Bishop: Double standard is immoral

Bishop Paul Tan says the failure to act against Ibrahim and Zulkifli will create the impression that non-Muslims are deemed to be 'children of a lesser God'.

This article is originally published in

Weighing on the case of two bloggers hauled to court on a charge of insulting Islam, Bishop Paul Tan cautioned that double standards are immoral as this is an affront to justice.

NONEWhile retribution was swift in this case, the head of the Johor and Malacca Catholic diocese lamented the lack of action when other faiths are derided.

Tan cited the controversies involving Perkasa leaders Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin.

Both had earned the wrath of the bishop when Ibrahim called for the torching of the Bible carrying the word "Allah" and Zulkifli for belittling the Hindu faith.

"While we abhor the disparaging of any faith, the government must show that it works without fear or favour in acting against all those who do so.

"In the case of (bloggers) Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, retribution was swift, but I note with regret that such action was never taken against Zulkifli and Ibrahim," Tan told Malaysiakini.

Infamous for posting photos of their sexual romps online, the bloggers landed in hot soup over a Facebook photo that was deemed offensive to Muslims.

The couple was slapped with three charges, including one under the Sedition Act, last week and denied bail.

'Children of a lesser god'

The bishop said while Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak  promoted his 1Malaysia campaign nationwide, attempts to foster racial ties would come to naught if the law was applied on an unequal basis.

NONE"To prove that all citizens are equal before the law, the authorities must charge Zulkifli and Ibrahim (right), failing which it would create the impression that non-Muslims (in Malaysia) are considered children of a lesser God.

"We cannot tolerate anyone belittling another's belief, for such action not only stokes religious tension, it also transgresses the fundamentals of our beliefs, which stress on the importance of according mutual respect," Tan added.

He also expressed regret that Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, or Alvivi as they are together called, were denied bail, even after having apologised for their actions.

On the other hand, the vocal bishop said Ibrahim, who never apologised, still walked free while in the case of Zulkifli, an apology was deemed sufficient.
NONEPolice last week revealed that investigations against Zulkifli (left) were dropped on the instructions of the attorney-general.

Najib later named Zulkifi as the BN candidate for the Shah Alam parliamentary seat in the 13th general election, while Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, in defending the candidature, stressed that the Perkasa leader had apologised for his action.

As for Ibrahim, police have said there was no instruction from the AG for them to act.