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Don't Raise Your Children To Be Bigots (from The Din Merican Blog)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004

Selected comments from the Din Merican Blog

"Have a purpose driven life and finish well"–Lee Kuan Yew

Church Arson: To Malaysian Parents, Don’t Raise Your Kids to be Bigots

August 14, 2010

“That is the message a court should send out to the fanatics but alas, judges such as Komathy are a rare breed in our judiciary. The reasoning in other very important cases cannot even stand the test of logic of ordinary citizens, let alone those well-versed in the laws. I am, of course, referring to the many judgments of the Appeals and Federal courts, which are too many to speak of. But that is another matter”.–Anon

“A beautifully written verdict by Sessions Court judge SM Komathy Suppiah. My utmost respect and admiration for her display of impeccable integrity, fairness and morality. It is now up to the infamous judges of the higher courts to follow likewise or to do completely otherwise.

Judges with integrity and competence like Komathy will never be made Appeals or Supreme Court judge. Certainly not under the rule of a corrupt government as she is no asset to the powers-that-be, just a stumbling block”.–Md Imraz Muhammed Ikhbal@www. malaysiakini.com

Church Arson: Brothers sent to 5 years in gaol

The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today found the two brothers guilty of setting fire to the Metro Tabernacle Church near Taman Melawati in January.

Judge SM Komathy Suppiah said the defence had failed to raise any doubts and the evidence presented by the two was inconsistent.

“The testimony by their friend that the two were involved in burning rubbish is also in doubt. It is a fabrication and afterthought.”

Following mitigation, the court sentenced the two to five years jail each.

The court allowed their application for a stay of execution but raised their bail from RM10,000 to RM20,000 each.

The two, brothers Raja Muhammad Faizal Raja Ibrahim, 24 (above) and Raja Muhammad Idzham (below), 20 were jointly charged with mischief by fire under Section 436 of the Penal Code.

The said incident happened on the early morning of Jan 7. The punishment for such an offence is up to 20 years jail and a fine.

They were ordered to enter their defence on July 30 while a third accused – Azuwan Shah Ahmad, 23 – was acquitted when Komathy ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against him.

While submitting earlier today, counsel for the brothers Hanif Hashim said there was doubt over the case as the teacher claimed to have seen the arsonists did not have a clear view of the perpetrators.

“The actual perpetrators are still out there,” he said. “My clients were merely arrested at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.”

‘Appaling, despicable’

DPP Azlina Rasdi said the testimony by the brothers’ friend that the two were burning a stack of rubbish when they burnt themselves was merely ‘a creation’ to save the two accused.

In sentencing the duo, Komathy said individuals who commit arson attacks on places of worship deserve little or no mercy from the courts.

She said offences of the kind were ‘reprehensible and egregious’.

“This court is bound to ensure that a deterrent custodial sentence is imposed on offenders who desecrate religion or religious beliefs to ensure peace and harmony in a multi-racial country like ours.”

“The imposition of a lenient sentence would not send a strong and clear message that this kind of offence would not be tolerated and condoned”, she added.

Describing the act of torching the Metro Tabernacle Church as ‘appalling and despicable’, Komathy said it struck at the foundation of a civilised and peace-loving society.

“One of the tenets of the Rukunegara is Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan (Belief in God) but you have set ablaze a Home of God.

“Leaders from all segments of society came forward and condemned your actions. Fortunately, the police were able to maintain law and order despite actions which were inflammatory in more ways than one,” she told the brothers.

Komathy then addressed the accused’s father and said while it was painful for young persons to be incarcerated but for offences such as the present one, considerations of compassion must yield to those of public interest.”The message from this court is clear. Do not play with fire.”

We are a nation of immigrants and we take pride in our diversity. Article 13 of our Constitution says very clearly: ‘Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion’. This is not to be taken lightly. It guarantees the freedom of Malaysians to worship, one of the fundamental liberties upon which we hope to build this young nation. From the different colors and materials represented by the different races and different faiths, this country hopes to weave a national fabric which could then serve to bind Malaysians together.

Your act, far from being a cry for help for an understanding of our differences, is a well thought out action to set this country back by some forty years.

This time a church was torched. The next time it could be a mosque or a madrasah.

In this case there was no life lost but only property damage. Had it not been for your youth, I would have given you the maximum allowed under the law as a deterrent to others. Let this be a lesson to all that we take our laws and our constitution very seriously.
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