MP: Umno politicians made anti-royal remarks but faced zero action

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KUALA LUMPUR: A PAS lawmaker brought out several newspaper cuttings in 1983 containing statements from Umno politicians who had demanded investigations against royalty, and asked why none of them was ever charged with sedition.

In Parliament yesterday, Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin showed newspaper clippings from Utusan Malaysia, bearing headlines which called for investigations into the properties owned by royalty back then.

One headline from the daily read “Umno minta siasat harta raja” (Umno wants investigation into royals’ properties).

“However, until today, no one has been charged for these statements,” Hanipa said during the debate on Budget 2015. “But Shah Alam MP (Khalid Samad of PAS) just said something minor and he was charged immediately.”

Khalid was charged in August over remarks he had made on the Selangor Sultan and the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais). On June 26, Khalid called for the Enactment on Islamic Laws Administration (Enactment No. 3, 1952) and the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment 2003 to be reviewed after Mais failed to follow the Attorney-General’s decision that the Iban- and Malay-language Bibles seized by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department be returned to The Bible Society of Malaysia.

“The government is abusing the Sedition Act and is practising double standards in prosecuting  ...,” Hanipa said while responding to Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, who was debating Budget 2015. The latter criticised Putrajaya for defending Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who had threated to burn Bibles containing the word “Allah”.

Last week, Nancy Shukri, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law, said no action would be taken against Ibrahim as he was defending Islam and that his words were only directed at specific individuals. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 15, 2014.