DAP chairperson Lim Guan Eng has challenged Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to name which minister from the party had approached the latter to try and get the Jill Ireland case settled out of court.
This was in response to Muhyiddin’s claim that this had occurred during his tenure as home minister under the first Pakatan Harapan government.
“I challenge him to name the person. If he fails to mention who the minister is, he is a liar and a coward,” Lim told Malaysiakini.
Muhyiddin claimed in a statement today that he had rejected the suggestion as the Home Ministry wanted Ireland’s case settled in court.
During the time Harapan was in power, Ireland – a Melanau Christian – was awaiting a High Court decision on her bid for a declaration that she had a right to use the word “Allah”.
The case was decided in her favour in 2021 when Muhyiddin was prime minister.
Former Harapan-era works minister Baru Bian – who was a PKR member then – said after the court decision that the cabinet had decided to settle the Ireland case out of court in 2019.
This is after the then-chairperson of the Council of Eminent Persons Daim Zainuddin met with lawyers representing Ireland and Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB), who reportedly were willing to explore a settlement.
However, Baru said Muhyiddin had rejected a settlement.
The former works minister did not state who brought the case to be discussed in the cabinet.
Meanwhile, Lim said the DAP ministers of the then Harapan government were busy with their own respective portfolios, none of which covered the Ireland case.
The DAP chairperson also criticised Muhyiddin for trying to implicate DAP in the recent row over the government’s decision to withdraw its appeal in the Ireland case.
“He is politically bankrupt, that is why he is trying to racialise things and provoke sentiments,” he said.
Lim had sued Muhyiddin in March after the latter alleged that the former finance minister had cancelled Yayasan AlBukhary’s tax-exempt status. – Malaysiakini