Siti Kasim’s arrest a black mark on Malaysia Baru

JUNE 29 — Few people have the social conscience of Siti Kasim. When she helps you, she literally opens the doors to her home for you, even gives you her spare mobile phone and her own money. 

In another case, she actually put her life on the line by protecting the Orang Asal of Gua Musang against the PAS state government. 

She is a modern-day hero and the nation is blessed to have her. This is why I say what happened to Siti and her client, Anis Nur Izzaty Ruslan, last week is a terrible travesty of justice.

Some months before, Anis had reached out to Siti over fears of a “domineering” mother. Subsequently she moved out and found a job.

In the meantime, the mother lodged several police reports about Anis’ mental state and told the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) her concerns about her daughter’s faith.

It is not acceptable how one can simply invoke the authority of the religious department and have them intervene! 

It would have been bad enough if it was an accurate complaint. Who has the right to measure deviance? Even scholars from the official Sunni school have accused each other of deviance, that too on trivial matters. 

What right have they to investigate anyone’s faith or lack of?

Can Malaysia Baru accept this flagrant transgression of human rights? Despite the tweets to him, the prime minister has been conspicuously silent. 

I take it in good faith that he is too busy or does not see this as being under his purview. However, it should be noted that he has criticised religious authorities before, even going so far as to say, we can abolish them!

The deputy prime minister actually seemed shocked when told about the incident. She said she was unaware as she had been busy with her husband’s — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim — hospitalisation. As women’s minister, one would have thought a standard operating procedure would be in place to handle such issues.

Finally, the home minister piped up and asked for a report from the IGP. I hope something comes out of this. Treating our own citizens and our national heroes in this appalling manner is simply unacceptable. 

This must not throw us back to the days of Umno where justice was the least of their concerns, just ingratiating themselves to the Islamofascists. 

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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