Malaysiakini Letter

What does the CJ’s religion have to do with anything?

Paul Raja  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | We refer to the press statements by PAS information chief and Umno Youth profiling Richard Malanjum, the newly appointed chief justice as non-Muslim with sadness. Their statements are uncalled for.

First of all, we would like to remind that all religions command us to do good and to promote justice. So to pick on and cast aspersion on the chief justice does not help to promote justice.

We must state here that being a non-Muslim does not restrict the chief justice from administering justice in the highest court of the nation. The chief justice is a man who has wide experience and is the most qualified and most senior of the justices of the Federal Court and therefore most suited to helm the judiciary.

We must also remember that he is helming the civil court of Malaysia; and not the Syariah Court. He fulfils all the required legal and constitutional conditions to be appointed as the chief justice – that’s the most important thing. On merit, he is qualified.

The sad thing here is that in spite of his qualification, he has been overlooked on many occasions in the past. It seems that his appointment is just a respite on what is overdue.

PAS and Umno Youth should realise that Malaysia is a multiracial country. We just wonder whether they have forgotten that Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malaysia; and that in Sabah and Sarawak, there are many non-Muslims.

In Sabah and Sarawak, religion is not an issue. We in East Malaysia live harmoniously amongst each other without having any issues with each person’s religion. It is also common that, there are many families in Sabah and Sarawak who practices different religions and it is not an issue, yet they live harmoniously. Perhaps PAS and Umno Youth should come and learn from us.

PAS and Umno Youth must also know that, the people of Malaysia have spoken clearly during the last GE14. The people have chosen to have a New Malaysia where everybody can live harmoniously in a multiracial nation. Our race, colour and creed should not be made or use to divide us like what happened under the previous government.

PAS and Umno Youth should help to build a better Malaysia, instead of trying to gain popularity using divisive means. This beloved nation of ours needs everyone’s contribution to rebuild this country after what had been done by the past government driving the country aground.

We must also know history that Malaysia is a federation. Malaysia was formed and existed as Malaysia because of Sabah and Sarawak. Without Sabah and Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia would just be called Malaya.

Citizens of Sabah and Sarawak do have rights like any other Malaysians guaranteed under the MA63 and the Federal Constitution, if qualified, to be appointed to highest office in the Civil Service of the Federation.

In fact, we would like to remind that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution has been neglected by the previous regime, as far as the rights of the natives of Sabah and Sarawak are concerned with regards to appointment in the civil service.

We therefore hope that PAS and Umno Youth should learn their lesson and be more charitable in their political struggle in promoting the rights and welfare of all Malaysians instead of being champions in suppressing other lawful citizens of this country called Malaysia.

They cannot pretend to live in the caves in the dark ages. They must open their eyes and see that the world is progressing to serve humanity in the best possible ways; not trying to oppress others who are different race, colour and creed. Please grow up and live with everybody.

PAUL RAJA is the president of the Dayak National Congress.   

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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