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Nine months on, instructions on 'burn Quran' probe still not out
Published:  Nov 30, 2015 10:24 AM
Updated: 3:53 AM

The Attorney-General's (AG) Chambers has yet to act in over nine months since it received police investigation papers on Baling Wanita Umno chief Mashitah Ibrahim, who had alleged that certain Chinese had burned the Quran.

"The probe was conducted following a police report lodged on Dec 5, 2014 under section 505(b) of the Penal Code, an offence that involved a statement against public order.

"The probe was concluded and sent to the AG's Chamber on Feb 5 and (the police) are waiting for further instructions," said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in his capacity as home minister.

Mashitah stands to receive a maximum of two years jail sentence and a fine if charged under the said provision.

Zahid was responding to Gooi Hsiao Leung (PKR-Alor Setar) in a parliamentary written reply last Thursday .

Gooi in his written question requested an update on the follow-up action by the public prosecutor over Mashitah's case.

On Nov 26, 2014, Malaysiakini reported Mashitah claiming at the Umno general assembly that members of the Chinese community in Kedah had allegedly burned the Quran "page by page" during a prayer ritual.

She added, “Do you feel challenged? Sensitive? Sad? Frustrated? [...] If you feel that way, why not voice out? Don't be quiet."

Her remarks earned her a torrent of criticism and police reports for allegedly inciting racial disharmony.

Subsequently, police questioned a Malaysiakini editor and journalist over the report.

In March , inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters that the probe had been completed and the papers were with the AG's Chambers.

No favour

The police had received 10 police reports by various quarters following the incident, said Zahid (BN-Bagan Datoh).

The police said they had looked into the matter, which could be interpreted as seditious especially concerning religious and ethnic sensitivity.

Zahid stressed the police have probed the cases without considering one's status and had acted fairly.

The police have been criticised for detaining as well as remanding activists and opposition politicians over similar complaints, but not Mashitah and Umno minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the latter whom had once called on the public to boycott Chinese businesses.

In March, Zahid claimed the duo had not been arrested as the police had wrapped up the probe within 24 hours .

Previously, the IGP had also said the police did not arrest the former deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department as she was probed under a " non-arrestable offence ".

Umno will conduct this year’s annual general assembly from Dec 8 to 12.

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