Stop Legal Harassment of Christian Speaker of Malaysian State Assembly

Muslim zealot legally harasses Christian Politician in Malaysia for writing about her faith in autobiography

 

Stop Legal Harassment of Christian Speaker of Malaysian State Assembly

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Stop Legal Harassment of Christian Speaker of Malaysian State Assembly

The federal constitution of Malaysia states that "every person has the right to profess and practice his religion". And yet, in Selangor (one of Malaysia's 13 states), today, a Christian politician, Hannah Yeoh, is under fire for having written an autobiography, telling how her Christian faith helped her choose a career-path in public service.

Her accuser, university lecturer, Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, lodged a complaint with the police, alleging Yeoh was promoting a "Christian agenda" in her 2015 book, entitled, "Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey by Hannah Yeoh".

In his official complaint, Yusoff said: "I believe this book is an attempt to persuade, influence or incite non-Christians, including Muslims, to embrace Christianity or become inclined towards Christianity".

And, while proselytising against Islam is an offence in Malaysia, Yeoh's book simply reports on her experiences in the context of her faith.

MOREOVER, Yeoh never promoted the book to Muslims.

And so, in Malaysia, if the federal constitution is to be respected, none of this constitutes a criminal offence!

But, one might be forgiven for drawing parallels between this case and that of Ahok, Jakarta's former governor, who was just imprisoned for two years on trumped up charges of blasphemy.

This type of illiberality, when it comes to misleading interpretations of the law as it relates to religious freedom and freedom of conscience, regrettably appears to be gaining strength across the Muslim world, and, in particular, in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia...countries, which, till now, have been considered to be relatively "tolerant" towards religious minorities.

Selangor is ruled by the hereditary monarch, His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Selangor. Along with the Sultan, Selangor is also civilly managed by the Chief Minister.

Therefore, this petition is directed to both the Sultan and Chief Minister of Selangor, as well as to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, the UN Secretary General, and the US Secretary of State.

Specifically, it asks these parties to intervene in Ms Yeoh's defence, and defend the law against abuses in regard of such allegations.

As Yeoh is a hard-working and senior politician, one can only speculate at the motivation behind this complaint. But one thing is for sure: we will do our best to ensure that this case gets the attention it deserves in local and Western corridors of power - so that the right of Christians, everywhere, to write about their experiences in the context of their faith, remains respected.

In the end, this petition asks that this specious complaint not be entertained by the Malaysian courts.

Thank you for signing!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/382493

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/382594

US State Department's 'Malaysia 2015 International Religious Freedom Report': https://my.usembassy.gov/irf2015_my-081016/

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Stop Legal Harassment of Christian Speaker of Malaysian State Assembly - Hannah Yeoh

For the Kind Attention of:

  • His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj
  • Chief Minister of Selangor - YAB Dato Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali
  • High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs - Ms Federica Mogherini
  • UN Secretary General - Mr António Guterres
  • US Secretary of State - Mr Rex Tillerson

The Speaker of the Selangor Assembly, Hannah Yeoh, is being legally harassed by a Muslim university lecturer, who claims that she has a "Christian agenda" because she wrote an autobiography which tells how her Christian faith helped her choose a career path in public service.

Selangor is one of Malaysia's 13 states, and is ruled by the hereditary monarch, His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Selangor. The accuser, Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, is a lecturer at Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Yeoh's book, entitled, "Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey by Hannah Yeoh", which was published in 2015, is now at the centre of allegations of "proselytising". And, while proselytising against Islam is an offence in Malaysia, Yeoh's book simply reports on her experiences in the context of her faith.

In Malaysia, that is certainly not a criminal offence! Moreover, she did not promote the book to Muslims.

Just as the region is reeling from the harsh, two-year prison sentence handed-down by an Indonesian court to Jakarta's former governor, Ahok, on trumped up blasphemy charges, now it seems as though the same type of religiously-motivated illiberality may be entertained by a Malaysian court.

Therefore, this petition calls on you, the Sultan and Chief Minister of Selangor, as well the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, the UN Secretary General, and the US Secretary of State, to intervene in Ms Yeoh's defence. 

Religious minorities in Malaysia must be protected from such specious arguments and defended against potential abuses of the law in regard of such allegations. 

As Yeoh is a hard-working and senior politician, one can only speculate at the motivation behind this complaint. But one thing is for sure: we will do our best to ensure that this case gets the attention it deserves in local and Western corridors of power - so that the right of Christians, everywhere, to write about their experiences in the context of their faith, remains respected. 

In the end, we, the undersigned, are asking that this complaint not be entertained by the Malaysian courts. 

Thank you for your serious consideration. 

PS - Please see the US State Department's 'Malaysia 2015 International Religious Freedom Report' (https://my.usembassy.gov/irf2015_my-081016/) as evidence of the legal situation.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Stop Legal Harassment of Christian Speaker of Malaysian State Assembly

Sign this petition now!

050,000
  36,509
 
36,509 people have signed. Help us reach 50,000 signatures.