KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari is mulling legal action against Utusan Malaysia and other media for slander.
Last week, the IIUM law lecturer was quoted by a news portal (Malaysiakini) as describing the Selangor Sultan’s intervention in the Jais-church issue as unusual and inconsistent.
This prompted criticisms in parliament from lawmakers including Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Moktar Radin and Kulim Bandar Baru MP Datuk Zulkifli Noordin.
“I have never questioned the Sultan’s position as the head of religion; in fact, I acknowledged his power. I only commented on how it was used,” Abdul Aziz said in a press statement today.
“The treason accusations against me are to provoke the people to hate me. They have also twisted my words and said I refused to apologise,” he added.
“What is my fault? With whom should I apologise to?” Abdul Aziz (picture) asked.
“I only made a comment in my field of studies. Accusing me of treason is not logical as I have written many articles on the monarchy in Malaysia.”
Abdul Aziz pointed that his PhD thesis ‘The Development and Role of Constitutional Monarchy (1996)’ that was presented at the University of Birmingham in England touched on the power of royalty and many religious aspects.
“I also wrote the only article on the religious power of kings in my book ‘Islam in the Constitution (2005)’,” he said.
“Is it logical that I, with so much writing, have to betray and be rude to the kings?” he asked.
Abdul Aziz said he was aware that a webTV station had offered to sponsor a debate between him and Zul Noordin, who had told the professor to resign from his post as a professor and join politics instead.
“I am ready for this. I hope Zul won’t run away and is only brave in parliament,” he said.
“I am not interested in politics. I only want to share what I have been researching all this while.”
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