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34 cases of insulting religion recorded this year


KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysia Police has received 34 cases of insulting religion so far this year, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman.

Of these, he said, three have been sentenced, six are still on trial, the Attorney-General’s Chambers has taken action in nine cases, four are being investigated by the police and ‘no further action’ was decided on 12 cases.

“The Home Ministry will not compromise with anyone who play up religious issues and we will take stern action against those who continuously take provocative action, regardless of race or religion,” he said during the oral question session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Mohd Azis was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique (BN-Kota Tinggi) on the number of cases of insulting religion recorded by the ministry this year.

He said the ministry was still studying the abolition of the Sedition Act 1948 and feels that offences relating to the Royal institution, race and religion must maintained by transferring them to other existing laws such as the Penal Code or if necessary, drawing up new laws.

He said this would ensure there were weaknesses in the law if the Sedition Act 1948 was abolished.

At the same time time, Mohd Azis said, the ministry was also studying improvements to existing laws to enable the police to take more effective and comprehensive action against those who stir up sensitive issues.

“The police have also set up monitoring and investigation units at the district and contingent levels relating to the misuse of the social media so that immediate action can be taken before a sensitive issue goes viral and create animosity between people of different religions and races,” he said.

Replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Johari Abdul (PH-Sungai Petani) on whether the ministry planned to set up a special court to handle the cases of insulting religion, Mohd Azis said at the moment, there was no need for it as existing laws and the ministry’s standard operating proceduce were sufficient.

       — BERNAMA