KOTA KINABALU, Sept 1 — An Islamist activist has apologised in the Sessions Court here for posting provocative rants against the Christian community on Facebook as part of the settlement reached today.
Wan Asshima Kamaruddin, 38, of the Islamic rehabilitation centre Pondok Hijrah Muslimah Malaysia submitted her apology to the court in front of Judge Dayang Ellyn Narisa Abang Ahmad after being sued by local lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph.
"I promise not to repeat my actions and I apologise to Marcel Jude Joseph and the Christian community of Malaysia.
"This incident has taught me to be more rational and respectful of other races in the country and I hope that the Christians in the country will accept me as a human being who had made a mistake," she told the court.
The session was recorded through video conferencing.
Under the settlement, Wan Asshima would pay a cost of RM500 in cost to Jude who would discontinue his suit.
Dayang Ellyn said that she was happy with the outcome of the case after both sides agreed to an amicable settlement entered by the defendant and the plaintiff.
"I applaud the approach of both the plaintiff (Jude) and the defendant (Asshima) in settling the matter," she said.
Jude had filed a suit against Wan Asshima on March 26 last year after she made a provocative statement against Christians over the video on her Facebook page under the name "Puteri Mujahidah Wan Asshima Kamaruddin.”
She had posted a long 12-minute rant on her page after it was reported that the government had filed an appeal against the High Court's decision to annul the ban on the use of the word "Allah” by non-Muslims.
Jude said that he was happy with her apology today
"I wish to thank her for her remorseful statement.
"With her apology and undertaking, I wish her all the best in her future and I also wish to thank the court on the part you have undertaken in the amicable settlement,” he said when contacted.
Several individuals in Sarawak had also filed a similar suit at the Kuching High Court on July 14 earlier this year to issue a permanent injunction against Asshima which among others was to stop inciting the public against Christians and people of other faiths.
A judgement was made in default as she did not show up for the case where the plaintiffs had sued for violating their rights under Article 13 of the Federal Constitution, for provocation, promotion of ill feelings and causing disharmony amongst Muslims and non-Muslims in a multiracial, multireligious nation.
On June 27, this year Wan Asshima also pleaded guilty to Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court judge Edwin Paramjothy for charges under Section 233(1) of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.
Wan Asshima was fined RM13,000, or to serve six months in jail if the amount is not paid. She was initially charged on May 25 and had claimed trial but she changed her plea.