Utusan tells lawyer Eric Paulsen to apologise over Friday sermon remark


Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) executive director Eric Paulsen should act responsibly and apologise for alleging that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) is a body that promotes extremism through Friday sermons, Utusan Malaysia reported today.

Describing Paulsen’s remark as “over the top” and illogical, Awang Selamat, the pseudonym for Utusan’s collective editorial, pointed out that Jakim was not a militant organisation such as the Boko Haram in Nigeria.

“This is the first time in history someone had made such a claim against Jakim.

“It is confusing that Paulsen, a human rights lawyer, could come up with such a statement.

“Paulsen’s statement is already bordering on the extreme and resulting from his extremist way of thinking,” Awang wrote.

“The real issue which needs to be resolved is Paulsen. If he was in Singapore, action would have been taken against him immediately.”

Awang said Paulsen’s comments was yet another insult on Islam in Malaysia and completely unacceptable.

“To avoid any misunderstanding, he should be investigated immediately.

“Furthermore, he should come forward and issue a public apology.”

“Action must be taken against Paulsen, who should accept responsibility for his statement.”

Awang said Paulsen should understand the religious sensitivities in Malaysia and learn from various incidents including the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

“Provocation has its limits, especially insulting of religion. Reaction can be provoked, including violence.”

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has reportedly said that Paulsen would be investigated under the Sedition Act 1948.