Zuklifli Nordin, we were not born yesterday

Umran Kadir

Modified 20 Aug 2008, 9:32 am

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Zulkifli defends his action at Bar forum.

Dear Zuklifli Nordin,

Thank you for finally coming out of hiding and delivering a much needed press conference. During the press conference, you made the claim that one can ‘talk about Islam but you can't talk for Islam’.

In a similar vein I would like to make it clear that you and Pembela can talk about Muslims but you can't talk for Muslims. You certainly don't speak for this Muslim and I daresay there are many other Malaysian Muslims that you do not speak for.

You and the other leaders of that demonstration have only brought shame upon Muslims and moreover, brought Islam into disrepute because by your actions and words on the morning of Aug 9, you lend credence to the notion that Muslims are irrational liars who are prone to threats of violence and that our faith is too weak to be discussed in the open.

In a moment reminiscent of pots and kettles, you chided the Bar Council for not having ‘learnt to respect the law, the constitution and also the views of other parties’. Just what laws or aspects of the constitution did the Bar Council contravene?

You claim that the Bar Council are anti-Islam when in truth, the Bar Council had arranged for a diverse range of speakers including a syariah lawyer as well as representatives from Ikim and Jais.

The Bar Council had also invited those leading the protest to take part in the forum. Were you merely ignorant of all this or was there instead a wilful attempt to deceive on your part and the other protest organisers? Ironically, it is you who should learn to respect the constitution and the views of other parties.

You state that it was the police and not the protest that stopped the forum. That is mere semantics as you were quoted as saying: ‘I have negotiated with the Dang Wangi police to stop the forum at 9.30am or else we will act.’

Now, you expect us to believe that the police would have stopped the forum if your protest had not taken place? Do you think we were born yesterday? Stop twisting the truth. You have already threatened to ‘do it again’ if the Bar Council attempts similar forums.

You claim that Malaysian Muslims have been tolerant living under laws that are not Islamic. Would it surprise you if you were to find out that most Malaysian Muslims, like their fellow countrymen, are more concerned about the content and quality of the laws they live under rather than the labels of these laws?

It follows that Malaysians of all backgrounds object to the ISA simply because it is unjust from any view, not because it does not carry an Islamic label. Do not be so presumptuous as to think you are capable of taking the lead to speak for all Muslims in this country.

You are keen to emphasise that to you, Islam comes before PKR. However, the far more pertinent question for you to answer is whether Pembela or your collective constituents come first, and in my view by your actions you have placed Pembela above your constituents.

As an illustration, consider if you had another Shamala or Revathi as a constituent. Would you be sympathetic to the plight of such a person? Could such a person count on your support? Would such a person even be comfortable now to approach you?

Would you be willing to cross swords with Jais or other Islamic authorities to seek justice for a non-Muslim? I am guessing the answer to all these questions is a resounding 'no'.

You maintain that you attended the demonstration as a member of Pembela and not as an MP. Since you are still in a state of denial, I provided the above illustration to demonstrate how your actions as a member of Pembela have created a potentially calamitous conflict of interest with your responsibilities as an MP. Who would now believe that you can impartially serve the interests of all your constituents?

The only honourable course of action for you is to resign from your parliamentary post.

Make way for someone who will unite, not divide Malaysians and one who will make all the constituents their priority.