Friday, May 22, 2009



A syarie lawyer whispered something to his client. The whispering had caught the attention of the persecutor. Since for the last ten days, Mr. Amin was not comfortable with the behaviour of the syarie defence lawyer who kept whispering. The act of whispering was really annoying. Even the Syari’ah High Court Judge stared for a moment at the defence lawyer who was still whispering.

Whispering in court was not a forbidden act. But the observing eyes kept guessing the meaning of lip’s reading. Not many people could read lips, only a very few were considered expert. Realizing the whispering could be read from a distance, the whisperer closed his mouth, securing it from the lip’s readers. Most of the people could only guess what the hell the guy was whispering about. At times, the whispering was inaudible so the listener did not understand what had been whispered to him. But he nodded anyway as if he understood the message. Nevertheless the client always listened to the whispering voices despite absence of a physical body to vibrate his eardrums. Without realizing, for a long period of time, the whispering voices had persuaded him cruising a divine voyage in between his awakening and sleep and then uncovered the space-time dream in different dimension of time in which levitons reigned over gravitons to enable him to cruise at the speed of light, to visit different strata of Paradise until he passed through the black and worms holes, emerging intact to continue his journey to the white holes as to witness the creation of sub-atomic, sub-nuclear and supra-nuclear particles. And it was because of the divine voyage that eventually brought him down to the real time-space where gravitons reigned over levitons to face charges against him.

As much as the previous days, the public gallery was full house. The accused close relatives alone occupied the first two rows of the bench. His distant relatives, who did not come as earlier as six a.m., had to stand outside the court. Many in the public gallery had been pondering, why a lot of professors from Department of Humanity Study, Science University of Malaysia were present. The attendance of these academicians did not surprise several writers who had known them while attending the writers’ workshop at the Perak River’s bank. The unintentional acquaintance ended with the exchanges of handshakes before taking a pew. Seated at the last row were the journalists. Only journalists registered with the Officer of the High Syari’ah Court were allowed to enter. Apparently, the case had drawn not only local but also foreign journalists. A group of foreign journalists, who were refused seats, as they were not registered with the Officer of the Court, gave their recorders to the other journalists, even though recording of the proceeding was unauthorized. The local journalists were not exempted from this ruling. Any tape recorders found operating would be confiscated by the Court’s Officer and be returned after the proceeding. Nevertheless, the size of the recorders got smaller, it was easy to hide anywhere beyond the scrutiny of the Officer.

“Your Honour, the Court call upon the accused,” announced Mr. Amir.

The accused stood up. His defence lawyer lifted his buttocks as if he wanted to stand up. It was a gesture of respect to the court. He sat again as his client was escorted by the Officer of the Court to the witness’ stand. For the last ten days, various statements were heard from the witness’ stand. Giving statements from the stand were local and foreign publishers, academicians, literature critics, and all hierarchy of professors-from full to associate, honorary to emeritus, a psychiatrist, ulama, orientalist, tauheed experts and Sufis.

“Can you tell the Court, your full name, IC number, address and occupation,” instructed the prosecutor after the accused took an oath on a piece of paper held by the Officer of the Court.

“My name is Wan Rahman Bin Wan Rahim, IC number 510321-07-7555, address No Lot 1905, Bendang Baru, Kuah 07000 Langkawi, occupation registered medical practitioner,” replied the accused.

“Can you explain what you mean by the registered medical practitioner?” asked Mr. Amir.

“What do you mean, sir?” instead of answering, the accused asked Mr. Amir.

“Is it a practitioner of homeopathy, allopathic, traditional, Ayuverda, Chinese or alternative? If registered, all of us are registered including your defence lawyer and me.”

“Objection, Your Honour. The prosecutor’s question is not relevant. My client has stated that he is a registered medical practitioner,” argued the defence lawyer.

“Your Honour, I would like to let the Court be familiar with the crooked way of answering by the accused,” added Mr. Amir.

“That is a prejudice,” objected the defence lawyer, “may I ask Your Honour to reject the impression and I ask the Court not to record it.”

“Mr. Amir, can you rephrase your question?” ordered the Judge.

“So, are you a medical doctor, yes or no?”

“Do you have another job?”


“Objection, Your Honour. I do not understand on the prosecutor’s intention to ask unrelated questions. It is adequate for my client to answer that he is a medical practitioner alias-medical doctor, if I may add. Mr. Amir and I are legal practitioners’ alias lawyers,” argues the accused lawyer.

“Mr. Amir, can you change your focus. Instead of just asking about occupation,” advised the Syari’ah High Court Judge.

“I just want to remind the Court, Your Honour, to be careful with his answers because he had the tendency to say in crooked ways," replied Mr. Amir.

"Your Honour, the honourable persecutor has stated a pre-mature statement. I'm worried, Your Honour, Mr. Amir tries to implant seeds of prejudice against my client. I pledge to the Court to reject the prosecutor's pre-mature opinion. Mr. Amir had interrogated my clients for days without a counsel and he cannot use his personal feeling during interrogation to influence the Court that my client is about to give deceiving answers. This is obviously prejudicial to my client. Therefore, I would like to object to the Court the way Mr. Amir made his sideline statement,” argued the defence lawyer reiterated ‘Trial within a Trial’ whereas statements from the accused were obtained through T.O.P.I.[1]

“The accused gave incorrect answer to a simply question. The real reason he is here not because his profession as a medical doctor but as a novelist. He did not tell that to the Court. His fifth novel sold one million copies in USA. Isn’t it a lucrative profession?”

“No. It is a hobby,” interrupted Dr. Wan.

“Your Honour, with due respect, can Your Honour tell the defence lawyer to advise his client not to give comment if not ask for. This is not an operation theatre, doctor,” as he glanced sharply to the accused. Mr. Amir, the Syari’ah prosecutor continued, “This is a court, we have manners to be observed.”

The Honourable Syari’ah High Court Judge, Datuk Paduka Dr. Awaluddin called upon both counsels and said something to them. Nobody knew what had been said as The Honourable Judge pushed the microphone away. There were many assumptions from the audience for what had been said by Datuk Paduka Dr. Awaluddin, perhaps reprimanding them or really scolded both lawyers. And for the lips readers, they started making translation in their minds. In bewilderment, a foreign journalist kept whispering to his interpreter. The interpreter turned to the back asking something to the local journalists who were sitting behind. The interpreter nodded repeatedly then covered his mouth to whisper back to the foreign journalist. The foreign journalist could not hear clearly the whispering of his interpreter. Despite of the unclear message, he jotted down his note what seemed right from his perception.

After listening to a kind of advice from The Honourable Judge, the defence lawyer approached the accused and whispered something. It was a legitimate whispering. He then returned to his seat. Mr. Amir took a book from his table and then approached the accused at the witness stand.
"Do you recognize this book?" asked Mr. Amir while displaying the book as an exhibit tagged with HNG 9.

The accused nodded in affirmation.

“Yes or no?”

“Yes,” responded Dr. Wan.

“Can you tell the Court what is the title of the book?” Mr. Amir asked.

“The Chronicle of Neo-genesis.”

“A chronicle?”

“A novel.”

“A novel or a chronicle?”

“A novel but it is written in an old language of a chronicle. The novel is entitled The Chronicle of Neogenesis,” uttered Dr. Wan.

“Is it true you have written the novel?”

“Yes. I have my name at the bottom of the novel,” replied Dr. Wan in cynical tone.

“Just now you have said that you are a medical practitioner or a doctor. You did not tell the Court that you are a novelist... a writer. Why?” asked Mr. Amir reiterating.

“I write for a hobby.”

“Aaaaah.... a hobby. It must be a dangerous hobby,” said Mr. Amir equally cynical.

“Your honour, I object the prosecutor’s comment. Writing is not a dangerous hobby. Again I must say, the prosecutor’s remark is highly prejudicial,” protested the defence lawyer.

"Isn't it true a pen is mightier than a sword? If there is such saying then the pen is certainly a dangerous one."

"Mr. Amir, I do believe Dr. Wan did not use pen to write. He used a computer," said the defence lawyer. The remark drew a faint laughter from the gallery. “For that matter, I submit my objection, your honour.”

“Which one? Your client did not use pen to write or writing is a dangerous hobby,” asked the judge.

“The prejudicial remark by the Syarie prosecutor is suggesting my client is a dangerous writer.”

"Objection sustained," replied the High Court Judge short.

The Syari'ah prosecutor just smiled to the Judge. Even though the defence’s remark was funny, but the crowd was not ready for a hilarious laughter.

Mr. Amir returned the book on the back and took a thick-covered book with glittering coloured letters. It seemed suitable to be a coffee table’s book.

Displaying the book from a distance to the Honourable Judge, then cynically exhibited for a moment to the crowd in the public gallery, he then returned to the witness’ stand.

“Dr. Wan, is this lavish book also written by you?”


“Can you tell the Court the title of the book?”

“The New Book of Genesis.”

“The New Book of Genesis?” Asked the Honourable Datuk Paduka for just to reconfirm what he had heard. As usual, the Judge wrote down the record of the proceeding. That perhaps slowed down the pace, thought the Judge.

“Can you write in English?” asked Mr. Amir as he flicked the book, which was tagged with exhibit number HNG 10.

“Yes, I can.”

“So I put it to you that the English novel, The New Book of Genesis is actually the same with the Malay novel, The Chronicle of Neogenesis?

“Yes, both are the same.”

“Is it more accurate if you translate it as the Tale of Neogenesis?”

“That is probably right if you write the novel but it was the decision of a panel. They were more comfortable with The New Book of Genesis. The entire novel is an adaptation of the Malay version, The Chronicle of Neogenesis. At first, I also translated it as The Tale of Neogenesis. But I had to accept because it was a collective effort.”

“Did you translate it by yourself?”

“Not exactly, but I did the earlier draft.”

“Then who translated The Chronicle of Neogenesis?”

“A panel appointed by a local publisher.”

“Who were the panel members?”

“I really don’t know but I guess they are a few professors from the Department of Humanity Study, USM.”

“What make your novel astonishingly great for prominent professors in a varsity to translate for you?”

“Actually they did not translate...”


“The novel was translated by a working panel, consisting of expert translators of Malay and English languages.”

“Then, what were they doing in the panel?”

“They supervised the translation. Read the first draft then gave their opinions and suggestions to the editor especially in selecting proper nuances and idioms, which special emphasis on the syntax of the language when the concept of time and space-time realms are described,” uttered Dr. Wan as he rubbed his sebaceous cyst in front of the right ear. It was an involuntary movement when he was under stress. When he realized that he was anxious, he then would apply several techniques to eliminate stress. With the visualization technique, he could simply imagine places and picturesque panorama he had visited. By visualizing in his mind, he could put himself in the chosen utopia. To smell the fragrance of flowers, to breathe fresh air with positively charge particles as if he was just sitting close to a waterfall. With such diverting technique, he could increase the level of serotonin in his brain in order to gain tranquillity and elated mood to tame the ravages of adrenalin and to calm the gale of corticosteroids upon cellular carnage on various organs including millions of neural death in the brain for each amuck of stress. If such technique failed, he would chant Ya-Darr repeatedly to seek protection from the Ad-Darr[2] and all distresses would vanish. That was what he had done to preserve his precious mental faculty from ravages of memory loss, eventually getting senile before getting old.

"What is so special about The Chronicle of Neogenesis to require a team of intellectuals and linguistic experts to translate?" asked Mr. Amir to cease the voyage of the accused mind.

“Your honour, I object! The prosecutor is trying to mislead the Court,” protested the defence lawyer.

“Your honour, my question is still relevant. The novel in question has touched sensitive issues and public interest of this country,” argued Mr. Amir seriously.

“Let me answer that,” interrupted Dr. Wan Rahman. He instantly recalled the similarity of Mr. Amir’s character with Mathias from Leuconia, whom he encountered in the dream of The Chronicle of Neogenesis.

“Not necessary,” interjected the defence lawyer.

Mr. Amir could not hide his annoyance towards Dr. Wan because the accused had again interrupted the argument between counsels.

“Dr. Wan, this is not an academic forum. Please bear in mind that you are in a different stage,” said Mr. Amir in a stern voice.

“Dr. Wan would like to explain, allow him to do so,” ordered Datuk Paduka Dr. Haji Awaluddin, a Syari’ah Judge of whom the Time magazine described him as a progressive Islamic scholar who obtained doctorate in Syari’ah Law from Al-Azhar University, Egypt. But he was regarded by many fundamentalist ulamas as a secular judge. Nevertheless with his exalted characters as shown in his taqwa, the spiritual fear of Allah, he was known as an expert on Syari’ah law, had high moral standard, full of wisdom, had a praised habit of not deferring judgment, dared to submit a fair and true judgment even involving influential dignitaries; he had all the exalted qualities of a judge except for he kept smiling easily in which most judges seldom grinned. At the same time, he could be easily angry in court. The esteemed judge was an exemplary public figure, known for his refined characters with an exception of the last two; otherwise he was as a perfect Islamic judge.

“As a matter of fact Your Honour, this novel is a DBP’s project in collaboration with USM to produce great works in literature. I am one of the selected participants to attend seminars and workshops to expose us with the great literary works of arts from all continents of the globe including great Islamic literature. My novel was selected to win the first prize at regional and then at the national level. That was the reason for the academicians’ involvement in the novel as they were also responsible to give preliminary input and played a pivotal role in the finishing touch. Once the draft was completed, the manuscript was finally submitted to DBP for publication. The preliminary input and throughout supervision of the project were meant to fortify creative works of the participants which were still desirable,” Dr. Wan gave a long boring explanation especially to the ears of Mr. Amir. He had heard so many times as he could mimic word by word.

“Oh... a Nobel Laureate project!” exclaimed Mr. Amir in a deep cynical tone. Some of the crowd in the public gallery smiled especially fellow writers, academicians and DBP bureaucrats. A few covered their mouths to prevent laughter that might come out as part of public lost esteem. They still regarded that ‘the quest for a Nobel Laureate is simply like expecting a Malaysian sprinter to win a gold medal in Olympic Games. The Malaysian must be dreaming’. Dr. Wan recalled Alexis, the comic poet from the period prior to Plutarch, who used to tickle his audience with humorous metaphors and through mastering the intonation of witty phrases.

“Mr. Amir, you don’t need to display a comic mannerism like that, Your Honour......... ” The defence lawyer glanced at the prosecutor and continue to say, “grow up please... Mr. Prosecutor!”

“This is my last reminder to both of you. After this, if both of you do not display good behaviour and argue in a decent manner, both of you will spend a night with mosquitoes in a lock-up for contempt. Don’t turn mine into an Abu Nawas’ Court.”

The crowd could no longer able to refrain from laughing. No matter how powerful they tried to suppress the laugh’s centre of the brain from operating, but the roaring hilarity had vibrated throughout the court until the third sound of the judge’s mallet stopped the laughter. The crowd silenced.

“So is this a national project?” asked Mr. Amir again in cynical fashion.

“I don’t think so. Even though both establishments are under Ministry of Education, it does not mean it is a national project,” replied Dr. Wan.

“Was there any party, which suggested to you to find an idiosyncratic approach to write in order to be elevated as a great literary work of art?” asked Mr. Amir.

“It was expected for the writers to come out with eccentric creative literary works,” replied Dr. Wan.

“Dr. Wan please answer yes or no,” reminded Mr. Amir.

“Yes,” replied Dr. Wan short.

“What do you mean by an eccentric literature? Is it a literature without limitation or self-restraint?”

“The participants were encouraged to write freely with no proscription or inhibition.”

“What do you mean by inhibition?”

“Reservation,” answered Dr. Wan.

“In another words, you are completely responsible what had been written in the novel. So no institution or individual should share any responsibility except none other than you. Are you fully or partially responsible for writing the novel?”

Dr. Wan was silent. The images of Mathias from Leuconia became more apparent in the character of Mr. Amir.

“Answer it, yes or no, Dr. Wan?” stressed Mr. Amir.


“Can you explain, is there any different the local from the foreign version?”

“It is the same, there are no two versions. If there are any differences, it was made by the discretion of the foreign editor as stipulated in the contract of agreement that they reserve the right to edit any portion that is not suitable for their readers.”

“In the first chapter of The Chronicle of Neogenesis, there are praises to the Allah Most High but in The New Book of Genesis, it has been deleted. In the last chapter of The Chronicle of Neogenesis, there is a verse that states, ‘He is Allah, there is no God but Him’ but there is no translated version in the last chapter of The New Book of Genesis. Knowing this, have you allowed the foreign publisher undermined your ‘iman[3]’ with any correction or protest?”

“That is within their rights.”

"Is it not also your responsibility as a writer to fight for the freedom of expression?"
“It is their right.”

“You champion the freedom of expression through the power of your pen. The freedom to write anything seems to be above the interest of the majority. Can you please tell the Court why you ignore the sensitivity of Muslims and Christians who strongly believe that the first man descended from heaven was the prophet of Adam?” asked Mr. Amir.

“What I have written is only a fiction,” replied Dr. Wan.

“But you have committed a blasphemy to Muslims by stating in your novel that the first man to exist on earth, that came out from the pool of humano-genesis was a human called Man and his companion called Mama. This will lead to confusion in public especially if the youngsters to read The Chronicle of Neogenesis. Is it right Dr. Wan for you to write such nonsense?”

“Not by stating but by writing. The novel is a creative fiction and had nothing to do with any religion,” denied Dr Wan.

“Isn’t the writer of the novel, a Muslim?”

Dr. Wan did not response.

“Dr. Wan, are you a Muslim?” asked Mr. Amir.

“Yes,” replied Dr. Wan loud.

“Were you a Muslim when you wrote the novel?”

“I’m a Muslim from birth till death,” replied Dr. Wan.

“According to your novel, the first man existed on earth is not the prophet of Adam but an ordinary human called Man. What was the status of your aqidah when creating such a character like Man? Even though the discourse is masked as a creative literature but the act is still blasphemous to the sacred belief of Islam. You should be grateful I did not press charges against you under 559/1977 Act, Federal Territories Syari’ah Criminal Offences. If found guilty, a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both. The publication of The New Book of Genesis can also be prosecuted under Section 13 of the same Act. Is the content of The Chronicle of Neogenesis an insult as it brings into contempt the religion of Islam?”

“Objection, Your Honour! If my client is not charged under Section 7 and 13 of the Act 559, why the Syri’ah Prosecutor continues to threaten my client? After all, my client shouldn’t be here if not for the misinterpretation of Mr. Amir on the case,” protested the defence lawyer.

“Objection sustained,” replied the Judge short, then he continued, “Please answers the question Dr. Wan.”

“I could not help if Mr. Amir wants to interpret what he pleases. In truth, I just want to reveal in the novel the dispute between monogenesis versus polygenesis, proposed by western thinkers. In portraying the dispute through creative writing, I symbolically transform the theories into an inventive semantic of Man. In The Chronicle of Neo-genesis, the word Man comes from a Malay word, Manusia[4] whereas in The New Book of Genesis, the word Man is semantically derived from the word ‘human’. It fits both sides. The word Man is factitiously to denote the first man that ascends from the pool of humano-genesis. Epistemologically, the Man is a symbol of humanity and also semantically derived from the word human. And there are people who not only preach humanity but also profess humanity such my learned professors from Department of Humanity USM. I dedicate my two novels to them, the champion of humanity. And that is the book all about…. humanity.”

“Do you mean monogenesis as mentioned in the holy manuscript?” asked Mr. Amir.

“Yes,” replied Dr. Wan short.

“Is it true, if I put it to you that the polygenesis mentioned in your novels is meant to say that there were many first men simultaneously existed on the earth? Each of the first men would be a race in the future. In another pool of humano-genesis, there would be another first man and would become another race depending on the climate of the pool. Over a bare sky, the scorching heat of a blazing sun will burn the over-baked skin like our brothers in Africa and in the temperate when the cloud are too thick, the skin becomes white like our relatives in Central Europe. According to “The Chronicle of Neo-genesis”, regardless where are the pools of humano-genesis, the first men crawled out the pools like mud skipper fish croaking on the muddy riverbank. Therefore men are not descendent of Adam neither Cain but simply a metamorphosis of emerging creatures from a spontaneous genesis,” said Mr. Amir jokingly as he moved his arms mimicking mud skipper on the riverbank. It was affirmative, thought Dr. Wan that the spirit of Alexis, the comic poet had incarnated Mr. Amir with his amusing poetry. The Honourable Syari’ah High Court Judge hit his mallet to silence the murmur from the crowd as they were entertained by the witty phrases of the syarie prosecutor.

“Is it right or not my interpretation of polygenesis?” asked Mr. Amir.

“Polygenesis does not involve only human but all creatures too. I just highlighted the available theories. The polygenesis theory is not of my creation. Since I have written on the subject of genesis, all related to genesis are good materials for creative writing and I presented it by interweaving narrative of a chronicle with science theories so that it came out as a discourse, enriched with knowledge. Through The New Book of Genesis, I explore common aspects and scope of differences between genesis of the biblical manuscripts and genesis based on scientific knowledge. Both theology and science are artistically intertwined through metaphors. I am only a storyteller who uses bombastic words to describe a fictional Guru traversing through the dimensions of time,” said Dr. Wan.

“The important thing is whether you believe it or not? If you believe it then you are an apostate.”

The defence lawyer, who had been reprimanded by the Judge to self-refrain from making a mockery in the Court, stood up and objected the motion.

“No need of an objection, Your Honour. I accused Dr. Wan is an apostate. I have read The Chronicle of Neogenesis and The New Book of Genesis, and beyond doubt, I regarded that the accused is an apostate as he had rejected the belief of the prophets and the rasuls as mentioned in the holy Quran,” uttered Mr. Amin.

"I ask Mr. Amin to withdraw his accusation. The official charges against my client based on certain part of his the novel that he had written, is alleged to have violated 'aqidah. It does not include declaration of an apostate. The reason that my client here is to defend his novels from being banned as submitted by the Islamic Religious Council, Federal Territories to the Syariah High Court.”

“Do you know, Dr. Wan, what is the punishment of an apostate? You are fortunate in Federal Territories there is no Hudud Law, only Ta’zir Law.”

“I am not an apostate!” protested Dr. Wan.

“Riddah[5] could happen to a person with corrupted faith who utters or writes the words of kufur[6]. In Hudud Law, there is only one punishment for an apostate, death by guillotine. That’s how ‘Qanun Islam’ deals with an apostate and the act of riddah.”

“Your Honour, the Syarie prosecutor is malevolent. In order to declare riddah and an apostate, it must be done beyond doubt, on freewill and without any external threat otherwise it will backfire to the accuser. May I refer to a hadith relates by Al-Bukhari and Abu Zarr r.a. Tidak menuduh seseorang akan orang lain dengan kefasiqan atau kekafiran, melainkan tuduhan itu kembali kepadanya, jika kawannya itu tidak seperti yang dituduh.[7] Your Honour, I have evidence that my client is not an apostate. In another hadith, Rasullah s.a.w. said, Diangkat pena daripada tiga orang; kanak-kanak sampai ia dewasa, orang gila sampai ia berakal dan orang tidur sampai dia jaga[8], relates by Ahmad and Ash-Habus-Sunan. May I recapitulate to the Syarie prosecutor, ’to lift a pen’ semantically means ’it is not guilty’. It is a not-guilty verdict for three groups, children till adulthood, an insane man till rational and a sleeping man till awake. What Dr. Wan had written was from his dream, the dream of a sleeping man until awake. He wrote about his dream, nothing less and nothing more than that.”

“But the dream is a creation of Dr. Wan. Your Honour Datuk Paduka, forgive me for honestly saying, Your Honourable Judge is a Muslim, I'm a Muslim and Dr. Wan still confessing Islam as his religion, just think for a while, out of thousands Muslim lawyers in this country, why Dr. Wan chooses an infidel lawyer to represent him, who is an apostate?”

For a moment, the entire Court was in silent. Many were perplexed by the approach taken by the Syarie Prosecutor. Others were equally puzzled to what really he wanted to prove. The temporary silence ended when Mr. Amir continued his argument.

“Am I right or wrong, if I say that the Syarie lawyer, Mr. Lim Saw Hoon is an infidel? Because it is true Mr. Lim is an infidel because he confesses that he is an infidel. Hence I do nothing wrong by stating that he is an infidel whether in public or in Court. The same thing is with Dr. Wan. If the accused has characteristic features of an apostate even though he does not confess it in public, it is my duty to accuse him for being an apostate. A person can be an apostate not necessarily only through his action but also through his thinking. The mind of an apostate could be detected through his narrative and writing. What he had written in The Chronicle of Neo-genesis and The New Book of Genesis contains ideas of rejecting the sacred belief in the prophets and rasul. That is what I’m saying.”

“I objected the analogy used by the Syarie Prosecutor. What is more, he abuses the status of my infidelity and uses it to spitefully influence Your Honourable Syariah Court Judge. This is viciously nasty. Mr. Amir had malicious intention when he wrongly used the status of my infidelity to erode the impartiality our Your Honourable Court. I am a registered practising Syarie lawyer with Malaysian Syarie’ Lawyers’ Council; I hold a Master degree in Syariah Law from UIA. Since I was a student in the university, I never been insulted for my status as an infidel. On contrary, Mr. Amir should be proud that there are people like me who profess and respect Islamic Law. I request Mr. Amir to withdraw his negative connotation with malicious intention to influence the Court. Whether I am an infidel or not, Islam or not, it should not be a factor to mitigate justice from my client.”

“Indeed, Mr. Lim is an infidel lawyer who represents an apostate. The status of Mr. Lim is a truth. The Court needs to hear only truth nothing but a truth. Isn’t it true that Mr. Lim is an infidel? Isn’t it true Dr. Wan is an apostate? There is a hadith relates by Ath-Thabarani that says, barangsiapa yang murtad dari agamanya hendaklah kamu bunuh atas dia[9],” quoted Mr. Amir as he refused to withdraw his accusation tinged with malice.

The face of the Judge turned red.

"Mr. Lim and Mr. Amir, I want to see both of you in my chamber. Court adjourns for a while," ordered Your Honourable Paduka Judge. The Judge was more comfortably addressed as Paduka Hakim Dr. Haji Awaluddin. He had two ‘datukship’. It was no easy to earn double ‘datukships’. One was from the state and the other from federal.

After twenty minutes, the trio reappeared in Court. Mr. Amir seen to exchange a handshake with Mr. Lim as to many observing eyes in the public gallery, the gesture signified the withdrawal of Mr. Amir’s malicious remark. When the Judge was seated, there were still a lot of speculations on what had taken place in the chamber of the Paduka Judge. All speculations including the wildest one, dissolved when the Paduka Judge announced his decision.

“The Court has accepted Mr. Lim’s objection. The religion of Islam acknowledges the right of non-Muslim through haqqul-musawat[10]. When a non-Muslim chooses to be tried according to Islamic Law, he or she would be judged based on offences committed but not the status of one’s religion. The same is applied to those who involves in judiciary process of Islamic Law, the Court always confers equal right. Mr. Lim is a qualified person to be in this Court, he is at par with Mr. Amir. I regard personal attack on Mr. Lim is not appropriate. On Mr. Amir’s conduct, I have issued a stern reprimand. Under Islamic Law, non-Muslim Syarie lawyers received equal treatment with Muslim counterparts.”

Mr. Amir was forbidden to quiz the accused until Mr. Lim finished his cross-examination; however he is still required to presenting his final submission. To teach him a lesson, the Paduka Judge had not allowed Mr. Amir to utter any objection while Mr. Lim’s cross-examination. It was a kind of retribution to re-educate Mr. Amir.

“Dr. Wan, can you tell the Court how you end up with the idea to write ‘The Chronicle of Neo-genesis’?” asked Mr. Lim.

“The idea came about when the government announced the implementation of English as a medium of instruction to teach science and mathematics in all Ministry of Education’s schools,” replied Dr. Wan. Mr. Lim did not expect that kind of answer from Dr. Wan. Mr. Amir was jolted in disbelief. The issue was not discussed even during his interrogation. He wanted to put on an objection but the ruling of the Paduka Judge tied his tongue. He had to swallow it in distress.

“How has the government’s decision affected you?”

“Indeed, it has affected me. I was educated entirely from primary to tertiary education in Malay language. Nevertheless, I could understand the government intention, being pragmatic to face the huge waves of globalization, hoping to tame the waves with crash implementation. The blamed waves cause panic amongst local educationists who favour English in teaching science and mathematics even at the primary one level. The Malay language is no longer fit to teach science and mathematics. That has saddened me but the government seems serious and determined in implementing it and there is no chance of looking back, in other words forgetting the foundation and philosophy of National Education System. Our forefathers who formulated The Philosophy of National Education were former teachers who joined politics to fulfil national aspiration. But now, a lot of corporate players, bankers and contractors turn politicians. They have taken a pragmatic approach to side globalization than nationalism. Such action is like to remove the soul of Malay language from its people. I was brought up in the spirit of “Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa[11]” of Syed Nasir and the best way to register my silent protest is through writing the Chronicle of Neo-genesis. For thirty years, DBP in collaboration with local scientists and mathematicians toiled in hardship to create its terminology but now all prior efforts are wasted and history has proven that the language had been used widely in all levels of education in order to elevate Bahasa Melayu to be a respected world’s language. With the implementation of the new policy, thousands of BM scientific terminologies will become an archived language. The terminologies will be obsolete. Millions of ringgit was spent to develop it, not to mention man-hours of thought to create the terms by the language activists, solely to uphold BM as the language of knowledge. To make sure the terminologies are not forgotten, I use the terms in a satire novel to give my last respect to the demise of the scientific Malay language. The satire novel is written in old Malay language to indicate that the terms are going to be forgotten,” said Dr. Wan in a long discourse.

"In another words, it is not your intention to undermine the sensitivity of Muslim in this country. Isn’t it?” asked Mr. Lim. He was quick to cover up the whole ordeal. It was simply a misunderstood issue.

“Obviously no.”

“The characters in the novel are factitious, aren’t they?”

“Yes, they are.”

“Isn’t it true that the narrative in The Chronicle of Neo-genesis comes entirely from your dreams?”

“Yes, it is true.”

“Have you taken any kind of drugs while writing?”

“I have never taken any.”

“Before you write, could you tell the Court what the usual thing you do?”

“Usually, after my ‘fardhu’ prayer, I have an intent prayer followed by dzikir. I will dzikir until I fall asleep. When I wake up, I would write but at times, I would find a piece of paper and a pen with a discourse on it with my hand writing.”

“Who has suggested you to write in such manner?”

“A number of professors who conducted courses, seminars, and workshops at the writers’ meet suggested it to us. In fact, Professor Dr. Jaafar Sulong, who is a co-editor of The New Book of Genesis, advised us to follow great Islamic writers and poets such Mohammad Iqbal, Hamzah Fanzuri, Umar Khayyam, Amir Hamzah and others. While Professor Dr. Hong taught us how to meditate in order to produce beta-endorphin and to generate theta waves during writing process. I have been practising their advice.”

“Do you think certain parts of your novel, which was written in semi-conscious state and stupor, have deviated from ‘aqidah?”

“No. I only quoted issues from my dreams. It doesn’t mean I believe it.”

“So, you don’t believe on what you have written?”

“A part of it?”

“There are parts that you don’t believe and there are parts that you do? Am I right?”


“So, Dr. Wan, I put it to you that you do not believe that the first man existed on the earth is the character you invented in your dream, ascending from the pool of humano-genesis?”


“If you do not believe, why did you write it anyway?”

“I write something that I remember from my dreams. Dreams are always gibberish. But I do believe that what we read and exposed off would appear in our dreams, sometimes no longer in its original form and most of the times it manifests in distorted versions. And from these distortions I wrote the novels, which caused a stir in public.”

"While you were writing the novel, were you an apostate?"

“I‘ve never been an apostate, be in a split second.”

“Your Honourable Judge, I have no further question. I have completed my cross-examination.”
The Paduka Judge looked at his watch as he glanced at the Court’s Officer. He then decided the time for tomorrow’s submission.

The very moment for the Judge left the courtroom, immediately the journalists rushed to the door. Each had different perspective on the case. It was up to them how to manipulate the wording of headlines. The local journalist of national newspaper highlighted a hidden agenda by the novelist of ‘The Chronicle of Neo-genesis, who admitted in court of opposing the implementation of English in teaching science and mathematics. The sensational tabloid’s reporter left hastily with imagination of front page headline, “Dr. WAN MURTAD”, whereas its’ English version of the same tabloid flashing, “DR. WAN AN APOSTATE”. While foreign journalists were getting ready with drafted news, “JAILED FOR WRITING A NOVEL”, despite the judgment of Syri’ah High Court was yet finalised. There was not a single foreign journalist who wrote an article entitled, “MALAYSIAN ISLAMIC COURT RECOGNIZES FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: NOVELIST ACQUITTED.”

[1] Threat.Opression.Persuasion.Induction.
[2] The Distresser; He Who creates that which makes one despondent.

[3] Spiritual conviction. Iman originated from amana, meaning that a person who is at peace with God and his lovers.
[4] It means human in Malay.
[5] Riddah is an act by a Muslim adult who proclaims rejection of Islam on his own will without any threat.
[6] Infidel
[7] No accusation of infidelity upon any person by another, unless and until proven otherwise, it should rebound to the accuser.
[8] Declared not guilty for three people; children till adulthood, madness till sanity and a sleeping man till awake.
[9] Whoever is an apostate from his religion, you should put death upon him.
[10] All men are equal under Islamic law; there are no different treatment for skin colour, culture and belief.
[11] The language is the mind-soul of a nation,


  1. Great read this chapter ! I cannot understand why DBP cannot help you to publish it?

    My friend, you can write !!!!!!!!
    Why dont you try the foreign publishers?

  2. You need an agent, a literary agent. The foreign publishers want something like Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses"

    TQ for reading and kind words.

    The last chapter is equally interesting.