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Sunday, May 04, 2008

ABIM's Media Statement against Karpal Singh and Ong Ka Ting's actions.


4 MAY 2008 / 27 RABIUL AKHIR 1428H


1. The action by Y.B. Karpal Singh in filing a police report against the Regent of Kelantan, and

2. The calls made by MCA president, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, relating to some contentious religious and racial issues

The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM)
strongly feels that some remarks and actions by certain political leaders relating to religious and racial issues of late warrant our comments and response.

Firstly, we find the action by Y.B. Karpal Singh in filing a police report against the Regent of Kelantan, Yang Teramat Mulia Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra as extremely improper and clearly overstepped the boundaries of proper comments when dealing with a member of Malaysian royalty.

Being a seasoned politician, we are still wondering until today what exactly was in the mind of Mr. Karpal when he decided to take such an action which is, to say the least, very problematic and uncalled for.

Mr. Karpal could have clearly thought of a more respectful and sensible way to respond to the Regent's speech.

At the same time, we fully agree and support the call from the Kelantan palace for an end to this controversy.

We do feel that it is unfortunate that remarks from a member of the Malaysian royalty, which could have been taken in a better light, has been unduly problematized and politicized.

Secondly, the calls made by MCA president, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, relating to some contentious religious and racial issues must take into account the Malay-Muslim perspective.

On the issue of conversion out of Islam, we fully understand the possible difficulties and hardships that may arise on the part of those who wish to convert, but at the same time, we have pleaded time and again that the critics of the present law on apostasy must also be willing to fully consider the ramifications of this issue on the core elements of the Islamic faith and jurisprudence.

The critics cannot in all earnest, expect the Muslims to just ignore a clear injunction and principle in our religion.

And to expect Muslims in Malaysia to take the issue of apostasy lightly is actually doing just that.

Converting out of Islam is a specific religious issue and the extent of its prohibition and permission should be left to the proper religious authority to determine.

The Federal Court's decision in Lina Joy's case provides a solid legal basis for this position.

Former Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, in his majority judgment held that the determination of whether a person had renounced the religion of Islam was within the realm of Islamic law, and that the right authority was thus the Syariah court.

His Lordship further said that the way one leaves religion is set by the religion itself.

"In other words," His Lordship said,"one cannot embrace or leave a religion according to one's whims and fancies."

In Malaysia, we believe that the process of allowing the right and competent parties to deliberate and find the solution for contentious religious issues is still not beyond grasp.

In that light, we feel that an earnest and genuine process of collective deliberation amongst the rightful religious authorities in Malaysia should take place with regards to the recent controversial religious issues.

This process, which may require time and independent space for the people involved, must be allowed to take its course.

Inputs and feedbacks from all parties should be considered but everyone must be prepared to accept that the aim of this process is to discover the authoritative Islamic position on the matter since this is an internal religious issue.

Assuming that at the end of the day the experts do find cases and situations where conversion out of Islam may be legally recognized, the next issue would be to determine the proper procedure for conversion out of Islam.

We have stated time and again that conversion out of Islam is interlinked with other issues, some of which are formal and legal.

Therefore, this process must be properly regulated and cannot be left open or unlimited.

Again, another process of collective deliberation, which gives priority to authoritative interpretations of religious texts and legal reasoning, should be allowed to take its course.

In light of the current controversy, we would like to refer all parties to our various memoranda and documents on the matter.

In our considered view, the MCA is essentially saying that the Federal Court's interpretation of Articles 11 (1) and 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution in the Lina Joy case was wrong.

Perhaps the MCA would like to introduce a private member's bill in Parliament to amend Articles 11(1) and 121(1A) of the Constitution to nullify the effect of Lina Joy.

Let us see if they can get Malay/Muslim support on this issue.

We must not forget the results of the survey carried out some time ago - which pointed out that Malays considered themselves Muslim first and Malay second.

We would caution the MCA and other political parties (government as well as opposition) when making public comments on this issue; what they are doing will cause greater polarization between Malay/Muslims and non-Muslims in our nation.

Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM)


Dear Malaysians,

It is not that we can't express ourselves in speaking against things or statements that at times come across as racist or religious in nature?

It is just that the way we express ourselves that we need to watch out for?

Karpal Singh has been dogged in his ways as long as I can remember and his apologizing to me and other Muslims for his anti Islamic State speech years ago has yet to be realized even when he is now so aged and incapacitated?

I once wrote about him remaining so until he kicks the bucket and my assumptions about him have yet to be proven wrong?

As for Ong Ka Ting, well this fellow is just trying to make himself be taken seriously when he has failed to do much for the Malaysians politically!

Making attacks against Islam seems to be the trump card for such folks to remain in the media spotlight.

I have refrained from paying too much attention to such kind for that attention is exactly what these politicians yearn for?

Malaysians are actually coming out of the era of racial politics but it seems politicians like Karpal and OKT just want to stir up trouble for us of another kind.

The religious strifes that will surely take place once words get out of context and hatred crops up in place.

With such people fanning the flames of animosity between Muslim and Non Muslim Malaysians, we do not need enemies from outside to create problems for this multi ethnic, multi faithed nation!

Let's just see what such folks are going to spew out next?

As fair minded Malaysians, we just need to take things easy and evaluate each issue with a sane rational mind before coming to any conclusions.

I conclude this post with agreeing to ABIM issuing this statement against KS and OKT!

Hehehehe...OKT ..sounds like 'Orang Kena Tuduh' doesn't it?

Is it an ominous sign? Haiyaaa.....


Bunda said...

Hi Mahaguru,

Just which part of OKT's speech in Parliament that was so offensive? I'm no fan of OKT, and like you, I believe that his time has come and gone. But, were his comments in Parliament not fair? Which part, exactly, was considered offensive by Muslims?

OKT's speech in Parliament touched on many issues, but ABIM's letter only touches on apostasy with any specifics. OKT's speech on apostasy was on non-Muslims who had converted to Islam, and then wanted to convert to some other religion thereafter.

ABIM has not suggested anything constructive, other than quote a disgraced former Chief Justice's nonsensical opinion that was contrary to Article 11 of the Constitution. Also, ABIM forgot about the scathing dissenting opinion on the Lina Joy case, which was obviously deliberated along religious lines, and not on the Constitution.

Nothing in the Constitution of Malaysia states that a religion, any religion, is supreme over the choices an individual may make. On the contrary, Article 11 is quite clear that the choice of the individual is supreme when it comes to matters of religion.

Furthermore, although apostasy is abhorred in Islam, nothing in the Quran states that there should be any earthly punishment for it. That is between the individual and Allah in the hereafter. The hadiths of the Prophet that prescribe punishment have been scholarly debated over time, and I've yet to see any conclusion to that debate.

In any case, if the issues at hand were just concerning Muslims, we non-Muslims could care less. However, the heavy handedness of the religious authorities in Malaysia on many issues, has appeared to be one-sided, unfair, and unjust. Body snatching, children snatching, stealing of assets via immoral (if not downright illegal) means, incarceration in re-education camps, fear mongering, threats of death, temple demolitions, hardship in constucting or renovating houses of worship, national schools now feeling and looking like Islamic religous schools... these and many other issues were brushed off by ABIM.

Surely, a progressive Muslim as yourself cannot agree with attitude of ABIM on these issues?

Satria Asia said...

I think the Malays are the only race in the world that reduces their ethnicity to no. 2 over their religion.

If Islam were to be erased from the world, the Malays will still exist. If the Malays were to be wiped out from the peninsular, Islam will not exist (well, maybe amongst Indian Muslims).

When they did the survey they did survey me. But I'll offer my response anyway ... Am I first Muslim than Malay? No. I am first Malay then I am Muslim because I can't erase ethnicity from me -- I can't be Chinese or English -- but I can erase 'Islam' from me and be Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist ... I may not be able to do it here in Malaysia because unfortunately a Malay is constitutionally defined, but anywhere else in the world ...

Melayu tak kan hilang dari dunia? Boleh...senang je...remove that part of the constitution that defines 'Malay'...hilang lah bangsa Melayu. Kan bodoh?

Get it?

donplaypuks said...

Our Judiciary has been shown to be toothless, incompetent, corrupt and biased when it comes to Islam.

Until we have a complete revamp of the Judiciary and the Judicial investigation, prosecutorial and court systems, most will remain sceptical of the legal system's performance in M'sia.

Even Salleh Abas adjourned sine die a case involving an Islamic issue. He did not have the b...s to decide according to the letter of the law where there was a conflict with his theological beliefs!

In any event the Lord President is not correct.

With the exception of Islam in M'sia, the Middle East and possibly Indonesia, everywhere else in this world you can change your religion at your whims and fancies.

We have confused belief in God with belief in man-made religions, rituals and ceremonies.

malayamuda said...

"In other words," His Lordship said,"one cannot embrace or leave a religion according to one's whims and fancies."

the learned judge must then realise that " a religion " doesnt ONLY mean Islam. If the Judge actually meant so that he is not fit to be a " Yang Arif "

What is sensitive to the muslims, can also be sensitive to the non muslims. If Muslims feel other Muslims have humiliated their religion by leaving Islam , then I'm sure the Catholics feel the same that Jean Abdullah has left Christianity.

There cant be 2 rules for everyone. What hurts Muslims also hurts non muslims when the roles are turned.

Think about it...........

Anonymous said...

OKT has the right to express his view as well as ABIM has it's right to say what it wants. But to caution OKT and saying comments from OKT will cause greater polarization between Malay/Muslim and non Muslim(?), come on, is ABIM implying the Malay/Muslim is so shallow in their thinking? Why not ABIM approach OKT to work out a solution or exchange some views and work out a solution, whatever it may be.

I am not saying who is right on this issue, but can we just sit down and discuss about it?

Tulang Besi said...

This is my comment which can be found at

Mahaguru, i applied to be a member of the muslim blogger allaince. May I know what is the result of my application?

Karpal Singh Must Be Losing His Mind (Read:Nyanyuk)

I read Karpal Singh latest antiques as reported in Malaysiakini "Karpal: I didn't insult Islam" at "".

My advice to Karpal is that please be sensitive to other race’s feelings and sentiments. You cannot expect people to understand you if you do not try to understand the other side.

The alleged “death-threat” against Karpal is nothing more than an emotional response to Karpal’s insensitive remarks about Islam and the Malay rights. Karpal should know better than to be making careless remarks that touches upon the sensitivity of the people in Malaysia, namely the Malays.

Also, one should also not forget the inconsistency of Karpal Singh when making his remarks. For instance, while he vehemently argues that Malaysia’s Constitution is secular, he equally rejects the Malay Special Rights which is clearly stipulated in it.

Stranger is the fact that the Malaysian Constitution is more explicit on the Malay Special Rights than Secularism. The word “secularism” is not mentioned in the Malaysia Constitution, yet the word “Malay Special Rights” is. Therefore, the contradiction of Karpal Singh is highly visible.

Karpal, in fact, rejects the Constitution of Malaysia. He only recognizes his own interpretation of the Malaysian Constitution. He accepts what he likes and rejects what he dislikes. There exists other constitutional expert in Malaysia who does not believe that the Malaysia Constitution is secular. Among them is Dr. Abdul Aziz Bari, a well known expert of the Malaysian Constitution.

If Karpal was consistent, he should accept the Malaysian constitution as it is, and that includes the stipulation of the Malay Special Rights. He should not pick and choose as he pleases. Especially, in matters which there is no consensus on it i.e. the secular nature of Malaysian Constitution.

One will also note his other inconsistencies i.e. his call for the Hindraff 5 to be released, yet there are 80 other detainees arrested for alleged involvement in Islamic terrorism. If Karpal is really a humanitarian, he will apply his policies to all, and not to selected few, of which he finds it convenient to support. No matter who they are, they deserve a free and fair trial.

On the Islamic State, Karpal should realize that it is PAS’s main agenda. If PAS has not come out in public to ask DAP to abandon “Malaysian Malaysia”, the polite thing for DAP to do is not to criticize PAS for their stand.

Karpal and DAP should realize that all polls conducted shows that more than 80% of Malays in Malaysia regards Malaysia as an Islamic state. Karpal insistence will only alienate the Malays from Pakatan Rakyat and strengthen their resolve to reject DAP and Pakatan Rakyat in the next election.

By 2012/13, the number of Malay electorate will be more than now, and especially in Penang, it is projected that Malays will be 51% of the Penang electorate in 2012/13. Given the Karpal recent antiques, one can only imagine how the DAP will be able to hold power in Penang.

Karpal, as usual, is stuck in a time wrap. It’s time for Karpal to break free from the cocoon and start looking forward. Otherwise, the best thing for Karpal to do is to check into the retirement motel.

PAS has been very understanding with the DAP. They have been quite when Lim Guan Eng openly denounces NEP, they have been supportive of Teresa Kok’s Selangor pig project announcements and their willingness to put aside the Islamic state agenda temporarily in place of the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto.

All of these actions taken by PAS will result in PAS becoming more and more unpopular among the Malay electorate. Yet, in the name of spirit of friendship they’re willing to make the sacrifice.

Karpal recent outburst is not just rude, it’s downright primitive. It reflects Karpal’s arrogance rather than anything else. It also reflects Karpal’s inability to appreciate differences in the society.

DAP should be able to keep Karpal Singh on a leash. His outburst will further aggravate the Pakatan Rakyat, not to mention alienate and aggravate the majority of the Malays from the Pakatan Rakyat. DAP will need to realize that without the Malay votes, they will never be able to hold on to Penang state government for long.

I concur with the statement issued by President of Muslim Professional League (MPF) recently that Karpal is out of touch with current reality. In fact, Karpal is more suitable to be put in a museum along with the likes of UMNO.

In fact, if Karpal and DAP continues to display their insensitivities towards the Malays and Muslims, the only other possible course of action for PAS is to join UMNO and Barisan Nasional. At least that is the sentiment I sensed from a lot of my Malay Muslims friends and colleagues. And such sentiment is getting stronger and stronger by the day. Trust me on this.

malayamuda said...


The way the Muslims and non Muslims think is very different as you can see.

The proof is the Mass Media in this country.

Just see the headlines everyday in the English and Malay press. They differ a great deal.

Malay Press headlines almost always smell racism, the English Press focuses mainly on the rakyats plight and economy issues.

I wonder why this is happening. There is a clear divide btwn Muslims and non Muslims and their priorities in life

gangeticus said...

Choosing between a blinkered organisation, with a chauvinist world view, against a man whose principles are in parallel with the global village?

Its a no brainer.

Peace bro.