September 13, 2008

The Story behind Teresa Kok’s ISA Arrest

Posted in Malaysia, The Cause at 6:40 am by egalitaria

We know that Raja Petra’s two articles have been cited for insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), resulting in his ISA arrest.

We know that Tan Hoon Cheng, the Sin Chew Jit Poh reporter, was cited as threatening national security because of her reporting of Ahmad Ismail’s statements against the Chinese. It is ironic that only she is being singled out, since there were other newspapers/journalists who reported the same thing.

The story behind Teresa Kok, which many are still befuddled about, is this. A mosque in Bandar Kinrara area had its morning azan (the morning call to prayer for the Muslims) cut. The truth is that the speakers were simply not working. They were spoilt.

On the other hand, Khir Toyo was quoted as warning the Pakatan-led government against issuing directives against loudspeakers by mosques and suraus for the azan. He accused Teresa Kok of issuing a petition to Dato Satim Diman, the State Assemblyman for Serdang. Teresa Kok has denied organising any such petition. The website Pembela Melayu also quoted Khir Toyo’s statement.  

Dr. Siti Mariah from PAS did her investigations. She spoke to Teresa Kok. She also spoke to Dato’ Satim Diman, and both confirmed that the allegations about the azan were not true. She then lodged a police report against Khir Toyo for spreading “malicious slander” and “lies”. She said that Khir’s statements were:

lies, slander, and maliciously intended at raising the anger and anxiety of Malay-Muslims in the country and to incite their hatred against party leaders in Pakatan Rakyat, particularly DAP.

It is important to note the developments of this case. More importantly, that PAS has stood up firmly for DAP’s Teresa Kok, and against Umno. This is what Dr. Siti Mariah has also repeated strongly:

“Pakatan will ensure that the position of Islam as the official religion of the Federation is not affected while maintaining unity between the various communities.

“Never once will we allow any party to raise feelings of discontent among Malaysians. The position of Islam as the official religion of the Federation is enshrined in the Constitution.

“If any issues arise that makes any racial or religious community uncomfortable, that issue can be discussed between leaders of Pakatan Rakyat and the leaders of the five states that we hold,” she said.  

Siti Mariah said only Umno has exploited racial and religious issues in its attempts to regain its lost support. During its rule in Selangor, it was behind the “locking up” of mosques and the ban against some religious speakers.

“DAP leaders have never stepped into or meddled in Islamic affairs. All this while, it has been Umno that has oppressed Islam,” she said.

In these tense times, it is imperative that we citizens take several steps back and determine which are the politically maneouvred strategies. We must weed out the lies from the truth. We must not allow such tactics to cause any confusion amongst us. PAS is standing up for DAP, which obviously means that Teresa’s intentions were never to insult Islam at all. It was a spoilt speaker in the mosque, plain and simple. Do not allow the facts to be twisted, lest this plays into the perfect political ploy to polarise Malaysian races one from the other.

In these moments, we must again look beyond race and religion and focus on the injustice and arrogance being demonstrated by the powers that be. Do not get waylaid by the petty issues. Do not get yourselves tangled up with the different theories. Just focus on staying calm and pushing for justice. Speak the truth boldly and surely. Do not play to the political “race” and “religion” wild cards being waved around, waiting to be picked up.

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