The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) strongly affirms that Malaysia is a country of laws not of men. We are a country which respects the rule of law and its equal application to all citizens under our Constitution and our guiding Islamic principles.
At no time should a person be detained without undergoing due process of law, in which the right to fair hearing is of utmost importance, and criminal prosecution initiated for unreasonable purposes. Such an action, regardless of the initiating party, goes against the principles of natural justice and the Syari’ah which mandates impartiality, justice and fairness.
We strongly condemn the detentions of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok under the draconian law of the Internal Security Act (ISA). ISA is a draconian instrument that goes against all tenets of fairness, justice and demoting the rule of law. It promotes cruelty and injustice by denying its detainees the right to be heard and a fair trial. In addition, the ISA is also prone to political abuse and there have been instances where the detainees have been mistreated.
With regard to the detentions of the two under ISA, whatever the motives of the detaining authority and the reasons for the detention, it is incumbent upon us to demand conformity with these standards. Both of the detainees should be given immediate access to legal counsel and, if there is a strong criminal case against them, they should be immediately produced before the court to face criminal charges and to be allowed a fair hearing.
In like fashion, we call upon the media, both the conventional and the new media, to give like effect to the grounded principles of fairness as established by our faith. In this respect, the media is responsible to carry out fair reporting of the incidents by taking into consideration sensitivities of our multiracial and multi-religious society. To do less, either as a participant in the process or an observer, is to forsake the bedrock principles of our Faith.
Even though ABIM is against the use of the ISA, at the same time ABIM believes that no individuals should be allowed unlimited freedom to ridicule, disparage and scandalize issues especially those relating to religion and race that may result in a breakdown of social order. The right to criticize and comment must be exercised responsibly within the limits of propriety that is sensible within social realities of our country.
Azril Mohd Amin