Who decides on who gets investigated? Who decides on who gets charged in court? - Prime Minister, Minister Nancy Shukri - 'de facto law Minister', the Attorney General, the Police...Is the police and the AG free to do their job according to the law? So, was this decision about not charging Ibrahim Ali made by AG - whose justification was what 'it's OK since the intention was to defend Islam?' - I wonder how he came to the conclusion of what Ibrahim Ali's 'intention' was? Secondly, what are these 'other criteria' other than whether there is sufficient evidence to charge a person for an offence? There are 'criteria' and we all deserve to know what they are .... I certainly do not want one of these criteria to be 'because the PM said so'....or 'because this is a friend of the Minister' in those 'criteria' used to decide why charge someone and why do not charge some other....
So many questions that the government have answered vide written answers to written questions to MPs and Senators.... but alas, the people are still in the dark... sometime still asking the same questions that have long been answered... TRANSPARENCY AND OPENESS - PLACE THE WRITTEN QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE PARLIAMENT WEBSITE - after all our own MPs and Senators have failed to share the answers the got from the government - What did they do? Received the answers and threw it into some drawer?
Ibrahim Ali was just defending Islam, Putrajaya says of bible burning threat
Perkasa chief’s Bible-burning call to defend Islam, says minister
Nancy Shukri, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of law, said the police concluded that his words were only directed at specific individuals, and not a threat to larger society.
"The statement he made was not intended to cause religious chaos but only to defend the sanctity of Islam," she said in a written parliamentary reply dated yesterday to a question by Bagan MP, Lim Guan Eng, on why Ibrahim had not been charged with sedition.
Lim had asked the prime minister to explain why Ibrahim had not been charged for calling on Muslims to burn Malay-language Bibles containing the word "Allah" and other Arabic words. Ibrahim's call in January last year prompted outrage from politicians and Christian groups, with critics accusing Putrajaya of double-standards in using the Sedition Act against critics while sparing Ibrahim over his remarks.
Nancy, replying on behalf of the prime minister, said investigations by the police into Ibrahim's statement found that what he had said was aimed at the activities of some individuals who allegedly distributed Christian literature outside a school in Penang.
"The words he uttered were directed at individuals who were distributing Bibles with the word 'Allah' and also Jawi writings to students at Sekolah Menengah Jelutong, Penang, including Malay students," she said, referring to the police's findings.
Lim had also asked why the Sedition Act was still being used despite the government's promise to repeal it in 2012, and wanted to know when it would be repealed, as well as whether it would not be abolished.
In her reply, Nancy referred to a press statement from the Prime Minister's Office on September 12 this year that full consultations would be held before the government decided whether or not to repeal the colonial-era law.
On the number of court cases under the act, she said there had been one each in 2009 and 2011, eight in 2013 and 12 from January to September this year. There were no cases in 2010 and 2012, she added. – October 8, 2014, Malaysian Insider, Perkasa chief’s Bible-burning call to defend Islam, says minister
A-G decided on Ibrahim Ali case, says Nancy Shukri
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department blamed Malaysians on social media for spreading articles, saying "irresponsible quarters" had only taken excerpts from her answer in Parliament to "create misinterpretation and misunderstanding".
"The irresponsible quarters only quoted parts of the answer that it creates misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the real meaning intended," the minister from Sarawak said in a statement.
Nancy explained that any decision to charge a person or not, in court, is subject to evidence and facts, and has nothing to do with a person's religious background or political inclination. She said that the decision to not charge Ibrahim under the Sedition Act was made fairly and without favouring any parties to ensure justice for the victim, witness, accused and the public.
"The decision by the Attorney-General Chambers to not prosecute Ibrahim was because the context of his speech was in line with the spirit in Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.
"Hence, the decision to not charge Ibrahim was taken after considering the outcome of the investigation by the police, she added.
Nancy hoped that people could see the government's transparency in handling the legal process and for them to stay calm and not to issue statements or do things that could undermine harmony and hurt the feelings of the country's multi-racial community. – October 9, 2014, Malaysian Insider,
A-G decided on Ibrahim Ali case, says Nancy Shukri
Lessons that Nancy Shukri is teaching Malaysians
It was not her decision. Her job as the de facto law minister is merely to answer questions related to law, some of which are directed at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
But here's what we can learn from the minister in the Prime Minister's Department in her statement last night over the outrage caused Putrajaya's decision not to prosecute Ibrahim.
1. When push comes to shove about prosecution, Nancy will shovel it to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC). After all, the Attorney-General has the ultimate authority to decide on prosecution, if we don't know that. Yes, we do. That office is still part of the government, the executive part of the government. That does not mean the responsibility stops with the AGC. The government takes the blame for this, not just the AGC.
2. The Malay Bible is illegal throughout Malaysia and can be burned because its existence proves propagation to Muslims, who all read Malay, and that is illegal according to law.
Nancy's statement does confirm that the AGC did not prosecute Ibrahim for his threat to burn Malay bibles as it was based on Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution that prevents the propagation of other religions to Muslims.
So, we now know that a Malay-language Bible, with the words clearly printed “Not for Muslims”, is still considered propagation of a religion to Muslims by law. And threats to burn them are fine and permissible by law.
How does that square with the Barisan Nasional's (BN) 10-point plan that these Bibles can be used in Sabah and Sarawak although not in the Malay peninsula. Wouldn't it be considered propagation to Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak?
Is the BN promise a breach of the Federal Constitution?
3. Nancy believes her entire reply is fine but some people are not happy with the answer because the excerpts were published without any context of what the AGC had done according to the law.
Nancy's assumption is that her reply was truncated and that has led to a negative perception among people who have little understanding of the legal process.
Thank you for underestimating Malaysians, Ms Minister.
No. People are upset and outraged and unhappy because a man has threatened to burn a holy book, no matter the language, and no action is being taken.
4. Nancy has an excellent service record since her election as the Batang Sadong MP in 2008. She has served her constituents without considering their religious or racial background.
Christians in her constituency have experienced her caring and responsible attitude to their needs, as seen by the number of houses of worship built and maintained since she was elected. She has even helped the Hindus.
We hope so. They are all Malaysians. Is she saying that other BN MPs do not do the same? That it is the politicians who make sure this happens and not the civil service.
Again, is she making the distinction between the politicians and the civil service? How naive are we to think that both are government.
5. Oh, and Nancy also feels and understands the dissatisfaction by other religious adherents over her reply that had its "context purposely misreported", particularly as she was brought up in a family of many faiths and in Sarawak, where the different ethnicities and religious communities live in harmony.
Is it a wonder that Sarawak has banned Ibrahim from entering the state?
Does she wonder why there is outrage over the lack of prosecution on Ibrahim's threat? Does she think the AGC made a mistake?
6. Yes, Nancy blames the opposition for making political capital out of her reply.
That the opposition is using social media to spread news that have a negative impact on the government.
That this is a good way to distract from the opposition's own problems or in the states it rules.
Of course Nancy, your reply was an own goal. At least you know it can give rise to a negative perception of the government that inaction to prosecute someone who threatens to burn a Bible, no matter the language, is an outrage.
But you're not going to do anything about it, because it is the law and since the police and the AGC have done their work and decided that there was no case against Ibrahim.
Nancy is blameless in this case. It is our fault for not understanding the law. It is the opposition's fault for capitalising on her reply.
Yes, we are all wrong. Ibrahim is right to threaten to burn Bibles. This is Malaysia, we are a country of moderates. Here ends the lessons of the day. – October 10, 2014.