Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Marina Mahathir's article which The Star refused to publish!

Marina Mahathir wrote an exceptional article for her regular column in the Star but alas, the newspaper refused to publish it.

Fortunately for us, The Malaysian Insider has published it as: The column that wasn’t, obviously a jab at The Star for denying the publishing of Marina's latest article in her Star column.

I won’t say much about it here so you need to read it yourself. However I venture to post here some selected extracts of her writing:

… most people are ignorant about their religion and tend to leave these matters to those they believe know best. Thus if the State Mufti or religious adviser says it’s a good law, they are unlikely to challenge him. Thus are religious laws passed unscrutinised.

Until, that is, something happens, such as when someone gets convicted of a syariah crime and punishment is meted out. Who knew that people could get caned for drinking, or for having a baby out of wedlock until the recent cases of Kartika and the three women?

Not only are these laws not debated when they are being made, they can’t be debated afterwards either, unlike civil laws. To do so, according to some people, is akin to arguing with God …

If one believes that syariah laws are superior to civil laws, should they not be held to higher standards? Should they not be subjected to more rigorous debate than civil laws out of fear that they may be unjust? If syariah courts are deemed superior to civil courts, should not their processes be more transparent and efficient? How is it that there are innumerable women having to undergo tremendous suffering because syariah court orders to their divorced husbands to pay child maintenance cannot be enforced?

How is it also that we suddenly hear about women being caned without any information about the processes they went through? Did they have the benefit of legal representation and heard in an open court? If they did, who were their lawyers and what defence did they mount?

Surely the best court of law is one that strives for justice, which shows it is fair to all parties. In this case, on whose behalf was justice served?

I have no problems with syariah laws if their foundation is justice, equality and non-discrimination for all, even non-Muslims. But when their intent, processes and enforcement are unfair, they only give the impression that Islam is unjust and discriminatory.
Surely to give such an image of Islam is a sin.

As I mentioned, I won’t comment on the questions she poses. I merely want to put the above extracts in juxtaposition with another article (below), also by The Malaysian Insider titled:
Government woos conservative base with canings - extracts follow:

The caning of three women under Islamic law is the latest move by the government to woo conservative Muslims, a risky tactic that could cause a backlash by ethnic minorities and damage economic reforms.

The first ever canings of women in traditionally moderate Malaysia were carried out in February after syariah court sentencing for adultery. Another woman faces caning for drinking beer.

The canings came hot on the heels of a row over the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Malay-speaking Christians that triggered attacks on churches and mosques and ahead of another court case this week over Christians’ right to use the word.

PAS officials say Umno’s approach on the canings was a political ploy to win over the 15 per cent of Malays who remain undecided as well as to split PAS from its ethnic Chinese allies.

“The caning issue is just political bait,” said Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad, a senior PAS official.

In closing, I beg Marina Mahathir’s permission to quote once again her final sentence in her article, namely:
Surely to give such an image of Islam is a sin.


  1. The Star Cosy Relationship with Convicted Criminals
    I am one of the many victims of Ooi Boon Leong, the former director of MEMS TECHNOLOGY BERHAD who was convicted with
    his CFO, both who were convicted at the Sessions Court on 25th February. The funny thing is that wholse there was a Str Online article
    on the conviction, the same article NEVER made in to the Star proper !

    There is a pattern here. In April 2009, the same 2 directors were reported be charged and reported
    in the Star Online and amazing enough, it also was not published in the Star proper.

    One wonders whether the editors at the Star were persuaded not to do so with an incentive.
    BTW, I had alerted Datuk Wong Chun Wai via his New Malaysia Blog but he chose
    not to publish this alert of mine. Hmm.. Wond Chui Wai is a Penang Lang and so is OBL

    Please read the following Star Online article as follows :-
    Former directors fined RM300,000 each for overstating revenue (Updated)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Two former directors of a public-listed company were fined RM300,000 each by a Sessions Court here on Thursday after they admitted to overstating RM30mil in their investment holding company’s revenue.

    Ooi Boon Leong, 49, was a director and an audit committee member of MEMS Technology Bhd while Tan Yeow Teck, 49, was its chief financial officer and an executive director.

    In sentencing, Sessions Court judge Asmadi Hussin ordered each accused to pay his fine or serve two years in jail.

    The two were said to have knowingly authorised the furnishing of a misleading statement to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd in Bukit Kewangan on Sept 27, 2007.

    The misleading statement is contained in the report “MEMS Technology Berhad Condensed Consolidated Income Statements for the 12-month period ended July 31, 2007.”

    Upon hearing their verdict, the two, who had resigned from their posts, were composed.

    Pleading for leniency, their lawyer Francis Ng Aik Guan asked the court to consider that his clients had already been publicly reprimanded and fined by Bursa Malaysia for overlapping breaches pertaining to the same unaudited accounts for that financial year.

    Ng said Ooi had been fined RM89,000 while Tan had been fined RM197,500 in October 2008.

    He said both would be disqualified from holding directors’ positions upon their conviction, which would also affect their livelihood.

    He said his clients were remorseful over their actions and had sincerely recorded their plea of guilt.

    He asked the court to consider that his clients had contributed for the growth of the nation and to transfer of technology through their roles in the company.

    In pressing for a deterrent sentence, prosecuting officer Shanti Geoffrey asked the court to consider public interest and the seriousness of the offence.

    “Investors were misled with a statement issued to Bursa Malaysia on Sept 27, 2007, which was approved by both accused.

    “In the false statement, out of RM73,416mil recorded for revenue, RM30,169mil worth of sales did not take place. The false sales comprised 41% of the overall revenue,” she said.

    Geoffrey said investors were misled and suffered losses due to the false information, while both accused enjoyed revenue from their wrongful actions.

    She said that Ooi was a substantial shareholder in MEMS Technology with over 38 million shares while Tan held 270,800 shares.

    She said it was a planned crime where both accused had took about a year to generate and insert false sales in the accounts of its subsidiary company.

    “Both are qualified accountants, they knew very well what they were doing,”she said, adding that elements of forgery and cheating were involved in committing the offence.

    She said both accused had also failed to carry out their duty to shareholders and that their actions had affected the confidence of investors in the company.

    See also

    Victimised, Penang

  2. Oh religious laws being passed without debate...

    Hmmm... I've heard from a muslim friend of mind is that these laws and fatwas... when it is right, the orgnanizing person gets 2X pahala.. but if it isn't right, they get 1X pahala.

    In order words, does it meanthat erecting an unjust/ incorrect law would not have any negative consequences but good ones?

    pondering, definitely open to corrections

  3. Prince Principle1:25 pm, March 07, 2010

    Don't be too positive and supportive of Marina Mahathir too soon.

    She is hypocritical and might harbour a hidden agenda.

    Read this before making hasty conclusions.