The justifications given by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for not prosecuting Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali over his threat to burn bibles does not hold water, said a former AGC prosecution chief.
Stanley Isaac, who was AGC head of prosecution, said that the reasoning that the call had no seditious tendency or that Ibrahim had no intention to provoke are “flawed in law”.
He said that Section 3(3) of the Sedition Act makes it clear that intention is “irrelevant” if the statement has seditious tendency.
“It boggles my mind how the AG could excuse the man on grounds of his good intention when the law says otherwise.
“It also boggles my mind how burning the bible would defend the sancity of the Islamic religion,” he said in an email to Malaysiakini.
Isaac said that with the prima facie “blatant” in this case, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail (left)should have let the court decide if Ibrahim’s defence of “context” and “intention” stands.
He added that reasons given were just “mitigation” and not reasons not to prosecute.
Further, he said, clearing Ibrahim because of these two factors also calls to question the other sedition charges, where context and intention were not considered.
The AGC had justified not charging Ibrahim for threatening to burn the Malay-language Bible by saying he did not intend to cause disharmony and was only defending Islam.
It also noted that Ibrahim had said this in response to claims that Muslim students at a school in Penang were given the holy books.
In his own defence, Ibrahim said he was only making the call to burn the holy books to Muslim parents’ whose children were given the bibles.
Meanwhile, Isaac said Ibrahim’s call is a call to Muslims to “commit a serious crime under the Penal Code”.
Even if the claim of distribution of bibles to Muslim student is true, he said, the offence lies with the distributor of the books and not the books themselves or others who use the book for their worship.
“Would not those millions of Christians be troubled and offended by the call of that man to seize and burn bibles?
“Does such a call not constitute a "seditious tendency to promote ill will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia" within the meaning of Section 3 of the Sedition Act?” asked Isaac.