PETALING JAYA: A human rights NGO has lambasted the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for alleged inaction over cases of insult to faiths other than Islam.
Peter John Jaban of the Global Human Rights Federation (GHRF) said there appeared to be “double standards” in handling such cases. He claimed that immediate action was taken, and hefty punishments given, against those accused of insulting Islam but not against those insulting other faiths.
“The judicial system has proven that it will take no action against seditious hate speech directed at the Christian population of Malaysia unless a private prosecution is filed by NGOs or the public,” he said in a statement.
“Why do NGOs or the public need to raise these cases, using their own time and resources, when we have law enforcement agencies which are supposed to act on the matter?”
Citing the case of Wan Asshimah Kamaruddin, who allegedly called for the desecration of churches in Sarawak, he said 61 police reports had been lodged against her for a video she posted in March 2021.
However, he said, action was only taken by the AGC after members of the public filed a civil suit this year.
“This clearly shows the double standards on the part of the authorities, especially the law enforcement agencies,” he said.
The civil suit was filed against Wan Asshimah on March 11.
Subsequent to the filing of the civil suit, she was charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for posting insulting comments on Christianity on her Facebook page. Wan Asshimah pleaded guilty.
On July 14, the High Court in Kuching issued an injunction preventing Wan Asshimah from inciting the public on religious issues or causing unlawful acts of violence against Christians or people of other faiths.
In February, more than 60 NGOs under GHRF presented a memorandum to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob demanding that he address the issue of certain Islamic preachers “insulting and denigrating” other faiths.
They also called on the Islamic development department (Jakim), the national unity ministry, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and the AGC to take action against these preachers.