KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 – PAS president Hadi Awang may have committed an offence under section 298A of the Penal Code with his recent remark that the bulk of corruption in this country is mainly caused by non-Muslims, says Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor and DAP’s national legal bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh.
Hadi’s remarks, which have already drawn criticisms from various parties, were not based on any evidence or empirical studies, said Ramkarpal in a statement issued Thursday.
“There can be no doubt that Hadi has caused feelings of disharmony and enmity with such a racist and reckless statement and as such, may have very likely committed an offence under section 298A of the Penal Code which states:
“(1) Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations, or by any act, activity or conduct, or by organizing, promoting or arranging, or assisting in organizing, promoting or arranging, any activity, or otherwise in any other manner—
“(a) causes, or attempts to cause, or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will; or
“(b) prejudices, or attempts to prejudice, or is likely to prejudice, the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years.”
Ramkarpal urged Hadi to rethink his statement now that the Federal Court has confirmed that there was overwhelming evidence of abuse of power and criminal breach of trust by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he was in office, which nearly crippled the country’s economy.
“To date, Hadi has not denied or retracted his remarks.”
Ramkarpal said Hadi could have also committed an offence under section 504 of the Penal Code which states that “whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any other offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.”
Such statements by leaders have far reaching implications and threaten to disrupt peace and harmony amongst the different communities in this country, he said, urging the Attorney General to act immediately with a view to charging Hadi under one or both of the sections above in accordance with the rule of law.