Blame the Judeo-Christians


“Moreover, the disqualification of Anwar Ibrahim was on the basis of a charge for an archaic colonial offence under the Penal Code, which is contrary to international human rights standards, and has no place in this time and age.” — BERSIH


Raja Petra Kamarudin

BERSIH 2.0 is concerned about the impartiality and the independence of the judiciary in Malaysia. The judiciary plays a very important role in safeguarding the freedom and fairness of the electoral process because it is the bulwark against any violation of the constitutional right for a free and fair election.

However, the manner in which the Court of Appeal conducted the appeal of Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy charges raises serious questions yet again as to the independence of the judiciary in Malaysia. Many Human Rights Organisations and International Observers, including the Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists, and the International Federation of Human Rights have expressed similar concerns.

Further, the fact that the appeal was brought forward from the original dates of 7 to 10 April 2014 to 6 to 7 March, just prior to the Kajang state constituency by-election, coupled with the haste in which the appeal was disposed of, casts further doubt as to whether all these were done for a collateral purpose – that is to prevent the democratic process of Anwar Ibrahim contesting in the Kajang state constituency by-election.

This is in effect, notwithstanding any miscarriage of justice, a violation of Anwar Ibrahim’s constitutional right to contest in the Kajang state constituency by-election.

Moreover, the disqualification of Anwar Ibrahim was on the basis of a charge for an archaic colonial offence under the Penal Code, which is contrary to international human rights standards, and has no place in this time and age.


There are currently two very controversial laws in Malaysia (well, more than two, actually). One is the law against sodomy and the other is the law against sedition. Last week, Anwar Ibrahim was convicted for sodomy and was sentenced to five years jail when the Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal and, tomorrow, Karpal Singh will face sentencing on his sedition conviction.

Many Malaysian laws, as the critics have rightly pointed out, are outdated and archaic. In these modern times some of these laws give the impression that we are still living in England in the year 1100 or 1500. I am not talking about Islamic laws or Sharia laws that many of you readers enjoy whacking. I am talking about Christian or Biblical laws.

Malaysia used to be a British colony and many of these ‘archaic colonial offences under the Penal Code’ (to quote BERSIH 2.0) are remnants of the British colonial era. Basically, these were English laws adopted in many of the British colonies all over the world, not just in Malaysia. And these laws were originally Christian or Church laws that transformed into common laws (the term ‘common’ laws derived from laws that were common to all the regions in England).

Sedition became a serious offense during the time of King Henry VIII after England broke away from the Catholic Church of Rome and the Church of England was created. Before that, the Pope was the head of the Church but after the breakaway the King became the new head of the Church.

Many, who still regarded the Pope as the head of the Church, opposed this move (in fact, this was one of the reasons for the English Civil War during the time of King Charles I about 100 years later). They could not accept the new arrangement where the King was now the head of the Church. The Church of England issued a proclamation that the King is God’s representative on earth and anyone who questions this would be committing an act of sedition.

Hence the sedition law has its roots in the power struggle between the Anglican Christians and the Catholics. It was to stifle dissent and to silence criticism against the King, in particular whether His Majesty or the Pope was this legal representative of God on earth.

Any statement, either verbal or in writing, that may instigate the people to hate the Ruler/Government would be an act of sedition. God Himself legally appointed the King and no one had better question that. To do so is an act of sedition.

So, this whole sedition thing was actually started by the Christians in England and when the British colonised countries all over the world they exported this sedition law to these colonies. Anyone who questions or criticises (or instigates the people to hate) the government would be committing an act of sedition.

The law against unnatural sex acts was also a very old Christian or Church law that was adopted as common law. In the Bible it says that adultery attracts the death sentence, as does gay sex. Hence sodomy is punishable by death and the Bible relates what God did to the Sodomites as an example of how displeased God is with this very unnatural sex act.

In fact, sodomy is still a punishable crime in Christianity. And it is this Christian or Church law passed down by the British Colonial government that Malaysia is still using.

Ask any Christian priest and he would be able to quote you passages from the Bible to support this law. Under Christian law it is death, not just 20 years jail, which is the maximum jail sentence in Malaysia. And because Malaysia used to be a British colony we still have remnants of many of these old Christian or Church laws.

Of course, today, not many Christians follow the Bible. Even gay priests are allowed nowadays whereas the Bible says they must be put to death. So many people, Muslims included, would like this sodomy law abolished.

I suppose a review and reformation of our laws is in order. What the Bible and Qur’an may say about certain things is no longer important. In these modern times, when even the authenticity of the Bible and Qur’an are being questioned, we need to keep up with the times. The Bible (and the Qur’an) may say this, that or the other. But that does not mean we have to follow what it says.

It is time the Christians speak up (because the Muslims will certainly not dare do so for obvious reasons). The Christians must condemn Biblical laws and tell the Malaysian government that we need to modernise the country’s laws. Biblical laws were formulated by ignorant people who believed that the Bible was the word of God even though this could not be proven.

Malaysia must no longer follow myths and fairy tales that are written in the Bible and then punish consenting adults for what the Bible says is ‘unnatural sex’. Once the Christians condemn these silly Biblical laws maybe then the Muslims, too, will gain some courage and also condemn old Islamic or Sharia laws that many Malaysians do not wish to see implemented in Malaysia.

In this issue the Christians have to take the lead. It is no use screaming about ‘archaic colonial offences under the Penal Code’ that were adopted from the Bible unless we are prepared to condemn Biblical laws as archaic.