KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 ― In defending Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali over his bible-burning threat, the group’s youth wing has attacked Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin for insisting that the threat is seditious.
Perkasa Youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris issued a dare to Khairy, challenging him to get the Umno Youth wing to endorse the opinion that Ibrahim had committed sedition.
Pointing out that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had decided not to prosecute Ibrahim as he was merely defending Islam, Irwan also challenged the Umno Youth wing to issue a statement for charges under the Sedition Act 1948 against the Perkasa president.
“Perkasa Youth feels it is so aneh (odd) when the Umno Youth chief made a statement disputing the explanations of the AG in the issue that was raised by the Perkasa president about the burning of bibles in the Malay language that have the word ‘Allah’ and Jawi writings,” Irwan said in a statement yesterday.
Irwan painted the Perkasa leader as merely intending to defend the sanctity of Islam by calling for the burning of bibles, while implying that the Umno leader was allegedly muted when Islam is under attack.
“Since a few cases where pig’s head and pork meat was thrown at a few mosques and prayer rooms, KJ is not seen at those mosques and prayer rooms. But when a church is burned, KJ is among the earliest ones to appear,” Irwan claimed, referring to the Youth and Sports Minister by his moniker.
Irwan claimed that there were cases of attempts to convert young Muslims to other religions, but did not offer proof, saying however that Perkasa Youths want a young leader who would defend Islam.
He criticised the Umno Youth chief for not slamming those who had purportedly distributed Malay-language bibles to Muslim youths, while lamenting that there were demands for Ibrahim to be hauled to court when he merely wanted to prevent young Muslims from becoming confused.
“Don’t be a hero for these issues. Don’t make stupid statements, or Malays will hate Umno. Or is that what KJ wants?” Irwan said.
Selangor Perkasa chief Abu Bakar Yahya today also defended Ibrahim, expressing his shock over Khairy’s statement which he claimed was strikingly similar to DAP leader Lim Kit Siang’s stand.
Abu Bakar warned of a backlash where Malay voters would desert Umno over Khairy’s remarks, saying: “It must be remembered, the statement made by him can make Malay or Muslim voters - where many of them support Perkasa’s cause - to berlari arah (run off) or not interested to vote for his party”.
He insisted that Ibrahim was not speaking for his personal interests but had made the call due to his race and religion.
Khairy, who is also the Youth and Sports Minister, yesterday reiterated his personal stand that Ibrahim’s call to burn bibles is seditious in nature.
“If it’s my personal opinion, ….a statement to burn other people’s kitab (holy scriptures), that is sedition. Imagine if there is anyone who said the same about Al-Quran, that will certainly be sedition,” he was quoted saying by The Star’s Malay language portal Mstar yesterday after chairing an Umno Youth exco meeting.
Yesterday, the AGC reiterated its stand that Ibrahim could not be charged under the Sedition Act as he “had not intended to incite a religious commotion but only to defend the sanctity of Islam”, saying that his call to burn bibles lacked a “seditious tendency”.
The AGC stressed yesterday that Ibrahim’s statement had been made in the context of reports of the alleged distribution of Malay-language bibles at a secondary school in Penang, which made his statement “not seditious”.
Ibrahim also could not be charged under both Section 504 of the Penal Code as he had not intended to insult and Sections 298 and 298A as he was merely defending the sanctity of Islam, the AGC said.