Yii to continue pursuing ruling despite PAS rep’s refusal to apologise

By Chew Lip Song

BANDAR Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii will continue to follow-up with his request for the Dewan Rakyat to rule that PAS’ Pasir Puteh MP had crossed the line and insulted the Christian faith.

This is despite the PAS MP Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh’s refusal to apologise for claiming in the legislature last week that the Bible had been distorted to allow Christians to consume alcohol.

“Last week, I have sent in a letter to the Speaker of the House pursuant to Standing Order 36(10)(c) to get a ruling on the statement made by YB Pasir Puteh(PAS) which crossed the line and can be deemed to “insult” the Christian faith,” Dr Yii said in a statement.

He also expressed regret that Zawawi yesterday said he would not apologise and that Christians have no “right to be offended”.

This, Dr Yii aded, showed Zawawi had little understanding and remorse over the sensitivity not just of the Christian community, but all communities in a multiracial and multireligious society in Malaysia.

He said a proper precedent has to be set in the House of Parliament where such remarks should not have been made. MPs should show the example to promote unity and not divide the people.

“That is why I will continue to pursue the matter, not because i am “offended” or “cannot forgive”, but we need to set the record straight that no one is above the law even in Parliament,” Yii added.

On Wednesday, Zawawi had during a debate in the Dewan Rakyat had said that all religion forbade the consumption of alcohol. When pointed out that the Christian faith did not, Zawawi responded that before the Bible was “distorted”, alcohol was banned.

The PAS MP said his claims was based on the scholarly works of Christian priests.

Besides Dr Yii, the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) had also demanded that Zawawi apologise for the “direct insult”.

ACS chairperson Archbishop Simon Poh said the PAS lawmaker’s remarks were insulting, and against the spirit of religious freedom enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

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