Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 5th March 2010:
Abdul Gani’s decision not to press charges against Al-Islam reporters without extracting public apology indefensible and dangerous precedent inimical to 1Malaysia concept
The decision of the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail not to press charges against the two Al-Islam journalists who desecrated a sacred Catholic ritual without extracting a public apology is indefensible and a dangerous precedent inimical to the 1Malaysia concept of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
I can understand the disappointment of Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam over Gani’s decision to drop the case against Al-Islam reporters without any public apology.
Gani said the desecration of the communion wafer by the two Al-Islam reporters at the St. Anthony’s Church in Jalan Robertson near Puduraya, Kuala Lumpur last May was “an act of ignorance, not malice” and that they might have hurt people’s feelings but he was satisfied that they did not intend to offend anyone.
The Attorney-General would not be able to convince the community hurt by the act of desecration with such a lame excuse – what more, without any apology from the perpetrators to show remorse for the religious desecration which must be regarded as an act of heinous insensitivity completely unacceptable in Najib’s 1Malaysia.
Gani said: “In view of the circumstances at that particular time, and in the interests of justice, peace and harmony, I decided not to press charges against them.
He said he had made similar decisions in previous cases involving other religions.
The Attorney-General should realise that he is invoking the name of justice without serving justice or Najib’s 1Malaysia concept at all. Gani is in fact desecrating justice itself.
Malaysians are charitable people and are prepared to forget and even forgive wrongs and offences committed – but there must be proper apology and contrition for a heinous insensitivity like the religious desecration perpetrated by Al-Islam reporters in our plural society.
Or has ignorance become a proper defence for certain categories of heinous criminal offences in Malaysia under Gani?
The Attorney-General should review the case of the two Al-Islam reporters and Al-Islam publication and demand an apology from them for not pressing charges.
If Gani cannot get the two Al-Islam reporters and Al-Islam to tender appropriate public apologies and still refuse to press charges to uphold the law and justice, he should be censured by the Cabinet and Parliament.
Gani should also make public all the other cases where he had also made similar decisions not to prosecute in previous cases involving other religions – to prove that his previous decisions can stand scrutiny and accountability.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor