REHABILITATE ITS MEMBERS
9 June 2009
JOINT STATEMENT BY CIVIL SOCIETY ON PAS RESOLUTION TO BAN SIS &
REHABILITATE ITS MEMBERS
The above refers. HAKAM also refer to the resolution passed by
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) on 7 June 2009 for the National
Fatwa Council to conduct investigation on SIS and banning it if proven
that SIS is against the Syariah and to rehabilitate its members.
We attach herewith a Joint Statement to seek your endorsement so that
together we can effectively defend the right to expression.
Please feel free to widely circulate this Statement to your contacts
for their endorsement as well.
Please send back your endorsement by 12 noon tomorrow, Wednesday 10
June 2009 to c/o: Azareena Aziz
603 – 7785 8737
The National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
JOINT STATEMENT BY MALAYSIAN CIVIL SOCIETY ON PAS RESOLUTION TO BAN
SISTERS IN ISLAM
We the undersigned are deeply disturbed by the call on the part of the
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) to have Sisters in Islam (SIS)
banned and its members rehabilitated should its activities be
determined to be contrary to the Islamic shariah. It is apparent to us
that in making the call in the manner that it has, PAS has already
formed the view that SIS should be banned and its activities brought
to an end.
While we respect the freedom of PAS members to associate in a manner
that they consider appropriate as well as their freedom to express a
view on any matter as they see fit, the members of SIS, or any other
organisation for that matter, are equally guaranteed those freedoms.
No one person or organization has a monopoly over the right to express
views on matter of public importance. The call to silence SIS and send
its members for rehabilitation is an act of violence against those
freedoms and their constitutional underpinnings. It also lends itself
to further closure of the already narrow space of public discourse and
debate that a slew of anti-expression laws have allowed Malaysians.
For Malaysia to mature into the democracy that Malaysians aspire to,
it is vital that diversity, even of views, be protected and nurtured.
Respect for the freedoms guaranteed to all Malaysians by the Federal
Constitution, be they members of PAS or any other organisation or
simply individuals, is crucial to this endeavor.
The demand for action against SIS culminating in a ban is not easily
reconciled with PAS public rhetoric in favour of a more democratic and
inclusive Malaysia. On the contrary, the demand is wholly
anti-democratic. We reiterate that though members of PAS are entitled
to their views, the call for the banning of SIS is wholly
unacceptable. As a matter of principle, the question of banning any
organisation purely for their views should not arise at all.
Differences of views must be respected and, if at all, be resolved
through constructive engagement.
In view of this, we urge PAS to reconsider its position and take such
steps as are necessary to retract the call for action against SIS.
Programme Manager (Research & Publications)
Sisters in Islam
7 Jalan 6/10, 46000 Petaling Jaya
Tel:603-7785 6121, Fax:603 7785 8737