KUCHING: Under fire over her reply in Parliament on the inaction against Datuk Ibrahim Ali for his Bible-burning threat, Nancy Shukri might find some solace in her home state of Sarawak, though not much.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department has been labelled a “messenger girl” for the Attorney-General after her written reply on Putrajaya’s reason for not prosecuting the Perkasa president over his threats to burn Bibles in Penang last year.
Her answer to Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng in Parliament that Ibrahim had made his threat “to defend Islam” has been slammed by both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers, as well as Christian leaders and the public at large.In her home state, where Bahasa Malaysia Bibles or Alkitab and Iban-language Bibles (Bup Kudus) are widely used, The Malaysian Insider asked political leaders and the public for their thoughts on the minister’s answer and the subsequent outrage it caused.
A random survey showed that many people pitied “this nice minister” but most, if not all, found it difficult to defend her for giving an excuse for a racist and religious extremist who had called for the burning of the AlKitab containing the word “Allah”.
“I pity her for what she is going through now,” Chek Jalil Samion said. “I can’t blame her 100% as I know how the Cabinet and government protocol work,” said Chek Jalil, who is a member of the party to which Nancy belongs, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).
“She can say she is merely conveying what the A-G and police have to say but did she use her wisdom on the part where she said that Ibrahim Ali is defending Islam.”
Nancy, in a written parliamentary reply to Guan Eng on Oct 7, stated that the authorities did not act against Ibrahim because investigations showed that he had made the remark to defend Islam.
“I’m a Muslim and I for one do not believe in such rubbish. While she can claim she is duty bound to make that statement, please don’t do it blindly,” added Chek Jalil.
Businessman Jasmy Sadan Sagi agreed that Nancy had been made a scapegoat, adding: “She is, however, a willing scapegoat. Can’t blame her fully for making the statement. She’s just playing ball to remain a minister,” said Sagi, who is a member of the new pro-Barisan Nasional party, Parti Tenaga Rakyat.
Edward Andrew Luak said he was disgusted after reading Nancy’s statement. “Being a Sarawakian, she should be accustomed to how we feel and think on matters of race and religion. Therefore, Sarawakians like me cannot accept what she said in the statement.” He said she should apologise to Sarawakians for her oversight.
Former BN candidate for the Sibu by-election in 2010, Robert Lau Hui Yew, too was much against the statement made by Nancy and said he agreed with Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing’s reaction that the excuse of Ibrahim defending Islam had placed Islamic extremists above the law. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 13, 2014.