that the civil suit launched in Kuching was filed on behalf of all Sarawakians especially for the Christian faith and solely in defense of religious freedom in Sarawak.

“It was never done or targeted against any particular religion. All religions in Sarawak and their places of worship are all sacred and must be protected at all costs from anyone or any group that tries to destroy them,” Ng asserts.

Meanwhile, Wan Asshima was also charged in the Sessions Court at Kuala Lumpur under Section 233(1) of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998, punishable under Section 233(3) of the same act which provides for a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both, with a further fine of RM1,000 for every day that the offence is repeated after conviction.

She was accused of making and initiating the transmission of offensive communications with the intention of offending others, through a Facebook account under the name of ‘Puteri Mujahidah Wan Asshima Kamaruddin’ at 9.23am on March 11, 2021.

On May 25 this year, Wan Asshima changed her plea to guilty and she was subsequently sentenced by Sessions judge Edwin Paramjothy on June 27 to a fine of RM13,000 or six months jail in default of the fine. She paid the fine. — DayakDaily