Tuesday, 16 September 2014
HOME MINISTER ZAHID HAMIDI'S LACK OF A CLEAR MIND
Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim said there are NO detailed laws and prohibitions covering the four sacred areas mentioned by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, therefore it would be unfair to punish Malaysians for talking about them.
Despite the sedition crackdown, Zaid did not mince words in claiming that the APARTHEID SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICA WAS BETTER THAN THE SITUATION IN MALAYSIAN AS THE LAWS THERE THEN WERE CLEAR.
Zaid wrote in his blog,
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT
"If you listened carefully to the home minister's speech a few days ago, you would have been troubled by its lack of clarity about exactly what constitutes an offence to the four sacred areas he grouped together as the social contract.
"Umno would use all available laws to punish those who question them, the minister screamed."
Starting with Bahasa Malaysia, Zaid pointed out that no right minded Malaysians are opposed to the national language.
"It probably exists only in the mind of the minister. If the PM speaks in English at his press conference( and he likes to do this ) would he be insulting the national language?
"Must a Malaysian speak in Bahasa Malaysia at least once a day to be regarded as 'not opposing' the language? We should have laws passed to make it clear what constitutes an offence.
"If we don't, then Umno would always be able to say so-and-so are not loyal to the language or are opposed it.
"In other words, things would be even worse than what it was like under apartheid because the people would not know what the offending act is. It's all up to Umno," he added.
THE MALAY RULERS
On the issue of royalty, Zaid asked when does one insult a ruler, and called for it to be put in writing as well.
"If a Malay ruler decides to have executive powers in the administration of the country and that is permitted by Umno, then say so in our laws so that the people understand it is an offence to oppose it.
"Pass a clear law that prohibits even commenting on the wishes of a ruler. That was the situation with the Chinese emperor in the Middle Kingdom.
"At least then we would not be duped into thinking that we have a right to ask questions and then face criminal charges for that. We cannot pretend to be a normal democracy when we are actually semi-apartheid in substance," he added.
Terming Islam as the "big issue", the former minister also wondered what amounted to insulting and challenging the religion.
"For now, everything the authorities do cannot be questioned, for this might be construed as insulting Islam. Help the people by spelling out the issue or circumstances clearly.
"For example, Rosli Dahlan, a friend and lawyer, is facing disciplinary action for defending another Muslim, Kassim Ahmad, in the Syariah Court," he added.
MALAY's SPECIAL POSITION
Touching on the fourth sacred area of Malay special rights, Zaid noted that during apartheid, questioning the whites for their discriminatory policies was an offence.
"How different is this from what the home minister said in his recent speech? For now, no one knows what constitutes the Malay rights that he was talking about.
"Article 153 is about 'privileges' so I am not sure what Malay 'rights' are. If I say we should send more Malays to vocational and semi-professional courses, and therefore fewer of them to universities, the minister will probably think I am anti-Malay.
"(Former premier) Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently said Malays are lazy or lacking in integrity. Is this an offence? We should list out all the situations where we are prohibited from talking about the Malays, the way the Afrikaaners did to the blacks," he added.
MALAYSIAN LAWS OR UMNO's LAWS
In the absence of clear laws, Zaid noted that Umno would become the sole authority to define what is and isn't an offence .
"It is already clear that if you make Umno angry or feel insulted, it’s an offence. This is pernicious and unfair , and far worse than the laws that were in place during the apartheid era, surely," he added.
Posted by Malaysian Unplug at 20:00:00