The remark by PAS president Hadi Awang that the bulk of corruption in this country is mainly caused by non-Muslims has drawn major criticism from various parties and rightly so.
Hadi’s remarks were not based on any evidence or empirical studies and were basically made to play to the gallery and instil in the minds of some the myth that non-Muslims seem to be the root cause of one of the most heinous of social ills, corruption.
Hadi should rethink his statement now that the Federal Court has confirmed that there was overwhelming evidence of abuse of power and criminal breach of trust by national embarrassment and former Prime Minister Najib Razak when he was in office, which nearly crippled the country’s economy.
To date, Hadi has not denied or retracted his remarks.
There can be no doubt that Hadi has caused feelings of disharmony and enmity with such a racist and reckless statement and as such, may have very likely committed an offence under section 298A of the Penal Code which states:
“Causing, etc., disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing, etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion
298A. (1) Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations, or by any act, activity or conduct, or by organizing, promoting or arranging, or assisting in organizing, promoting or arranging, any activity, or otherwise in any other manner—
(a) causes, or attempts to cause, or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will; or
(b) prejudices, or attempts to prejudice, or is likely to prejudice, the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years.”
He may have also committed an offence under section 504 of the Penal Code which states:
“Intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace
- Whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any other offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.”
Leaders cannot be allowed to make such statements with impunity as they have far reaching implications and threaten to disrupt peace and harmony amongst the different communities in this country.
The Attorney General must act immediately with a view to charging Hadi under one or both of the sections above in accordance with the rule of law without fear or favour.
Dated this 25th of August, 2022.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LEGAL BUREAU
DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY