Is racism the Malaysian norm? — Kua Kia Soong

Source: FMT

BY KUA KIA SOONG

Ever since the news broke about the residents at Waja Apartments in Taman Tun Perak, Cheras openly displaying a banner calling for realtors to refrain from renting condominium units to African tenants (“Say No to African People”), I have waited to see if there would be protests by Malaysians, especially politicians and community leaders, against this blatant racism.

I was sadly disappointed. After all this time, it is only former Miss Malaysia-Universe Deborah Henry who has protested against this blatant racism, saying it is unfair to generalise and stereotype a community for the mistakes of a few.

“There’s a thin line between racism and discrimination. One bad person doesn’t equate to an entire community.” She criticised the action of displaying racist banners in residential areas as unhealthy, saying that instead, these issues need to be dealt with appropriately. It has been reported that such banners against Africans have cropped up in Shah Alam and the Sunway area as well. Read more

Court rejects Sisters in Islam’s legal bid against ‘deviant group’ label

Source: NST Online

The High Court today ruled that only the Syariah Court has the power to decide on the validity of the Selangor fatwa that labelled Sisters In Islam (SIS) as a ‘deviant group’. Pix by Muhd Zaaba Zakeria/NSTP

The High Court today ruled that only the Syariah Court has the power to decide on the validity of the Selangor fatwa that labelled Sisters In Islam (SIS) as a ‘deviant group’. Pix by Muhd Zaaba Zakeria/NSTP

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today ruled that only the Syariah Court has the power to decide on the validity of the Selangor fatwa that labelled Sisters In Islam (SIS) as a ‘deviant group.’

Judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah made this ruling in dismissing a legal challenge by SIS Forum (Malaysia) and two others against the decision of the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (MAIS) and the Selangor Fatwa Committee to brand SIS as deviating from Islamic teachings.

Hanipah ruled that the civil court has no jurisdiction to hear the judicial review as only the Syariah Court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the validity of a fatwa per Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution.

Article 121(1A) states that Malaysia’s civil courts have no power to decide on matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts such as issues of fatwa and “aqidah”(faith).

“That the applicants have no remedy in the Syariah Courts does not give jurisdiction to the civil courts.

“It is for the legislators (lawmakers in parliament) to provide the remedy,” said Hanipah, adding that as a result she would not proceed to hear the merits of the judicial review application. She then dismissed the legal bid. Read more