PETALING JAYA: The leaders of four civil society groups and a Sarawak-based political party are seeking judicial review over the failure of law enforcement agencies to take action against a Muslim preacher for allegedly making inflammatory remarks against other religions in two videos.
The first of those videos went viral on social media in 2017, and the second was posted on YouTube two years ago.
The applicants are Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak president Bobby William, Human Rights Federation president S Shashi Kumar, Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration president Ng Kim Ho, Ex-Students of Chinese Schools vice-president Chan Tuck Loong and Pertubuhan Malaysia Tamilar Munnetra Kalagam president K Sri Ramesh.
The five want the Kuala Lumpur High Court to issue an order of certiorari to quash the decision of the police and the attorney-general (AG) who, they say, refused to act against Syakir Nasoha for remarks made at a mosque in Bakar Arang in Sungai Petani on Dec 16, 2017, which were captured in the first video.
They also said a second video uploaded to YouTube on Oct 20, 2020 had caused non-Muslims to react angrily towards Syakir.
The applicants are seeking an order of mandamus to compel the authorities to act against the preacher.
The five, who filed the application through their solicitors Messrs Gunaseelan & Associates last month, also want a declaration that the refusal to act against Syakir was unlawful and an abuse of power on the part of the police and the AG.
The application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings has been fixed for hearing on Nov 1.
The applicants said that about a year ago, at least 3,000 police reports had been lodged nationwide against Syakir calling for him to be arrested and charged with insulting and defaming other religions.
They alleged that the AG had said in a letter to Shashi Kumar dated June 17 that police investigation papers sent to him last December had been classified as requiring “no further action”.
That decision was irrational, unreasonable and not bona fide, they said.
The applicants said the AG’s decision was arbitrary and violated Article 8 of the Federal Constitution as the law had not been applied equally.
They also said the AG, who is also the public prosecutor, had failed to carry out his duties as required under Article 145 of the constitution.
The application contends that the videos by Syakir had caused serious public harm as they insulted non-Muslim religions and sowed seeds of hatred.
The applicants claim that Syakir had committed offences under the Penal Code and the Communications and Multimedia Act, 1998.