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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Perils mufti's viral video sparks fury among M'sian Hindus, reports lodged

KUALA LUMPUR - Representatives of more than 20 Hindu non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and activists lodged police reports against Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin over a video which has surfaced online in which he allegedly criticizes and insults the Hindu religion.

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairman P. Waytha Moorthy said the reports were lodged following the emergence of the video, uploaded onto social media platforms and video-sharing website Youtube, which shows Asri allegedly insulting Hindus.

“The Mufti (Asri) is seen mocking, belittling and insulting Hindus. His insults on Hinduism are immoral and we believe are a contravention of the laws in Malaysia.

“We want the IGP (Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar) to arrest and investigate Asri for what we believe is (the fomenting of) unrest amongst multi-faith Malaysians, and also threatening the peaceful co-existence of Malaysians,” he said in his report.

The laws, he said, have to be applied equally amongst all citizens and Asri should not be excluded.

Waytha Moorthy represented Hindraf, which is among the NGOs that lodged reports at the Sentul police district today. Some also lodged reports on the same issue as individuals.

Reports are also being lodged nationwide, beginning today.

In fact, Waytha Moorthy said that Hindu NGOs estimate that about 1,000 police reports will be lodged nationwide in the period of a week.

“We decided, in a meeting about three days ago, that all NGOs should lodge reports against Asri for insulting the Hindu religion and practices,” he added.

Legal advisor for the NGOs, S. Karthigesan, told a press conference that laws that could be applied to Asri include Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 298 (for uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of another person), Section 298(a) (causing disharmony), Section 504 (for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace), and Section 505 (statements conducive to public mischief of the Penal Code).

Asri could also be investigated under Section 233 of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities.

In the video, Asri, who is more popularly known by his Facebook name “Dr Maza”, is seen telling a forum of how low-caste (forefathers of Malaysian Indians) lived a “degrading life” in India, yet had demanded rights after settling in Malaysia.

It was reported that the video was recorded 10-years ago.

Asri has reportedly said that the video should be viewed in the context of the time, "when Hindraf attacked the Malaysian government repeatedly."

By Hani Shamira Shahrudin

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