MANJUNG, Jan 10 — Beruas MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, whose house and vehicles at his Ayer Tawar house in Perak were damaged in a predawn fire today, said he has forgiven the perpetrator who threw a Molotov cocktail that started the blaze.
Ngeh said that the individual could have been instigated by others into committing the crime.
“I forgive those who want to burn my cars, house and even harm my 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 invite 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 in a press conference held at his parliamentary service centre here.
The DAP lawmaker said he strongly suspects the incident to be arson and linked to the media statement he issued last December 28.
He said he is not involved in any quarrel and dispute with anyone and has tried to be professional in his political conduct.
“I have been in this place for decades. I have no enemy here. Most of the people here know me and that is why I never installed closed-circuit television in my house. But after this, I think I need to install a CCTV for my safety,” he said.
Ngeh said the December 28 media statement he issued was in response to a suggestion for the federal government to form a committee headed by former chief justice Tun Zaki Azmi to study the conflicts between Shariah laws and the Federal Constitution.
“The 11 members of this committee are all Muslims. I 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 our 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 law,” he said.
In response to his media statement, Ngeh said PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) leaders have accused him in interfering in Islamic matters by distorting his statement.
“Some of the PAS and PPBM leaders have defamed me and misled our society, especially the Muslim community. They owe the public an apology.
“They have also through their statements instigated hate against me,” he said.
Ngeh also said that he has never been an anti-Islam, but only wanted to solve the problems raised by his constituents.
“I want to help the voiceless and downtrodden. Some social problems involved the issue of religion.
“As an example, the case of non-Muslims with the word ‘Islam’ on their identity cards. They cannot get married to non-Muslims. They have to live out of wedlock and have children out of wedlock. These are social problems that must be solved.
“I hope all parties will show compassion and mercy on them. They must not be seen solely from the religious perspective,” he said.