Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bar Council & the Forced Laws of Zulkifli

Press Release: The Bar Council is not and has never been 'anti' any religion

Excerpts from the statement by Ambiga Sreenevasan


The Bar Council forum planned on 9 August 2008 was meant to address precisely these issues which are in the public domain. It was meant to discuss the issues of conflict of laws facing these families and to consider what means were available to resolve the conflict. It was meant as a forum to hear the voices that are unheard. The programme initially included an ex-Syariah Court Judge (currently a Syarie prosecutor from Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan) and a speaker from IKIM, both of whom withdrew shortly before the date of the forum. If one had only looked at the programme and the speakers invited and had heeded our various explanations and statements issued prior to the forum, it would have been apparent that those labelling the forum anti-Islam were plainly wrong. Regrettably, the disproportionate responses to the Bar Council’s forum may now discourage those who have genuine grievances from speaking up. We have little to be proud of if the voices of those who cry for help are drowned out by those who speak more loudly. There are those who would have us believe that the Malaysian public is not ready for such dialogue. We believe otherwise. We believe that the Malaysian public is ready, simply because Malaysians will not sit by and tolerate the suffering of others without trying to find a solution.

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
Malaysian Bar
19 August 2008


Another excerpt from an article by Umran Kadir

Open letter to Zulkifli Nordin: Resign!


Dear Zuklifli Nordin, Thank you for finally coming out of hiding and delivering a much needed press conference. During the press conference you made the claim that one can "talk about Islam but you can't talk for Islam". In a similar vein I would like to make it clear that you and Pembela can talk about Muslims but you can't talk for Muslims. [...] You and the other leaders of that demonstration have only brought shame upon Muslims and moreover brought Islam into disrepute because by your actions and words on the morning of 9th August 2008 you lend credence to the notion that Muslims are irrational liars who are prone to threats of violence and that our faith is too weak to be discussed in the open. [...] You claim that the Bar Council are anti-Islam when in truth, the Bar Council had arranged for a diverse range of speakers including a syariah lawyer as well as representatives from IKIM and JAIS. The Bar Council had also invited those leading the protest to take part in the forum. Were you merely ignorant of all this or was there instead a wilful attempt to deceive on the part or you and the other protest organisers? Ironically, it is you who should learn to respect the constitution and the views of other parties. You state that it was the police and not the protest that stopped the forum. That is mere semantics as you are quoted as saying "I have negotiated with the Dang Wangi police to stop the forum at 9.30am or else we will act." Now you expect us to believe that the police would have stopped the forum if your protest had not taken place? Do you think we were born yesterday? Stop twisting the truth. You have already threatened to "do it again" if the Bar Council attempted similar forums. You claim that Malaysian Muslims have been tolerant living under laws that are not Islamic. Would it surprise you if you were to find out that most Malaysian Muslims, like their fellow countrymen, are more concerned about the content and quality of the laws they live under rather than the labels of these laws? It follows that Malaysians of all backgrounds object to the ISA simply because it is unjust on any view, not because it does not carry an Islamic label. Do not be so presumptuous as to think you are capable of taking the lead to speak for all Muslims in this country. You are keen to emphasise that to you Islam comes before PKR. However, the far more pertinent question for you to answer is whether Pembela or your collective constituents come first, and in my view by your actions you have placed Pembela above your constituents. As an illustration, consider if you had another Shamala or Revathi as a constituent. Would you be sympathetic to the plight of such a person? Could such a person count on your support? Would such a person even be comfortable now to approach you? Would you be willing to cross swords with JAIS or other Islamic authorities to seek justice for a non-Muslim? I am guessing the answer to all these questions is a resounding 'No'. You maintain that you attended the demonstration as a member of Pembela and not as an MP. Since you are still in a state of denial I provided the above illustration to demonstrate how your actions as a member of Pembela have created a potentially calamitous conflict of interest with your responsibilities as an MP. Who would now believe that you can impartially serve the interests of all your constituents? The only honourable course of action for you is to resign from your parliamentary post. Make way for someone who will unite, not divide Malaysians and one who will make all the constituents their priority. [Unquote]

I am a Muslim first, declares Zulkifli


“For me, Islam comes first. I am Muslim first, an MP second.”

“You attack Islam, I’ll be there.”

“I went in to defuse the situation and to confirm that the forum had stopped. I was invited up.”

“I didn’t kick the door and barge in.”

“When I was inside, I did not say a word. I did not do anything. I was asked to verify that the forum had ended.”

“I don’t call any chendol or kacang putih seller to talk about Hinduism, do I?”

“Just because some mosquito group of Muslims start talking about Islam, they represent Islam.”

“Why invite those mosquitoes?”

“We Muslims have been tolerant enough all this while, for so many years we have been asked, forced to live under the law that is not Islam. We have been forced."

Who forced Barisan Nasional government to live under the law that is not Islam?

Who forced the Muslim to accept to be judges in the courts which exercise laws that is not Islam?

Who forced all the Muslims to accept the laws which is not Islam?

Who forced the British to rule in Malaysia?

Who forced who? I'm afraid; but I hope it's the non-Muslim citizens who must take the backlash. The chendol and kacang putih sellers are made victims. I hope they will not go swearing at God's place.


imam said...

Zulkifli should resign from his position as MP. He is a disgrace to the people of Malaysia. He is a liability to PKR and this incident will rear its ugly head against the party if no serious action is taken against him.

Anonymous said...

that man got his brains in his buttocks
so no wonder he is
speaking from his arse

a$$ho!e MP

ORIS said...


how come like this one...????

malaysia should promote mix-marriages among its people and having more mix culutural thoughts and mindset, this racial-religion tense will slowly erased from nothing-to-do minds (jobless!).

malaysia should concentrate on economic prosperity and CSR.

ORIS said...


how come like this one...????

malaysia should promote mix-marriages among its people and having more mix culutural thoughts and mindset, this racial-religion tense will slowly erased from nothing-to-do minds (jobless!).

malaysia should concentrate on economic prosperity and CSR.

Maverick SM said...


I do not agree. I am of the opinion that he owns up to his acts and behavior and he should speak not just for his organization, not just as a Muslim but also as an elected MP and a representative of the citizens in a multi-racial society.


I agree with you; Malaysia must spent more time on economic prosperity that ensures everyone benefits.

modern youth said...

from what that can be considered as to find legal solution turned out to be misunderstood as "anti-islam" forum.

i'm sure many people still cant really understand what's the motive behind the reason of the far as i'm concerned,the forum is about trying to find legal solution towards the problem concerning mix-marriage and some other issue regarding between muslim and non-muslim affair.

it's sad when some ppl just out of the blue protested against it without even considering the real motive.and even more pathetic when some people showed their true colour by chanting racial slurs.

Maverick SM said...

Modern Youth,

In my opinion, the Bar Council failed to disseminate the proper information regarding the discussions of the Forum and left it to people to make up their own opinion and causes concerned to the Muslims.

I'm afraid lawyers are people who do not care about the sentiments of the others. They just wanted to do things which they deemed is good for the society without understanding the risks of discontent and paranoias.

Zoo-key-flea said...

More on Zulkifli!!

Wednesday August 20, 2008 MYT 8:10:22 PM

Two Pakatan reps clash in Dewan Rakyat

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Pakatan Rakyat MPs openly clashed in the House over the disruptions at the Bar Council's forum on conversion to Islam.

It took another Pakatan MP - Khalid Samad (PAS - Shah Alam) to step in before both Chong Eng (DAP - Bukit Mertajam) and Zulkifli Nordin (PKR - Kulim-Bandar Baru) would back down from attacking each other verbally.

Zulkifli has been fingered as one of the key players for the disruption at the forum on Aug 9, which has generated controversy among the public and has put him in trouble with the PKR leadership.

The din began when Chong, during her debate on the Education (Amendment) Bill, has criticised Government policies that seemed to suggest that other languages were not of the “same status” with Bahasa Malaysia.

“It’s just like saying that because Islam is the country’s official religion, other faiths have inferior status to it.

“I don’t think this is so because one of the basic tenets of Islam is the principle of equality,” she said.

Zulkifli then stood up to interrupt Chong, saying that she had been mistaken in her understanding of Islam.

Chong retorted that nobody should use force to halt a peacefully convened forum, adding that the protesters on that day had frightened women attending the event.

This drew a sharp response from Zulkifli who claimed that the event of that day had been manipulated by certain parties via “cyber-media” and other newspapers into a violent protest while the gathering had actually been peaceful.

John Fernandez (DAP - Seremban) and Charles Anthony Santiago (DAP - Klang) then complained that Zulkifli’s point “was way off topic”, which led Zulkifli to comment that “there were always various excuses when he tried to speak on Islam.”

When Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee tried to bring matters on track by reminding Zulkifli that he was merely seeking clarification from Chong, and not debating, the MP sniped that Chong was “taking an opportunity to criticise Islam and that she has a racist attitude.”

Khalid then played peacemaker by saying that although Islam was the official religion, the policy was not to make believers of other faiths to acknowledge that theirs were inferior.

“Although Muslims believe Islam to be the one truth faith, this doesn’t mean everyone else must acknowledge that it is a better religion. This is not reasonable,” he said, adding that such a similar argument must also be applied to the issue of Bahasa Malaysia as the official language.

“To have a national language is necessary for communication between the different races.

"It’s not meant to be chauvinistic move and that other languages are inferior to us.

"It’s not to show that one race is supreme over the others,” he said.

Chong later thanked Khalid for being a “moderate Muslim” while Zulkifli kept his peace.