Home Ministry issues “show cause” letter to Herald


This is not a great day for freedom of expression after what happened in KL this morning.

The Home Affairs Ministry has issued a show-cause letter (on 16 July) to the publishers of The Herald, an editorial in tomorrow’s edition of the Catholic weekly newspaper has revealed.

The paper was accused of committing two offences:

  • it has not followed the concept of “focusing” on religion
  • it carried an article that purportedly degraded the religion of Islam

In reply to an earlier warning letter from the Ministry, the editorial in The Herald remarked that the Ministry had not defined the concept of “religion” in the application form for a publishing permit.  Neither is there a definition in the Constitution. So, the publishers asked the Ministry to point out where they had gone wrong. No reply.

The editorial also maintained that the article in question “America and Jihad – where do they stand?” in no way degrades any religion; it was the writer’s analysis of the global political situation “for informed and educated people”. (I have not read the article myself so I am unable to comment on it.)

The Home Ministry noted that The Herald also carries articles that have political content.

The editorial responded with one simple question: “Who killed Jesus? If we read the trial of Jesus, we can easily notice how politically charged that scene was….

“If we read the announcement of Jesus’ mission for the people in Luke 4:16-20, there we will see that there isn’t much of an issue with the concept of politics.”

The verses are as follows:

16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read,
17 and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:
18 The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.
20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him.

The editorial goes on to note: “The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle says in his book Politics that ethics and politics are closely linked, and that a truly ethical life can only be lived by someone who participates in politics.”

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
15 Aug 2008 8.01am

It continues to amaze me how everyone seems to cave in to the demands of followers of Islam. Perhaps those of other faiths need to learn to be a little more aggressive in seeing to it that their rights are not ignored. There was an interesting study done recently that showed that as the Muslim population grows in a country the level of intolerance of other religions and demands for accomodation of theirs increases. The study examined various countries from around the world. Perhaps this is starting to happen here.

13 Aug 2008 11.49am

When a person starts saying something critical about a religion except islam, nothing will happen. But when someone attempts to say something critical about islam, hell will break loose. Why such sensitivity and intolerance or is it ignorance?

12 Aug 2008 7.42pm

God bless the Eagles, Paul.

11 Aug 2008 5.24pm

Anil – I found the article ‘American and Jihad’ in the June 22, 2008 issue. It is written by Fr. Thomas Berg and yes, indeed it is about a global issue and nothing personal against any party.

MagM and Paul – Our Bishops have issued a document for us Catholics on the Legal Implications of Conversion to Islam and we are aware of the situation. However, the problems are due to ‘reasons beyond our control’.

11 Aug 2008 12.28am

I agree with Paul Warren. We have to educate our flock about conversion as this conversion is unlike any other conversions where you have the freedom to change anytime. Once converted, you lose all your freedom to choose. Like Paul, I am not an Islam hater. I have close relationship with my muslim friends. It is only the fear of losing my choice to choose after conversion that makes me stay away from that religion.

10 Aug 2008 10.39pm

Paul Warren,
You said,”God’s greatest gift to to your children is free will and obviously they have the free will to convert but that is when they lose the gift of free will”.This is not true if you are the citizen of developed countries.

10 Aug 2008 9.14pm

dear anil
it is sad for a nation of 51 years , all issues are viewed through the spectacles of race and religion except before a general election when the ruling party becomes a party for ALL Malaysians. The nation is even not matured for an intellectual discourse (despite having public universities in every state), paralysed by insecurity of certain groups. Divide and rule is still the practice as proven in history to hold on to the stalks of power.

25 Jul 2012 8.27am
Reply to  kopitalk.36

It true that most of the National Schools, most of the time during assembly there is always prayer n so many things going on;..our children are young in getting exposed to this situation, they all need guardian. Look at mission schools during assembly, everything is in general; respecting religion is giving to all individuals….so how we would want to achieved the 1 malaysia format…no interaction, always most of the students fighting, bulling, in their own groups respectively…no mingling…

Paul Warren
10 Aug 2008 7.07pm

I am of the view that the non-Islamic religions owe it to themselves to educate their own flock about Islam. Not from the text written and approved by any Muslim authority. But one that is authored by yourselves. Of course it has to be honest and devoid of rhetoric, falsehoods and exaggerations. We also ought to educate our own of what happens when one converts to Islam and the consequences of it. Not just that you are checking into Hotel California, but also the impact on the converts estate upon his death. (It has always been a wonder to me,… Read more »

10 Aug 2008 4.55pm

Anil, The forum on conversion to islam couls have been handled in a more refined manner. At the moment, it looks like an Islam-bashing session. From whatever little that I managed to glimpse from newspaper reports, it is a session of telling the experiences of family members who were victims of irresponsible or ignorant Muslims either converts or born-Muslims. The key words here are “irresponsible” and “ignorant”, not Muslims. I dont know the details of the grieviences but in Islam there are provisions for a convert towards his/her non-muslim family members. For example, in inheretance, e.g. one can bequeath up… Read more »

inter-faith unity my a... (IHMA)
inter-faith unity my a... (IHMA)
10 Aug 2008 4.25pm

Eh si BOTAK, when did they cabar Islam?
they were discussing ways to defend the non-Islam religions…

10 Aug 2008 12.18pm

My God is bigger than the Home Minister. My God has ALREADY triumphed on the Cross. Was not Pharoah so arrogant and boastful to Moses? In the end who won? God’s people. The life of Home Minister and the his “buddies” still is in God’s hands. Why God has not struck him, is because God has a good plan for His people, and God is patient and long-suffering. The government’s god is the god of money and power. Let’s see how much they can bring with them once they leave this earth (like Zakaria). Our lives on earth is a… Read more »

10 Aug 2008 11.45am

I think The Home Ministry Affairs themselves are (allegedly) degrading Islam. BODOH BETUL! Some of the Malays in this country are degrading their own religion by protesting over a small issue. ‘Jgn cabar Islam’….
i wonder are they really that religous or just purposely gone for the protest for fun???

A true Malaysian
A true Malaysian
10 Aug 2008 11.20am

Anil, below is my comment in Dr. Hsu’s Forum on the topic of ‘One Nation, One Dream’. http://hsudarren.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/one-nation-one-dream/#comment-52911 _____________________________ After reading the news about the protest at Bar Council, what more can I say? I just thought of giving up….I am skeptical of ‘One Nation, One Dream’ will ever happen to us. That is why I always encourage more of our Malay / Muslim friends join in this forum so that we can know each other’s thoughts and aspirations….and to understand each other better. At the meantime, just don’t let love ‘blind’ your eyes before you go ahead to tie… Read more »

10 Aug 2008 6.39am

Their GOD is greater then any GOD.
The warlords words is greater than the Judge.
The Warlords Power greater then correct2 court.

rajraman.Still wondering who is greater than ….?

9 Aug 2008 11.50pm

I guess government is trying to force Hereld to withdraw the suit since it may loose. Thanks for sharing this news and again, religious persecution is alive and well no matter how many times AAB says differently. It is amazing that when he gives promises when meeting leaders of other religious groups, his people will shoot down his foot.

MC Leong
MC Leong
9 Aug 2008 11.31pm

Which is why Christians should follow up on Acts 2 in continuation to write Acts Chapter 29. His Word is the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path. Bring this lamp and light to all nations and let them be in awe of Jesus in signs and wonders, giving glory to God an washed in the blood of the Lamb unto repentance.

9 Aug 2008 10.02pm

I’m sorry, but in Malaysia, Aristotle’s conclusion needs to be taken with a truck load of salt.