Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang
in Parliament on Tuesday, 29th January 2008:
Cabinet tomorrow must resolve that 74-year-old Gan Eng Gor will be
the last “body-snatching” case in Malaysia as it is standing rebuttal of
Malaysia’s boast as a world example of inter-racial co-operation and
The Cabinet meeting tomorrow must resolve that 74-year-old Gan Eng Gor
will be the last “body-snatching” case in Malaysia as it is a standing
rebuttal of Malaysia’s boast as a world example of inter-racial
co-operation and harmony.
The Cabinet should also decide that the police should not be involved in
any “body-snatching” case as public confidence in the police will be
adversely affected, on top of the divisive effects of such
“body-snatching” incidents on Malaysian nation-building.
The Cabinet decision tomorrow is all the more imperative as the Gor
family has lost all avenues of redress in the civil courts, as their
application to the Seremban High Court for a declaration that Gor was
not a Muslim was dismissed this morning in chambers on the ground that
the High Court has no jurisdiction in the matter, as it belonged to the
This is sad day for Malaysian nation-building and the Prime Minister,
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s oft-repeated boasts in international
conferences of Malaysia as a model of inter-faith co-operation.
I am sure that the founding fathers of this nation, when agreeing to the
Merdeka social contract in 1957, would never have imagined that 50 years
after nationhood, Malaysia would have regressed to the extent that
“body-snatching” has become a nightmare to bedevil inter-racial and
I have no doubt that Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Tan Cheng Lock,
Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tun Sambanthan would have found it completely
unthinkable that the nation could be plagued by a problem like
“body-snatching” – with the police aiding and abetting the
Enough is enough, and I call on the Cabinet tomorrow to send out a clear
and unmistakable message that “body-snatching” is completely detrimental
to the process of nation-building in multi-racial, multi-lingual,
multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia and the worst possible
advertisement of the nation as “Truly Asia” and a model of inter-faith
understanding. The police must be directed that they should never be a
party to such disgraceful “body-snatchings” in the country.
In the Gan Eng Gor case, the 74-year-old man was buried as a Muslim last
week after his Buddhist family lost a battle with Islamic authorities
who said he had converted.
Police seized the body of Gan Eng Gor, who died a week ago, after his
oldest son - himself a Muslim convert - said he had switched to the
religion last year.
Other family members said Gan could not have converted because he was
senile and paralyzed after suffering two strokes.
Gan’s wife and seven other children challenged the claim that the
bedridden Gan had made an oral declaration in Arabic to accept Islam, as
the family has medical confirmation that the elder Gan was unable to
speak after a stroke in 2006. They said the alleged conversion papers
were also flawed because they weren't signed and certified.
All the necessary documentation to rebut the claim that the elder Gan
had embraced Islam last year had been put up on the Internet and I urge
Ministers particularly from the MCA, Gerakan and MIC to present them in
Cabinet for a detailed discussion and a just decision tomorrow.
The Gan family had gone to the MCA for help but the case had been
disposed off in a most unsatisfactory and unacceptable manner. It is now
up to the four Ministers in the Cabinet to redeem the failure of the MCA
to resolve the issue satisfactorily and, together with other fair-minded
Ministers, restore justice and fair play to the aggrieved Gan family in
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman