Possible connection between media statement and arson attack - Ngeh

10 Jan 2024 03:00pm
Ngeh Koo Ham - FILE PIX
Ngeh Koo Ham - FILE PIX

MANJUNG - Beruas MP, Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham believed that the suspected arson at his house in Ayer Tawar this morning could be due to the media statement he issued on Dec 28, last year.

Ngeh said the media statement was in response to the suggestion by the federal government to form a committee headed by former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi to study the conflicts betweeen Syariah Laws and the Federal Constitution, in which the 11 members of the committee are all Muslims.

According to Ngeh, he suggested that non-Muslim Constitutional experts be appointed into the committee so that non-Muslim views with regard to the provisions in the Federal Constitution will also be taken into account before proposal for any change to the law is made.

"I specifically stated that the views of non-Muslim with regard to the provisions in the Federal Constitution be taken into account. Never at any point of time did I say that they interfere in Islamic Laws or Islamic matters.

"I also suggested that a representative from the Malaysian Bar be appointed as it is a statutory body formed with an interest in any matter related to our country's laws,” he said in a press conference here today, adding that he is not involved in any quarrel or dispute with anyone, prior to the suspected arson today.

Ngeh said in response to his statement, some political leaders have accused him of interfering with Islamic matters by distorting his media statement and defaming him, while misleading the people especially the Muslim community.

He said they accused him of proposing to appoint non-Muslim Constitutional experts to the Special Committee to study issues related the competencies of state legislative assembly in enacting Islamic laws", as well as "intervention in matters of harmonising the Syariah Court by non-Muslim legal experts ".

"When I saw that my suggestion has been manipulated to stir intolerance and hatred by such people, I apologised and withdraw my suggestion. We must not allow such groups to manipulate the emotions of the public.

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"We must encourage matured discussion in all matters. I have never been anti-Islam, it has been proven in court," he said.

On Dec 30, the media reported that Ngeh, who has sparked controversy over his suggestions to strengthen the Syariah Court system for Muslims, has apologised and retracted his earlier statement calling for non-Muslims to be included in a special committee formed by the Federal Government to study the Syariah law.

As a member of parliament, Ngeh said he tried to solve all problems brought to him and want to help the voiceless and down trodden, while some social problems involved the issue of religion.

Ngeh said he forgave those who want to burn his cars, house and even harm his family if they have been misled by falsehood and instigated by others to hate and commit violence.

"As a lawyer for 38 years and have been in public service for 33 years, I know it is never a happy life to live if we are involved in a crime and live in fear. I am inviting them to turn over a new leaf, be a good citizen and don't cause worries to your families.

"Your family members love you and when you are involved in a crime, it causes them much pain, sleepless nights and endless worries," he said.

Meanwhile, Ngeh said he did not receive any threats in the form of phone calls or messages before today's incident, and leave it entirely to the police to investigate the case.

Earlier today, Perak police chief Datuk Seri Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri said police are hunting for the individual suspected of hurling a molotov cocktail into the house of Ngeh in Ayer Tawar which damaged a car this morning.

Meanwhile, Perak Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director Sayani Saidon in a statement said the department had conducted fire forensics at Ngeh's house.

He said JBPM had taken 11 samples from the scene to be brought to the laboratory for further investigation.

"The investigation is being carried out with the assistance of JBPM K9 Unit," he said. - BERNAMA