Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lina Joy aftermath - I'm ashamed to be Malaysian!

Today, our Federal Court in Malaysia has announced a decision with far-reaching consequences. I would like to remind everyone that I am not a lawyer. But even so, I can understand the law enough to know that this judgement is irrational. If this judgement is a sign of things to come, our country is seriously doomed.

According to Judge Ahmad Fairuz, "She cannot simply at her own whims enter or leave her religion. She must follow the rules." I would like to remind the most honourable judge that according to our Federal Constitution Article 11, we have all got the right to profess and practice any religion that we choose. In fact, it actually says that, "Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it." That's religious freedom to the max. You really can't ask for anything more than that.

However, clause 4 says that, "State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam." This simply means that the state law can block people from preaching any other religion or cult or to propagate a particular religion to anyone who is a Muslim. So, it merely stops someone from evangelising and forcefully coercing a Muslim to convert to another religion. So, who coerced and forced Lina Joy into converting into Christianity?

So, I don't know why the law is punishing Lina Joy who has not done anything illegal. If they suspect that she was coerced, then they should put whichever Christian evangelist who managed to convert her into jail. If they thought that her boyfriend did it, they could possibly lock him up for breaking the law as well. They cannot be together anyway, due to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, which bars a Muslim and non-Muslim from marrying. So, let's just go all the way and to whatever we can to separate them. They could possibly lock up the people from the church who baptised her. Idiots!

This judgement also implies that we cannot talk about our religions freely anymore. This was probably why our government withdrew their support for the previous religious conference. They probably didn't want a bunch of foreign speakers from inadvertently breaking the law by simply speaking and discussing openly about the religion. The rest of us rakyat have to be very careful when speaking with our Muslim friends, least someone accidentally curses and utters His name in vain. So, let's all just stick among ourselves, in our own little isolated communities and only talk with the Muslims when it's safe to do so.

So, the Federal Court has just mad a big boo boo that is spreading worldwide. I've already linked to the IHT and BBC articles. You can be sure that it will emanate through the whole world (it's currently the #3 top story at TIME). The Federal Court has just breached Lina Joy's constitutional rights to freedom of religion. In doing so, it has undermined the constitution. If we ignore the constitution, we can just safely ignore the Syariah Court, Federal Court and even our Government as they're all creatures of the Constitution. For this single reason, I think that someone should do the Right Thing (tm) and call for them to retire from their jobs. Judges who fail to respect the Constitution really have no business being judges.

This is a slippery slope and we have just fallen down to the ravine. I don't know what we can do to climb back out of it. Malaysia is becoming so intolerant these days. Forget whatever programmes the government tries to implement to inculcate national unity. They're all a joke. "Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu" my foot! Events like these just serve to illustrate the great divide and intolerance that has set in the country. We used to be so proud of our multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-religion society. I feel sad to say this, but today, I'm truly ashamed of being a Malaysian.

Where has my country gone?
What have you done with it?

PS. In case this blog is misconstrued. I have nothing against Islam nor Muslims. I just think that judges who do not respect the Constitution have no right to play judge. Just like engineers who cannot build anything have no right to play engineer and doctors who cannot heal anyone have no right to play doctor.

Main main sendiri, bolehlah. Main dengan tanah air ku, jangan!


ahmad the terrorist said...

me too. it is a sad day to be malaysian. let's not pretend we care about human rights for the next few years.

Shawn Tan said...

i'm not even talking about human rights yet.. this is just the bloody law.. it's in black and white..