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Monday, March 27, 2017

Section 298A of the Malaysian Penal Code ~ JAKIM or the Royal Malaysian Police has the authority to use it?

Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with one of our nation's distinguished law practitioner with regard as to why it seems that people who bad mouth or blaspheme against Islam are seen to be at liberty to say what they damn well please without any prompt affirmative action taken against them as in the case where a couple of 'Muslim' lawyers have been uttering all kinds of nonsense about Islam in public?



My learned friend told me that JAKIM @ Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia or the Malaysian Islamic Development Department under the auspices of the Prime Minister's Department do not have the clout to take any action against these troublemakers.

It is but the Royal Malaysian Police who do have such powers to take these shit-stirrers (so to speak) to account. 

My question is why have they been silent about it? Do they really need to wait till all havoc breaks loose? Do they have to wait for someone to lodge a police report first before they do take any action? Do they not have the power to take any preemptive action on their own to nip the problems in the bud?

I was sad to know that our nation's topmost religious authorities have been not given their rightful powers to act against the blasphemers but those powers are accorded to our Royal Malaysian Police who in my opinion would be ill-equipped as far as religious knowledge is concerned to take lawful action against those who blaspheme against our faith of Islam and its tenets.

Its akin  to allowing these foul-mouthed lawyers to freely run riot with their harmful disbelief and poison the hearts and minds of the clueless and impressionable ones in our society with their foul diarrhea of their lips.

I was told to refer to the following Section 298 and 298A of our Malaysian Penal Code ACT 574 which describes in detail as to the laws and provisions in dealing with such crimes.

You can click here to read or download the PDF.
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Uttering words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person

298. Whoever, with deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person, or makes any gesture in the sight of that person, or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both. Causing, etc., disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing, etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.

298A. (1) Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible                  representations, or by any act, activity or conduct, or by organizing,                      promoting or arranging, or assisting in organizing, promoting or                            arranging, any activity, or otherwise in any other manner—

(a) causes, or attempts to cause, or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or               feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will; or

(b) prejudices, or attempts to prejudice, or is likely to prejudice, the maintenance       of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion, between persons or groups of           persons professing the same or different religions, shall be punished with             imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five             years.

(2) Sections 173A and 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code shall not apply in respect of an offence under subsection (1).

(3) Where any person alleges or imputes in any manner specified in subsection            (1) — 162 Laws of Malaysia ACT 574
            (a) that any other person, or any class, group or description of persons,                        professing any particular religion  —
                (i) has ceased to profess that religion;
                (ii) should not be accepted, or cannot be accepted, as professing that                            religion; or
               (iii) does not believe, follow, profess, or belong to, that religion; or
           (b) that anything lawfully done by any religious official appointed, or by                    any religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or                        under any written law, in the exercise of any power, or in the discharge                  of any duty, or in the performance of any function, of a religious                            character, by virtue of being so appointed, established or constituted,                    is not acceptable to such person, or should not be accepted by any                          other person or persons, or does not accord with or fulfill the                                  requirements of that religion, or is otherwise wrong or improper, he                      shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1)                  by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or                      feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or likely to prejudice the                                maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of                            persons professing the religion referred to in the allegation or                                imputation.

(4) (a) Where, on any ground of a religious character, any person professing any particular religion uses for burial or cremation of any human corpse a place other than one which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion, he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection   (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing that religion.    

(b) Where any person, on any ground of a religious character, counsels, advises, instigates, urges, pleads with, or appeals or Penal Code 163 propagates to, or in any manner or by any means call upon, whether directly or indirectly, any other person or persons professing any particular religion—

      (i) to use for burial or cremation of any human corpse a place other than one              which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that                        religion;

     (ii) not to use for burial or cremation of any human corpse any place which is            lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion; or

    (iii) not to use for worship any place which is lawfully used for such purpose              by persons professing that religion, he shall be presumed to have                          contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner              likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill                  will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between              persons or groups of persons professing that religion or different                            religions.

(5) Where any person who is not a religious official appointed, or a religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or under any written law purports to exercise any power, or to discharge any duty, or to perform any function, of a religious character, being a power, duty or function which can be lawfully exercised, discharged or performed only by a religious official appointed, or a religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or under any written law, he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions.

(6) The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to —
      (a)  anything done by any religious authority established, constituted or                        appointed by or under any written law and conferred by written law with              power to give or issue any ruling or decision on any matter pertaining to              the religion 164 Laws of Malaysia ACT 574 in respect of which the                      authority is established, constituted or appointed; or

      (b) anything done by any person which is in pursuance of, or which accords               with, any ruling or decision given or issued by such religious authority,                  whether or not such ruling or decision is in writing, and if in writing,                    whether or not it is published in the Gazette.

(7) It shall not be a defense to any charge under this section to assert that what the offender is charged with doing was done in any honest belief in, or in any honest interpretation of, any precept, tenet or teaching of any religion. (8) If in any proceedings under this section any question arises with regard to the interpretation of any aspect of, or any matter in relation to, any religion, the Court shall accept the interpretation given by any religious authority referred to in subsection (6), being a religious authority in respect of that religion.

End.
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I wonder why has the Royal Malaysian Police not considered handing over such authority which is not in their field to JAKIM which would be better positioned to deal with such cases?