Our duty to speak up, and we can because we know the law, G25 tells critics


Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — A year older now, G25 asserted today its obligation to speak up for Malaysians whose rights are at risk of being violated and added that its members are well-versed enough on the law to do so.

The group of Malay retired top civil servants also said it consults with scholars before issuing statements on Islamic issues, amid controversy surrounding the pro-moderation group’s proposal to review Shariah laws that prohibit khalwat (close proximity).

“As denial of citizen rights and poor governance will have impact on national unity, peace and stability and consequently the economy, G25 considers that it is our duty to speak up on behalf of the people when we see failures and omissions in the delivery of justice,” G25 said in its New Year message.

“At this critical juncture in the country’s history, it is important in the interest of the public and nation, to speak out for justice, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, democratic governance and  accountability and respect for institutions, and against corruption, the abuse of power and selective prosecutions and political intimidations,” the group added.

G25 said it organised two public forums in Kuala Lumpur and in Penang earlier this year on the Islamic principles of moderation, namely “Maqasid al Shariah” and “Wasatiyyah”, besides publishing a book on those principles titled “Breaking the Silence”.

At a recent forum titled “Islam in a Constitutional Democracy”, G25 had said it was setting up a consultative committee to review and to recommend for repeal or amendment unconstitutional state Shariah enactments and laws that violate personal privacy, such as khalwat laws.

G25 representative Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin’s remarks about khalwat laws had drawn ire from conservative Muslim leaders, who accused the group of being deviant, and even sparked a sedition investigation against her.