Here is the continuing saga (now wasting everyone's time in the Courts) about the unfortunate Malay girl who happened to be on duty as the manager of the Borders bookshop when the jabatan agama guys raided the bookshop.
Now this matter is dilly dallying between the Civil Court (civil meaning they are civilised ke?) and the Syariah Court (so syariah court not so civil ke?)
First the news :
Berjaya Books did not provide sufficient special circumstances, says counsel
KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is opposing the stay application by Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd, which owns Borders Bookstores, on grounds that it interferes with the Syariah Court.
Berjaya Books is applying to stay any further action by Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) against it and its employees in the High Court here.
Senior federal counsel Effandi Nazila Abdullah submitted that Berjaya Books did not provide sufficient special circumstances to grant the stay.
However, Berjaya Books’ lawyer Rosli Dahlan argued there were special circumstances present.
“If someone’s fundamental liberty is at stake, is that not a special circumstance? If someone stands to be convicted, is it not a special circumstance?” he argued.
(My comments : good point lawyer Rosli Dahlan. Someone is about to be jailed - that is special circumstances enough)
He said bookstore manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz had been charged at the Syariah High Court on June 19 for allegedly distributing by way of selling publications deemed contrary to Islamic law.
“Jawi had sought an early date for the Syariah case to circumvent the judicial review application by Berjaya Books,” he said.
He said that on July 6, the Syariah court registry allowed Jawi’s chief prosecutor’s request and brought forward Nik Raina’s syariah criminal matter from Sept 19 to Aug 7.
(My comment : Wow! The Syariah Court brought forward the case from Sept 19th to Aug 7th. This means the Syariah Court is very, very, super duper efficient. They want to dispense justice very fast. OR they suddenly realised that they have to attend all those Hari Raya Open Houses in September).
He also said that as the respondents, Jawi, the Home Minister and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) had failed to file any affidavit in reply to the stay application.
He said that it was necessary to allow the stay and preserve the status quo so that the judicial review application, which had been fixed for hearing on Sept 5, would not be rendered null.
During Jawi’s raid on May 23, it confiscated several copies of Allah, Liberty and Love, written by Canadian author Irshad Manji. Nik Raina was then charged in the Syariah High Court with distributing the book although the Government only gazetted the banning of the books on May 29.
Berjaya Books and two others, assistant general managers (merchandising) Stephen Fung Wye Keong and Nik Raina have been allowed to challenge Jawi’s raid, search and seizure of the books. Among others, they are seeking an order to quash Jawi’s move on May 23. High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Rohana Yusuf has set today to decide on the stay application.
My comments : This is a really silly and time wasting case. Firstly huge amounts of public funds are being wasted. Folks, in the "civil" court there will be at least 30 people present. The Judge, the Court interpreters, at least five Court Policemen, the Prosecution team and their bag carriers, the defense team and their bag carriers. So many people wasting time and money over a really silly case. I tell you folks, the Law can be a real ass.
I am assuming the Syariah Court may have even more people. More time and money wasted.
Dr Mahathir raised this issue a long time ago. Unfortunately it was during his time when Liw*t was his deputy and the Angkatan Belia hom*s were so influential, that the religious courts were institutionalised to a greater degree and given even more power. So we are now at this jurisdiction fight between the "civil" court and the not so "civil" court.
When he spoke against the hudud, Dr Mahathir said that in Malaysia there will be instances of unfairness for example if a Muslim and a non Muslim were caught in a hudud offense. The Muslim will be charged under hudud and can get his hand chopped off (eg for stealing) while the non Muslim would have his hand left intact. So lama-lama pencuri Islam semua jadi kudung, pencuri bukan Islam semua masih ok sempurna.
This is what is happening now to the poor girl Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, who just happened to be on duty as the Manager when the JAWI raided the Borders bookstore over the Irshad Manji book. It was a random occurence.
If the Jawi had raided the bookstore a day earlier or a day later it would have been possible that Nik Raina would not have been on duty. She would not have been arrested. Maybe the assistant manager (a Chinese staff) would have been on duty. Then the Jawi would not have arrested the Chinese staff because the Syariah Law does not apply to non - Muslims. This is exactly what Dr Mahathir had warned about when he spoke against the hudud.
On the day the Jawi raided the bookshop, Nik Raina was inside the office, doing her work. No one saw her handling the Irshad Manji book (which by the way was banned later - about a week AFTER the Jawi had raided the bookshop). The book was already placed on display by other staff whose job it is to place the books on the shelves.
Plus it is NOT Nik Raina's job to order books for Borders. Other people in the Purchasing Department are in charge of ordering books. So where is the logic in arresting Nik Raina? She just works at Borders for a monthly salary.
But the Jawi guys wanted to arrest a Muslim. Why? Because they CANNOT arrest non Muslims. When the Jawi raided the shop, the assistant manager of the bookshop (a Chinese) was present outside - at the counter - but the Jawi could not arrest her. So poor Nik Nuraina kena.
I think if Nik Nuraina was absent, away on lunch break, on MC or something the Jawi fellows would still have arrested some other Muslim staff - maybe a salesgirl or saleman who was Muslim. Kalau itu pun tak ada - I dont know - the Muslim Bangla janitors better be on guard too. Hooray! Jom tangkap orang Islam.
And tak payah empat saksi ke?
Nik Raina has to work to earn a living. She does not own Borders. Borders is owned by non Muslims. Nik Raina is a succesful bumiputra Muslim manager who works hard and can manage a bookstore. The non Muslims have placed their trust in her to manage their business.
The Jawi guys who arrested her probably have some basic education or went to sekolah pondok. They may not even be able to read English. But what surprises me is why the Courts are still debating this matter and dragging it out.
The book was not banned until May 29th. The Jawi raid took place one week earlier on May 23rd. Isnt this odd?
Even if the book is banned so what? The Gomen must gazette the ban first. Only after being gazetted does the ban become legally effective. This also gives time for the public to destroy, get rid of or surrender whatever book has been banned. This is a more civilised system.
But the Jawi raid took place on May 23rd - six days before the ban. In any "civilised" court this mismatch between the date the book was banned and the date the raid took place should be enough to have the case thrown out of court. But we are talking about a "civilised system". Kalau tak civilised, nak buat macam mana?
There is a side effect to all this. Now Tan Sri Vincent Tan who owns Borders Bookstores can never become a Muslim. Why would he become a Muslim? Nanti kena tangkap lah, kena samanlah, kena Mahkamah Syariah lah.
The irony to all this is that Irshad Manji's book is about homosexuality. The Liw*t fellow once declared "saya pemimpin Islam". Then he asked 'mana empat saksi'?