Prosecute Ibrahim Ali over bible-burning call, Bar Council urges
Authorities may opt to charge Ibrahim under the Sedition Act or Penal Code over the remarks, said Lim. — File pic
Jan 23 ― Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali should be charged under the
Sedition Act for his remarks advocating the burning of bibles, Bar
Council president Lim Chee Wee said today, backing an similar call by an
Lim said that although the Bar maintains the law deemed a political
weapon to silence dissent, should be repealed, it must be impartially
applied against Ibrahim given that authorities have charged opposition
leaders under the same Act.
“If sedition charges were brought against Karpal Singh, equally charges
should also be brought against Ibrahim Ali ... Whilst the Bar calls for
the repeal of the Sedition Act, if it were to be applied, it must be
applied fairly and without discrimination.
“This incident together with the contemptuous statement by another
Perkasa leader against a judge and the judiciary suggest that Perkasa is
allowed to behave with impunity,” Lim said in a statement.
Karpal, who is DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP, in on trial for
sedition over remarks made pertaining to the Perak constitutional crisis
in 2009, for which he was accused of making statements challenging the
authority of the Sultan of Perak in dissolving the Perak state assembly.
He had earlier been acquitted of the charge by the High Court in 2010,
but the Court of Appeal subsequently ordered him to enter his defence
upon a successful appeal brought by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Lim added that if the authorities do not wish to charge Ibrahim under
the Sedition Act, the Penal Code may also be applied on the Perkasa
“This statement by Ibrahim is an incitement or abetment to commit criminal offence under Section 107 of the Penal Code, whilst the seizure and burning of bibles is an offence under Section 441 of the Penal Code,” he said.
Section 441 of the Penal Code states that “Whoever enters unto or upon
property in the possession of another with intent to commit an offence
or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of such
property; or having lawfully entered into or upon such property,
unlawfully remains there with intent thereby to intimidate, insult or
annoy any such person, or with intent to commit an offence, is said to
commit ‘criminal trespass’.”
“The public must be warned that this is probably a criminal offence,” Lim said.
Yesterday, Karpal lodged a police report pressing Attorney-General Tan
Sri Abdul Gani Patail to initiate police investigations against Ibrahim
over his alleged statement calling for Muslims to “seize and burn copies
of bibles which contained the word ‘Allah’ or other Arabic words”.
Karpal’s police complaint was made in response to the A-G’s reported
comment that prosecutors would only act against Ibrahim if bibles were
actually burnt, and that he was not concerned by the remarks.
The DAP chairman said in his police report that he planned to go to
court to compel Abdul Gani to take action and “carry out his public
duty” if the A-G refuses to take action against the Perkasa president
within the next two weeks.
Perkasa said in a statement on Monday that Ibrahim’s statement on the
matter had been misinterpreted as he had merely been referring to
“I confirm that the Perkasa president did mentionthe words ‘burn the Bible’ but he did not mean the original English-language books.
“He meant the Malay-language bibles that use ‘Allah’ and Jawi writing,” said the group’s secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali.