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The Star’s CEO hits out at those criticising him for questioning A-G’s decision

PETALING JAYA: Star Publications Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai has hit out at detractors who criticised him for questioning the decision not to prosecute Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali over the Bible-burning remark.

Wong said he was entitled to comment on the decision made by the Attorney-General’s Chambers “just like other Malaysians who have the right to comment on contemporary issues”.

“It is not the monopoly of politicians and non-governmental organisations,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Wong said he was not the only one who had commented on the issue.

“Many other Malaysians, including Cabinet ministers, have expressed their sentiments. We have the right to comment on the decision of the A-G.

“As responsible and moderate Malaysians, we should focus our energy on bringing people together, not making statements that cause disunity,” he said.

Negri Sembilan Perkasa chief Ruslan Kassim. in a statement on Monday, urged Wong to stop “all the provocations” against Ibrahim and said that Wong need not teach the Attorney-General how to do his work.

Global Movement of Moderates chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah defended Wong, saying that Malaysians have the right to comment on the decision by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“The Attorney-General is not immune. One can always criticise people who commented on the Attorney-General’s decision, but the criticism should be on their statement.

“You can criticise a comment but to stop a person from commenting only shows that you do not understand democracy.

“Ruslan Kassim should argue against Wong’s reasoning, not stop him from commenting,” said Saifuddin.

Similar views were shared by unity advocate and author Anas Zubedy, who said Malaysians should be encouraged to speak up and comment when something was not right.

“We must not forget a very popular tradition by the first Caliph of Islam, Sayyidina Abu Bakar.

“He said that when he is right, follow him, but when he is wrong, correct him.

“If Malaysians feel that someone did wrong, we should be able to speak up and correct him,” said Anas.

In his On The Beat column on Sunday, Wong said the Attorney-General would set a dangerous precedent with his decision not to file charges against Ibrahim based on “context” and “intention”, which are matters that should be decided by the court.

“In future, any extremist, of whatever faith, can call for the burning of any holy book and then cite the same pathetic reason that he or she is merely defending the sanctity of his or her religion,” Wong said.

Last week, the Attorney-General’s Chambers said that no legal action was taken against Ibrahim because he was “defending the sanctity of Islam” and had no intention to create religious disharmony when he called for the burning of Bibles containing the word “Allah”.

Politicians from both sides of the divide have urged the Attorney-General to review the case against Ibrahim.

The STAR Home News Nation 05/11/2014
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