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Cops haul in man over video criticising Anwar's Islamic conversion as 'stunt'

Arun Dorasamy was questioned by the Bukit Aman police, who are investigating him under three laws.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Arun Dorasamy (right) with his lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan outside the Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Arun Dorasamy (right) with his lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan outside the Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Police have hauled in an activist for questioning Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's recent act of officiating the conversion of a Hindu man into Islam.

Arun Dorasamy was questioned by Bukit Aman police yesterday over a video he posted, in which he criticised Anwar's action as improper for a prime minister, as well as not in tune with conversion guidelines prepared by the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim).

It is understood that Arun is being investigated under Section 504 of the Penal Code related to intentional insult and provocation of public peace and Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act related to abuse of internet facilities.

He is also additionally being investigated under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act related to "insulting behaviour".

According to lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan, who accompanied Arun, he was informed by the police that the matter would be referred to the Attorney-General's Office for further action.

A clip of Anwar shared on social media showed him taking the hand of an Indian youth while reading out the shahadah, or the Islamic declaration of faith, as the man repeated after him.

Following this, a member of the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim), an organisation that carries out programmes for new Muslim converts, said Anwar had obliged a spontaneous request by him to carry out the conversion process while visiting the Jamek Ar-Rahimiah mosque in Klang last Friday.

In his five-minute response in Tamil, Arun said he was not against the rights of the Hindu man who wanted to convert to Islam.

But he said that as the country's prime minister, Anwar's action was insensitive, especially to Malaysian Hindus.

He said the action was more of a "stunt" in the wake of the ruling alliance's loss of Malay support in the recent state polls.

"Stunts like this are unnecessary since the election is over and they (the government) have been defeated in three states.

"Their next step should be towards improving the economy, increasing job opportunities, reducing the prices of daily goods, and making education more accessible," he added.

Saying the Indian community had only received lip service from the government, Arun vowed to personally campaign among Hindu voters at the upcoming Pulai by-election in Johor next month, saying they would make their feelings known.

"The answer to this can be seen during the Sept 9 election in Pulai, where 12.2% are Indian voters," he said.