Consumerist: Drop The Chargers Against Fr. Paulino Miranda!
Father Paulino Miranda is my family priest and as such, he has been our pastoral guide, dear friend and parish priest!
My family think the world of him as a priest and of his dedication and we are not alone in this!
I have always enjoyed his sermons at the Divine Mercy Church in Shah Alam which are short, well researched but both educating and motivating.
As such I take offense at the knowledge that my parish priest could be jailed and fined up to RM10,000 for taking part in a candlelight four years ago.
That candlelight service was calling for the abolishment of the Inter Security Act (ISA) an outdated relic of the past alleged to be used to criminalize political opponents into submission!
As such Father Paulino is among 21 people on trial for taking part in an illegal assembly on October 9, 2008 and refusing a police order to disperse, under section 27(5) (a) and section 27(4) of the Police Act 1967 which one must now admit has been amended and replaced with a new law allowing peaceful public
I am advised that a letter was written to the Attorney General’s Chambers asking the chargers to be dropped but we are also advised that this was rejected!
But strangely what I found more vulgar was the implied response when the AG’s Chambers replied in November 2011 stating:
‘We will continue the prosecution against your client under section 27(5) (a) and section 27(4) of the Police Act 1967’
I am advised that the said letter was signed by one Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria from the AG’s Chambers.
Interestingly also charged for the same offense are several opposition leaders and sitting MPs and State Assemblymen and others whose ages ranges from 25 and 62 all of whom have pleaded not guilty!
Father Paulino has stated quite clearly to me that he will not plead guilty, pay the fine but is ready to face the jail term for his conviction!
I salute this man of faith and of GOD!
This is an act of sacrifice, dedication and truth and of one standing by his flock at all costs!
The truth is in the present wake of transformation, political and social change here such chargers and punitive penalties would be described by all and sundry as totally unjust, a process of intimidation to drive fear into members of the public and the civil society in exercising their democratic rights as enshrined in the Federal Constitution!
The irony in Malaysia is at one side we see our politicians and others aspiring to be one falling over each other in stupidity, selfishness and self promotion using public monies and on the other end it is great and spiritually uplifting to see a dedicated man of GOD practicing what he preaches and ready to sacrifice himself by standing alongside his flock!
The ramifications national and internationally if Fr Paulino is jailed is mind blogging and you do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that it will have its political fallout from the capitals of the civilized world – which includes the Vatican!
In Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak – Malaysian Christians will show their displeasure by voting against the Barisan Nasional Government enbloc!