Saturday, August 09, 2008

Disappointing Protest Against Bar Council

I must express my deepest disappointment at the protest led by Kulim-Bandar Baharu Member of Parliament, Zulkifli Noordin on the forum held by the Bar Council to discuss the issue of Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution.

It has been reported that the "protesters, many of whom are from Muslim welfare organsation Perkida and Islamic party PAS, shouted, “Hancur Bar Council” (Crush Bar Council), “Hidup Islam” (Long Live Islam) and “Batal forum” (Cancel the forum). They are carrying placards saying “Jangan cabar Islam” (Don’t challenge Islam) and “Bar Council, Don’t play with fire”.

I am deeply disappointed because the protest is not only misguided, it was also immature and unconstructive. I had issued the following press statement yesterday to emphasize the fact that if even the Bar Council, comprising of members of the legal fraternity, is not allowed to hold open discussions in relation to our constitution and its laws, then it makes a complete mockery of our legal system.

What what probably most ironic was that when the organisers agreed to end the forum early and "when those who attended the forum made their way out of the building, they were greeted with loud boos, obscenities and vulgar words". This type of behaviour certainly makes a mockery of the very religious principles which they claim to want to uphold.

And when asked by Malaysiakini why should the protesters not participate via dialogue and engagement in the forum instead, Zulkifli said that he was open to dialogues but the Bar Council’s intention was to provoke Muslims. “For us, this forum is merely (for) Islam-bashing.”

Well, for me, the statement is absolutely uncalled for, totally unjustified and provocative and completely brainless. If discussing our constitution and our laws is equivalent to "Islam-bashing", then he needs to have his head inspected. The forum did not create the "hoo-haa". It is "leaders" like him who fail to understand simple principles who misleads others into thinking that the whole world is against them.

The group had earlier threatened "many times to storm into the building if the forum was not stopped." In addition, the police had allegedly "found two bottles of alcohol by the building that were believed to be unlit Molotov cocktails."

Well, it appears that this type of thuggish and loutish behaviour is unfortunately not only limited to UMNO Youth.


Anonymous said...

Your continuous open support for Anwar is in DANGER now.

So what is Anwar clever speech toking in front of Chinese and Indian crowd in the public about his reform agenda.

It is bloody fishy and smelly now about Keadilan.

Sad if DAP were to sink with Anwar.

If DAP keep quiet on this IMPORTANT stand expecially the arrogant Kulim MP, then DAP can go fly kite. To me then, DAP=MCA=Gerakan.

We will start muscle in blog to whack DAP if DAP keep silent.

We are watching you.

Anonymous said...

No need to appear so high handed lah.

When you DAP jokers trying to dismantle telecomunication structures instead of following proper channels, doesnt speak so well of DAP also.

frags said...

Religion blinds them from fact. I've seen this before once where religion was used in such a way to misguide people in protesting(FTA protest organised by PAS). I'm sure 3/4th of the crowd there wont even know what was the actual agenda of the forum.

It is unfortunate but once again an attempt at discussing issues affecting all Malaysians has been stopped due to the noise of a vocal minority.

Unknown said...

i'm very dissapointed that bar did not ask for all religious leader to agree on bar propaganda to take place, this bar things is political conspiracy rather open minded religious talk

Unknown said...

Islam does not need its believers to protect. A true religion should be opened for challenge. Is there any harm if Muslims were to participate in open dialogue for the sake of getting a solution in Muslim conversion?

sp lim said...

Hope the High Court will rule against this Zulkifli Nordin and causes him to lose his seat. Doesn't fit to be a MP.

Anonymous said...

Hi ! Tony, may i ask you something personal ? what is your religion ?

Anonymous said...

I am a chinese , and I believe anyone should have the right to protest , if the people protest and know that their religion is being threat , shouldnt they have the freedom to protest and voice up.

If u see , there are no proper communication from the council to the people on what is the forum is about.

Why the council want to waste time on this forum whereby most of the rakyat dont want this to be continue , shouldnt the council pay more attention on Anwar case ?

For me fix the democracy first and talk about religion later ..

Anonymous said...

I simply don't understand why the Malays are so sensitive with regard to the forum of muslim conversion.It seems that they are always living in the cocoon shelf and are afraid of discussing this sensitive issue.How to prosper yourself if you always keep to the dark and dare not discuss sensitive issue openly.Threatening racial riot if the forum would proceed further would only aggravate the situation and not solve things rationally.We are living in the jet age and not the dark age.I hope our Muslim brothers and sisters are more daring and matured in dealing with this type of sensitive issue.

Anonymous said...

It s not difficult to differentiate a sincere dialogue and an ill-intended dialogue. Not all dialogues are the same, and therefore should not be blanketly hailed.

Nostradamus said...

Q14. Freedom of religions and beliefs is a right of all Malaysians. (True or False)
Kebebasan ugama dan kepercayaan adalah hak semua rakyat Malaysia (Betul atau Salah)

Q15. Liberty is a right of all Malaysians. (True or False)
Kebebasan diri adalah hak semua rakyat Malaysia. (Betul atau Salah)

Q16. All Malaysians and the world can be converted to a single culture, religion, race in future. (Fact or Fiction)
Semua rakyat Malaysia dan sedunia boleh diubahkan kepada suatu kebudayaan, ugama dan bangsa pada masa hadapan. (Fakta atau Rekaan)

Q43. Divide and rule exists in all politics and religion. (Fact or Fiction)
Memecah belah dan memerintah terdapat di semua fahaman politik dan ugama. (Fakta atau Rekaan)

Q48. Freedom can only exist in the mind, not in real life. (True or False)
Kebebasan Cuma didapati dalam minda, tidak di dunia nyata. (Betul atau Salah)

Q49. Race and Religious supremacy are preached by satans. (True or False)
Ketuanan bangsa dan ugama adalah dikutbah oleh syaitan. (Betul atau Salah)

Q50. Malaysian politicians are typical Jeyklls and Hydes. (True or False)
Ahli politik Malaysia melambangkan personality Jeyklls dan Hydes. (Betul atau Salah)

Answers at
Jawapan di

Anonymous said...

Bar Council should have continue the forum.Wow,found two bottles of alcohol but did not charge any of the protestors.Just few hundred but cannot handle.Why no water canon and tear gas?Out of stock?What an unbias country to live in?Pakatan Rakyat,when are you going to break your golden silence.

Anonymous said...

i just dont understand this guy. "can have dialogue but not forum coz its islam bashing". why jump the gun and condemn the forum.
there are just too many of these narrow minded politicians. please, nordin, best you join UMNO. Think Keadilan is too multi-racial and tolerant and open-minded for your kind.

Anonymous said...

The problem with these muslims,the minute a discussion on "islam" is mentioned, it's called "mencabar islam" wonder,they can never hold a proper dialogue with other faith as they regard others to "mencabar"...

the stark contrast can be seen in the west,where muslims on the other hand demand to have dialogues with christians....and with no problems at all...these types of forum should have been held frequently long time ago....

Anonymous said...

why kulim bandar bharu protest instead of the others???? because permatang pauh is beside kulim bandar bharu and to remind the malays, u can trust in Anwar. one word : POLITICS....

Khun Pana aka johanssm said...

Allow me to say my piece.
Islam is very vague , as different muslim interprets their own religion differently to the extend that islam “evolves”.
For us in Malaysia there are several main issues which are neglected , skipped and skirted by the government . Even all the so many sultans kept mum as quiet as a mummy.
I for one praises the Bar and those who took part in the forum.
It means that we have people seriously looking into and finding ways to resolve issues that even the sultans , pm , dpm ,ulamas will run away when they are the one who should solve the mess.
We all do need clear laws instead of having a game of ping-pong ball between islamic court and common law.
The government always washes their hands by saying respect the law and let the court decide.
But the court and judges are all indecisive and pushes cases to islamic court.
Most pressing issue will be snatching and kidnapping of dead copse. It is not a funny issue .
but such funny cases are happening at rampant.
Because we have a funny government trying to be funny.
When the bar sit down and discuss , funny people came to protest .
This means that some of the muslims really cannot be open to discussion . And they will go berserk just like what we get to see on TV news and movies.
But it is okay , we are cool if you all do NOT want to see any of us doing an open forum.
We can do live forum over the internet or blogs.
If we do a close forum, you cant take part.
We want the people to have a say.This is why the bar did the open forum . It is part of transparency.

As for some of the protesters from PR , just like any political party there bound to be funny people who are willing to go berserk. Same story from umno or bn.
In the case of umno, they are worse as some of them are ministers.
It is the right time to say goodbye , adious , sayonara , to Vision 2020.
As we have many people still living on tree’s top.

Raj Kumar said...

I deplore the Bar Council’s mule headed decision to go ahead and hold this forum at this critical junction in our nations political development. There is so many other issues that need to be tackled, deaths in police custody, conditions in our prison system, ISA, OSA, standards of legal education in local uni’s. I’m inclined to agree with Zulkipli Noordin's call for the bar council to have a more representative management committee, i still cant believe the opportunity that Ambiga lost when they hosted the PM earlier, where instead of bringing up the issue of ISA detainees they practically praised him for doing piecemeal for wronged judges. I also hope YB Karpal Singh doesnt come out with his holier than thou statement on this matter to further complicate things. DSAI must win convincingly in Permatang Pauh, pls dont give ammo to BN

Anonymous said...

my dear fellow Malaysians,

This forum produce nothing productive but a play card for UMNO on the Malay/Islamic sentiment again. Its not a rocket science to understand it is a trap but is amazing even some veteran politician especially from DAP keep falling into it again and again.

Why they keep wasting their time playing this race/religious game with UMNO/BN that can never win?

50 years of brainwashed by UMNO/BN can never change in a single day!!

Save the energy to first save our beloved country from corruptions and abuse of power by helping to form a strong PR as an alternative to BN which should be our first priority!!


Unknown said...

It seems that the Molotov cocktail has been used against Ambriga's former house, which coincidentally is currently occupied by Sharizat. And it is indeed disappointing to find out that Zulkifli Noordin is not much better than the "burn Chinese hall" UMNO candidate.

Alas, March 3rd 2008 was the tsunami that never was. Some things change, but some things NEVER change. What is the use of the Chinese and Indians taking part in the political process when both sides are flip sides of the same coin.

You can trust nobody but yourself it seems these days.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

DAP will do all Malaysians more justice if you wrap up as a political party and use your knowledge, funds, organizing capabilities, and connections in arranging for Malaysians (regardless of race/religion) to migrate out of the country. There is no hope. You guys have been battling for donkey's years to no bloody fruitful conclusion, and as we have just seen, the PAS and PKR components of Pakatan are really no bloody different from the scoundrels in UMNO.

More of the same shit, just presented in a different packaging.

The world is pretty much borderless now and both labor and intellectual resources are in high demand everywhere in the world and in most cases blind to race or religion. These types of struggles are pointless. It is time to move on instead of trying to wrestle with those who have the IQ of a turnip.

Anonymous said...

it saddens me that the cracks between malaysians are getting bigger and bigger, and inflamed by immature pride. Malaysia is in need of a strong leader.

colorless said...

I voted for PKR and PAS in Sg. Buloh under Subang. If DSAI don't fix this problem now especially with this racist Zulkifli ala Umno style, you can't forget our votes come GE13. I can't imagine how PKR-PAS will act if they become the ruling Malaysian gov.

Anonymous said...


Please just do not ask DAP but we must also ask those chinese in PKR as what are they doing? Ask Jason Ong who wears ceremonial dress in Penang Assembly Opening. Ask Libby (Eli) Wong, Dr Lee, Tian Chua as to their stand in PKR if Profession Society such as Bar Council cannot held a discussions? Also in the first place, is the outside demostration is illegal. If they have the right to have a demostration, likewise the Bar Council has the right to hold the discussions.

Anonymous said...

sigh, can't Malaysia be civilized?

If murderers and rapists can be hauled up to the courts and not lynched why the necessity for a mob to threaten an attempt exchange of ideas

In a way, the mob defeated its representatives in the forum defending Islam. I am sure that in a forum, the discussion does not go one way and the mob has actually frustrated the defending of Islam in a more civlised and polite and intelligent manner. This is a poor advertisement of themselves and disregard for rule of law. Threatening physical damage and harm is dangerous and the PDRM seems to have a softer approach this time round. No baton charge, no water canon.

It is a case of the Chinese proverb "scholar running into a solder - can't reason anymore"

The mob should have stage the protest and cheer on people defending their stand in the forum.

This has showed that after 51 years, some Malaysians have not develop mental capacity to debate problems. Something wrong with our education system.

I am a proponent of having debating as part of school syllabus.

Lee Wee Tak

Anonymous said...

Give up hope on politic (PKR or BN)

DAP should teach your ally a lesson.

Anonymous said...

Islam is supposed to be a religion of tolerance, forgiving and peaceful. Looks like the defenders of Islam at the Bar Council meeting are no better than a bunch of hooligans and thugs.

It is sad that the police cannot control just 300 of these people. In Bangkok, police can control thousands of protestors. I thot "Malaysia Boleh" police can do better than that.

Looks like the Islamists dare not debate with the participants and they are no better than cowards wearing an Islamic clothing. Such a lame excuse by Zulkifli that the seminar is just Islam bashing when he dare not be present there to defend Islam.

Looks like the police has subscribed that "Might is Right" provided the protestors are Muslims and not Hindus.

Luckily, we are now in Thailand where all are equal under the law. God bless our King and Queen for their wisdom and passion for the people

Anonymous said...

John Stuart Mill- Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion
1) It is illegitimate to coerce or limit anyone else’s expression of opinion either though the government or on their own.
2)Humans have the capacity to correct their mistakes, but only through experience and discussion.
3)If a true opinion is not debated, the meaning of the opinion itself may be lost.
4)All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility
5)Free expression should be allowed, but only if it sticks to fair discussion.
Hope those who object the discussion could understand this...

Anonymous said...

i believe one bad apple does not represent the whole barrel of apples. even in a family, we have different opinion, some will behave like the demonstrater.

i am a religious person, to defend ones religion is to behave ourself. Like a chinese saying "to earn a respect from others you must earn it".

i know islam is a beautiful religion. it is demonstrater like this that give it a bad name. you can't blame the west that view it as extremist. you projected it.

i guess we non-muslim must get the message "got food you eat don't talk so much".

Anonymous said...

DAP should directly engage Zukifli Nordin on his participation in this. Is he pandering to his constituent or is it for real? If its for real, a dialogue of intelligence should be engaged. Is it based on facts or just sheer suspicion? How could he be so suspicious given his education abroad for so long? Is he a mole? Why is he not with PAS instead of PKR?

Anonymous said...

PKR, DAP, HINDRAF & PAS taught Malaysians how to street protest on issues, now cannot ah? Since when protest must be selective?

Federal Court has ruled out the issue to be resolved by Shariah Court, can't Bar Council respect the court decision?

Why must Bar Council straight away have an open forum? Have they discussed the issue with govt depts, muslim NGOs etc?

Anonymous said...

PAS and PKR must take STERN action on the two leaders and MPs who have shown such disrespect not only for human rights but also a narrow view of religious tolerance. To win back the hearts and minds of the voters who have given so much trust and faith in these people, some action must be seen to be taken.

It is sad for the two parties who have just recently manage to win some of the NON Malay voters to their sides, only this time, it has lost more voters.

Anonymous said...

Raj said...
I deplore the Bar Council’s mule headed decision to go ahead and hold this forum at this critical junction in our nations political development. There is so many other issues that need to be tackled, deaths in police custody, conditions in our prison system, ISA, OSA, standards of legal education in local uni’s.

**Agree with this...there are soo many issues which is under the jurisdiction of BAR COUNCIL like lawyers' code of conduct, ISA etc but why LA want to show own stupidity to hold a forum where you know by the title itself is provocative....and tell me how many cases in consideration that it is worth having forum of sortttt...and u want to talk about other people religions' wihout the religion expert?..u think that's fair for muslims?????don't be selfish la ok*********

Raj said i’m inclined to agree with Zulkipli Noordin's call for the bar council to have a more representative management committee

**How come BAR COUNCIL is dominated by ONE RACE huh?...****

colorless said...
I voted for PKR and PAS in Sg. Buloh under Subang. If DSAI don't fix this problem now especially with this racist Zulkifli ala Umno style

**Can't a person have a stand on his/her religion without being called racist???..why when muslim/malay defend their rights it is called racist...we do not start this...if BC wants to talk about conflict between civil and syariah court...why need open forum..just call all reps la..see the way its done is so sneaky and with ill u expect muslims to sit back and just let people who don't know about the religion in the first place to talk about it?..If you're really'd understand this

Unknown said...

well when fools take to the street using emotion we get this kind of crowd .... when BN rapes them they tolerate ......:)

Anonymous said...

This zulkifli guy. Is he an UiTM graduate.