Category Archives: Islam

Eric Paulsen Loses Defamation Suit Against Hafiz Nordin

Eric Paulsen looking devastated after losing the case.

Lawyers For Liberty Executive Director, Eric Paulsen lost a defamation case against the Chairman of Jaringan Muslimin Pulau Pinang (JMPP), Ustaz Hafiz Nordin at the High Court in the Kuala Lumpur today.

High Court Judge the Honourable Dato’ Mohd Zaki bin Abdul Wahab ruled the Plaintiff, Eric Paulsen failed to prove the Defendant (Ustaz Hafiz Nordin) was defamatory against him ordered Eric Paulsen to pay costs in the amount of RM20,000 to Ustaz Hafiz Nordin.

Eric Paulsen filed a suit against Ustaz Hafiz based on the article published by Portal Islam dan Melayu on the 9th of February, 2015 entitled “Jangan biar Eric Paulsen bebas tanpa perbicaraan” where Ustaz Hafiz was reported as saying:

Apa yang penting kita buktikan bahawa Eric yang didukung oleh Amerika Syarikat dan Kesatuan Eropah sebagai seorang fraud yang ‘cari makan’ dengan menipu, memfitnah itu telah menghasut masyarakat membenci Islam dengan tweet-tweetnya yang tidak bertanggungjawab.”

The portal interviewed Ustaz Hafiz regarding Eric Paulsen’s tweet on the 9th of January, 2015:

Below are some photos taken at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex earlier today:

Menjawab “Jika Islam Boleh, Kenapa Kristian Tidak Boleh”

Saya terkedu membaca sebuah artikel di portal berita Menara.my yang bertajuk, “Jika Islam Boleh, Kenapa Kistian Tidak Boleh – Pensyarah Universiti” di  mana “seorang pensyarah universiti tempatan pada Sabtu lalu mempersoalkan jika orang Islam boleh berdakwah kepada orang-orang Kristian, kenapakah orang Kristian tidak boleh berbuat perkara yang sama?”

Menurut Menara.my, persoalan tersebut telah diutarakan oleh Helen Ting yang merupakan  salah seorang felo utama di Institut Kajian Malaysia dan Antarabangsa (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia pada satu sesi soal jawab pada forum yang bertajuk “Deceitful? Distracting? Or Dedicated? Evangelicals and Current Controversies in Malaysia” anjuran Kairos Dialogue Network.

“If you think that it is okay to propagate your faith among Christians then, why is it that it is so wrong for Christians to do like that?”

~Helen Ting (Dipetik daripada Menara.my)

Orang bukan Islam dilarang berdakyah kepada orang Islam berdasarkan Perkara 11(4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan; Ting hanya membuatkan dirinya dilihat tidak cerdik apabila buat-buat tidak tahu atau memang tidak tahu tentang perkara asas ini.

Halangan ini diperkukuhkan lagi oleh Seksyen 298A Akta Kanun Keseksaan yang melarang perkara yang boleh menyebabkan perpecahan di antara kaum dan agama.

Perkara 11(4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan menegaskan:

Undang-undang Negeri dan berkenaan dengan WilayahWilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan dan Putrajaya, undang-undang persekutuan boleh mengawal atau menyekat pengembangan apa-apa doktrin atau kepercayaan agama di kalangan orang yang menganuti agama Islam.

Menara.my seterusnya melaporkan bahawa felo utama IKMAS itu juga mempersoalkan “kalau Muslim rasa risau dengan kata-kata yang mahu mengadakan ‘Christian State’, bagaimana pula dengan perasaan bukan Islam yang mendengar ahli-ahli politik membincangkan tentang negara Islam dan sebagainya?”

Soalan ini tidak masuk akal dan amat dangkal sekali kerana  sebagai felo utama IKMAS, Helen Ting sepatutnya tidak keliru tentang ideologi negara.

Malaysia ialah sebuah negara Islam, dan negeri-negeri  yang membentuk Malaysia ini dahulunya adalah merupakan negara-negara kerajaan Melayu Islam yang berdaulat di bawah pemerintahan Raja-Raja Melayu masing-masing.

Jadi adalah tidak logik apabila Ting, sebagai seorang ahli akademik mahu menyamakan kebimbangan umat Islam bila negara Islam Malaysia mahu ditukarkan kepada Christian State yang tentunya mengancam kedaulatan negara dan mencabar kuasa Yang Di Pertuan Agong, dengan perasaan orang bukan Islam yang tidak suka bila disebut negara Islam Malaysia; walhal, Malaysia sememangnya sebuah negara Islam sejak dahulu lagi.

Perkara 3(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan mengatakan:

“Islam ialah agama bagi Persekutuan; tetapi agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai di mana-mana Bahagian Persekutuan.”

Di dalam penghakiman kes Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Menteri Dalam Negeri and Kerajaan Malaysia di Mahkamah Rayuan, Hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan pada ketika itu, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali telah menegaskan bahawa tujuan di masukkan kata-kata “dengan aman dan damai” ke dalam Perkara 3(1) adalah untuk melindungi kesucian Isalm sebagai agama negara dan juga untuk melindungi Islam daripada apa-apa ancaman yang dihadapi atau apa-apa kemungkinan dan kemungkinan ancaman terhadap agama Islam.

“It is my judgment that the purpose and intention of the insertion of the words: “in peace and harmony” in Article 3(1) is to protect the sanctity of Islam as the religion of the country and also to insulate against any threat faced or any possible and probable threat to the religion of Islam.”

Oleh itu amat jelas bahawa Malaysia ialah sebuah negara Islam, di mana agama Islam dilindungi oleh Perlembagaan; tetapi agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan selagi “aman dan damai” terhadap Islam dan tidak menimbulkan ancaman terhadap Islam iaitu agama negara.

Gesaan untuk membenarkan orang Kristian berdakyah kepada umat Islam dan niat untuk menukar Malaysia kepada sebuah Christian State bukan sahaja boleh menimbulkan ketegangan di antara agama, malah mempunyai kecenderungan mencabar dan menghalang Yang Di Pertuan Agong (sebagai Ketua Tertinggi Islam negara) daripada kedaulatan negara dan jika disabitkan kesalahan, boleh dihukum di bawah Seksyen-Seksyen berikut Akta Kanun Keseksaan Malaysia: 

  • Seksyen 121B  Akta Kanun Keseksaan
  • Seksyen 121C  Akta Kanun Keseksaan
  • Seksyen 121D  Akta Kanun Keseksaan
  • Seksyen 298A Akta Kanun Keseksaan

(Untuk keterangan lanjut tentang Seksyen-Seksyen 121B, 121C, 121D dan 298A, sila rujuk “Menjawab Dr. Ariffin Omar: Apa salahnya kalau Penang hendak dijadikan Christian city?”:

Kenyataan seterusnya oleh Ting yang dipetik Menara.my jelas menggambarkan sikap felo utama IKMAS itu yang gagal berpijak di bumi yang nyata dan telah mencabar Perlembagaan Persekutuan dengan merendahkan kedudukan agama Islam, seolah-olah kedudukan agama Islam di Tanah Air kita ini hanyalah setaraf dengan kedudukan agama-agama lain.

“For me, I feel this country is ours, everybody’s. There should not be a preference towards one religion.”

~Helen Ting (Dipetik daripada Menara.my)

Di dalam penghakiman kes Meor Atiqulrahman bin Ishak & Ors v Fatimah Sihi & Ors[2000]  1 MLJ 393, di Mahkamah Tinggi, hakim ketika itu, Tan Sri Mohd Noor Abdullah menegaskan:

Pada pendapat saya “Islam ialah ugama bagi Persekutuan tetapi ugama-ugama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai” bermakna Islam adalah ugama utama di antara ugama-ugama lain yang dianuti di negara ini seperti Kristian, Buddha, Hindu dan selainnya. Islam bukan setaraf dengan ugama lain, bukan duduk berganding bahu atau berdiri sama tegak. Ia duduk di atas, ia berjalan dahulu, terletak di tempat medan dan suaranya lantang kedengaran. Islam ibarat pokok jati – tinggi, teguh dan terampil. Jika bukan sedemikian Islam bukanlah ugama bagi Persekutuan tetapi adalah salah satu di antara beberapa ugama yang dianuti di negara ini dan setiap orang sama-sama bebas mengamalkan manamana ugama yang dianutinya, tiada lebih satu dari yang lain.

Tingginya kedudukan Islam sebagai agama negara adalah jelas kerana hanya nama Islam  sahaja yang disebut, malah berkali-kali di dalam Perlembagaan,

Tiada nama agama-agama lain yang disebut di dalam Perlembagaan, agama-agama lain hanyalah dirujuk sebagai ‘agama-agama lain’.

Persekutuan Malaysia ini adalah sebuah negara Islam dan rakyat Malaysia yang taat dan sayangkan negaranya mesti patuh kepada undang-undang negara yang selama ini telah menyatukan rakyat Malaysia dan berjaya memelihara keamanan negara.

Seperti kata Aunty Prof. Dr Shamrahayu Abd Aziz, janganlah diruntuh rumah pusaka, yang saya rasa bermaksud, janganlah kita runtuhkan negara yang kita warisi ini kerana nantinya kita juga yang akan rugi dan menyesal; oleh itu kita mestilah memelihara dan menghargai keamanan negara yang telah kita warisi dari pengorbanan nenek moyang kita.

Helen Ting sebagai seorang pensyarah kanan universiti mestilah bersikap bertanggung jawab, bertindak dengan bijak dan apabila bercakap, mestilah berdasarkan fakta dan bukannya mengikut emosi dan persepsi.

Malangnya, terdapat ahli-ahli akademik yang bertindak memutar belitkan fakta untuk mencipta persepsi yang salah atau buruk terhadap suatu kebenaran demi mencapai tujuan tertentu.

 

Kepimpinan PAN Yang Buta Hati Dan Keliru

Apabila pensyarah Universiti Utara Malaysia, Dr. Kamarul Zaman Yusoff mendedahkan adanya agenda Kristian di sebalik penglibatan Hannah Yeoh sebagai ahli politik di Malaysia, pemimpin-pemimpin DAP dan PAN mula menyerang Dr. Kamarul dengan begitu hebat, dan cuba menggambarkan seolah-olah kenyataan yang dibuat oleh Dr. Kamarul itu adalah palsu dan tidak berfakta.

Hannah Yeoh pula segera bertindak membuat laporan polis terhadap Dr. Kamarul dan seterusnya memberi  berbagai kenyataan kepada media pro-pembangkang sebagai menyanggah kenyataan Dr. Kamarul.

The Malaysian Insight (TMI), di dalam artikelnya yang bertajuk “Hannah pertikai masa siaran artikel Kamarul Yusof” melaporkan:

“Yeoh, berkata sebagai penganut Kristian, beliau percaya kepada kedaulatan undang-undang, keadilan, ketelusan, kebertanggungjawaban, kesaksamaan dan tadbir urus yang baik”.

Soalan saya ialah, adakah Hannah Yeoh yang dikatakan “percaya kepada kedaulatan undang-undang” itu taat kepada undang-undang negara sedangkan di dalam artikel yang sama, TMI melaporkan:

“Komitmen DAP ialah mewujudkan negara sekular seperti didefinisikan di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia. DAP mempunyai agenda rakyat Malaysia bukan Kristian.”

  1. Dengan menyatakan Malaysia ialah sebuah “negara sekular seperti didefinisikan di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia”, Hannah Yeoh telah memfitnah Perlembagaan Persekutuan kerana Perkara 3(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan dengan jelas mengatakan bahawa Islam adalah agama bagi Persekutuan yang membawa erti bahawa Malaysia ialah sebuah negara Islam.
  2. Hannah Yeoh dan parti DAP bukan sahaja telah melanggar undang-undang negara tetapi juga telah menderhaka kepada Duli Yang Maha Mulia Yang di Pertuan Agong jika dia melaksanakan “Komitmen DAP ialah mewujudkan negara sekular”; iaitu satu komitmen untuk menukar Malaysia menjadi sebuah negara sekular yang bertentangan dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan mencabar kuasa Yang di Pertuan Agong sebagai Ketua Agama Islam negara ini.

Malaysia bukanlah sebuah negara sekular.

Malaysia ialah sebuah negara Islam, menegaskan bahawa Malaysia ialah sebuah negara sekular adalah bertentangan dengan undang-undang tertinggi negara iaitu Perlembagaan Persekutuan,  apatah lagi apabila Hannah Yeoh melaksanakan komitmen DAP untuk menjadikan Malaysia sebuah negara sekular.

Bolehkah laporan TMI itu dijadikan hujah untuk mematah dakwaan Dr. Kamarul?

Hakikatnya, Hannah Yeoh sendiri menulis yang dia berjaya untuk berdakyah di gereja-gereja, kepada pemimpin-pemimpin dunia dan kepada orang-orang muda (“to preach at churches, to world leaders and to young people”, muka surat 108) kerana Tuhan Kristiannya yang “made it happen through my political office”. 

Seperti kata Dr. Kamarul, Hannah Yeoh sendiri mengaku telah menggunakan kedudukan politiknya untuk berdakyah.

Oleh itu, bolehkah kita percaya kata-kata Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan dan penyokongnya termasuk pemimpin parti PAN yang menuduh Dr. Kamarul berbohong?

Dr. Kamarul seterusnya mendedahkan bahawa Hannah Yeoh yang merupakan seorang evangelist telah menyeru “agar penganut Kristian membina semula Malaysia kerana Tuhan mahu menuntut semula politik dan perkhidmatan awam di Malaysia (“God wants to reclaim politics and public service in Malaysia”, muka surat 110), ditambah tindakan beliau mengaitkan diri dengan cita-cita untuk membawa kepercayaan dan perkhidmatan Kristian kepada dunia awam (“aims to bring Christian faith and service to the public sphere”)!

Perkara ini telah mencetuskan keresahan di kalangan umat Islam dan menjadi ancaman kepada kedaulatan dan keamanan negara kita.

Kita tahu akan gejala pemurtadan di tanah air kita.

Sebagai contohnya, dalam kes pemurtadan Azlina Jailani atau Lina Joy pada tahun 1999; Azlina telah mendapat sokongan hebat daripada puak itu yang sehingga kini, masih menggunakan kes ini dan membawanya ke peringkat anratarabangsa untuk mendesak Malaysia memberi kebebasan kepada umat Islam untuk murtad.

Contoh yang lain, dalam ceramahnya pada tahun 2006, seorang paderi Kristian bernama Benjamin Stephen berkata, “di Johor sahaja sudah lebih daripada atau hampir kepada 10,000” orang Melayu telah dimurtadkan dan memeluk agama Kristian, malah di setiap gereja di Semenanjung Malaysia yang dia lawati, ada orang-orang Melayu yang telah murtad seperti dirinya sendiri.

Hari ini, mereka termasuk politik DAP sangat lantang bersuara mengutuk institusi-institusi Islam dan berani mencampuri hal ehwal agama Islam yang mana mereka tidak mempunyai hak kepelembagaan untuk berbuat demikian.

Contoh yang paling mudah ialah kes pindaan Akta 355, dimana mereka bertalu-talu menentang dan menyerang secara lisan dan tulisan, bukan sahaja membantah pindaan suatu Akta yang tiada kena mengena dengan mereka tetapi juga mengutuk dan berusaha untuk menghapuskan institusi perundangan Islam yang telahpun ada di Tanah Melayu ini sejak sebelum adanya sistem perundangan sivil.

Perkara ini merupakan suatu serangan dan penindasan ke atas hak umat Islam dan perkara ini tidak sepatutnya berlaku di sebuah negara Islam.

Mereka juga mengangkat dan menyokong golongan liberal seperti kumpulan G25, SIS Forum,  Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) dan sebagainya sebagai suara umat Islam Malaysia dan seterusnya menggunakan golongan ini untuk menentang ajaran Islam yang sebenarnya, institusi-institusi Islam dan juga sistem perundangan Islam.

Hannah Yeoh sebagai Puan Speaker DUN Selangor telah menolak usul untuk memperkasakan Mahkamah Syariah di DUN Selangor daripada dibahaskan tetapi pada masa yang sama mendakwa  bahawa dia tidak membenci Islam, malah sangat mesra dengan orang Islam.

Untuk mendapat sokongan orang Islam, Hannah Yeoh dan pemimpin bukan Islam DAP dan PKR telah memasuki masjid hingga ke ruang solat untuk berbagai aktiviti termasuk memberi ucapan.

Ini membawa kepada tindakan biadap Ahli Parlimen PKR Subang, Sivarasa Rasiah yang berucap di kawasan saf hadapan masjid sehingga Sultan Selangor menzahirkan rasa teramat murka dan dukacita dengan tindakannya yang memasuki Masjid An Nur, Kampung Melayu Subang dan menggunakan ruangan solat sebagai tempat berpolitik.

Sebelum ini, semasa menjadi Ahli Parlimen Serdang, pemimpin DAP, Teo Nie Ching juga pernah berucap di di kawasan solat saf hadapan sebuah surau manakala ADUN PKR  Dr. Xavier Jayakumar juga telah berucap di kawasan solat saf hadapan masjid Ar-Rahimiah Klang.

Lebih malang lagi, bila ditegur, mereka lantang mempertahankan perbuatan biadap mereka, seolah-olah mereka lebih faham hukum Islam daripada pihak berkuasa Islam sendiri.

Saya tidak faham bagaimana ada orang-orang seperti Khalid Samad, Mujahid Yusof Rawa dan sebagainya masih buta dan mahu mempertahankan Hannah Yeoh dan bersungguh-sungguh menyerang Dr. Kamarul yang hanya memetik kata-kata Hannah Yeoh sendiri di dalam bukunya, ‘Becoming Hannah’.

Di manakah dasar perjuangan ‘Maqasid Syariah’ parti PAN apabila pemimpin-pemimpin mereka sendiri menentang orang yang mempertahankan negara Islam dan mempertahankan orang yang berusaha menghapuskan kedaulatan Islam di tanah air kita?

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Ke Mana Arah Puteri UMNO?

SIS Forum Sdn Bhd recently posted this image on their Instagram page:

I was really shocked by the photo and the caption!

The big smiles shows that they are proud of their actions, how sad.

SIS Forum is against the amendments of the Act 355 to empower the Shariah Courts, the government’s stance on Kalimah Allah issue, fatwas, the Islamic authorities and other Islamic policies and the teaching of Islam.

On the other hand, SIS Forum fights for LGBT rights, liberalism, pluralism, wrong interpretation of the holy Quran and other matters against Islam.

Sis Forum is also a member of two anti-government coalition, BERSIH and COMANGO.

BERSIH that received funding from George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), makes malicious and slanderous accusations not only towards UMNO but also towards PM Najib, and their main activity is organising illegal anti-government demonstrations in which they humiliate PM Najib and in its latest demonstration, BERSIH demonstrators are calling for PM Najib to step down.

COMANGO is a loose coalition of NGOs that made false accusations regarding human rights in Malaysia and demands the government of Malaysia to sign the UNHRC treaties that are against Islam, the Federal Constitution, the Rukun Negara (National Principles) and the laws of our country.

So, what is going on with Puteri UMNO and what are they trying to prove?

Is this an action of being politically mature or are they trying to stab UMNO in the back?

For their information, DAPSY will not be doing such thing together with PERKASA unless PERKASA makes a u-turn on its stance regarding Islam and the Malays.

What can they gain politically from inviting SIS Forum to their event?

If they think that political gain is not important for them despite they are an UMNO wing at the time when the general election is looming near; then I’m speechless.

Can’t those Puteri UMNO think of the consequences of their actions; that by working together with SIS Forum, they are giving the impression that they can tolerate and respect SIS Forum’s liberal and anti-government ideology?

Or are they really moving towards that path and away from UMNO’s ‘demi agama, bangsa dan tanahair’?

Next, perhaps they can invite leaders of SIS Forum as speakers for their programs.

The Constitutionally Illiterate Tawfik Tun Dr Ismail

In a FMT’s article, “Did Zahid call Malaysia an Islamic state?” Tawfik attacks the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for calling Malaysia an Islamic state; because according to Tawfik, Malaysia is a secular country with Islam only as its official religion. 

That makes me wonder if Tawfik Ismail, who Free Malaysia Today (FMT) referred as “a prominent opponent of theocratic governance”, has ever read the Federal Constitution or understands the definition of the word secular.

A member of a liberal group called G25, Tawfik had made uncalled statements before such as urging JAKIM to be abolished.

Below are my answers (in blue) to Tawfik’s statements (in red) as published by FMT.


PETALING JAYA: A prominent opponent of theocratic governance, Tawfik Ismail, has questioned whether Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was calling the country an Islamic state during a recent breaking of fast gathering in Alor Setar.

He said Zahid would be wrong if it was true that he rejected the notion that Malaysia was a secular state.

Contrary to Tawfik’s accusation, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is right by calling the country an Islamic state and rejected the notion that Malaysia is or was a secular state. It is Tawfik who is constitutionally illiterate for rejecting the notion that Malaysia is an Islamic state and instead, claiming that our country is a secular state.

He was referring to a Bernama report that quoted the deputy prime minister as saying that those who claimed this country was secular should first have a look at the Federal Constitution. He said the constitution placed Islam as the official religion and referred to the country as a Muslim country.

I wonder if Bernama made a mistake in reporting when it wrote that the Deputy Prime Minister says, “the Constitution placed Islam as the official religion” because Berita Harian quoted Zahid saying that the Constitution states that Islam is the religion of the Federation. The Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia says:

Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.

Please note that the Constitutions says “Islam is the religion of the Federation and not ‘the official religion’. Adding the word “official” is a slender to the federal Constitution as it distorts the notion of the Article 3(1).

“It would be more accurate to call the country a Muslim-majority country. That would be factual,” Tawfik told FMT.

It is factual that Malaysia is an Islamic country, and also a Muslim-majority country. 

“The constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers, the sultans’ role as heads of religion in their respective states, the notion of equality under the law, the right of everyone to stand for public office regardless of race or religion all guarantee that Malaysia is a secular country.”

Tawfik’s problem is, he does not understand the definition of a secularism which means the separation of religion and state. His above statement does not define a secular country. 

Tawfik, who is a former Umno member and one-term MP of Sungai Benut, said Islam’s position as the country’s official religion gave little support to the argument that the country wasn’t secular.

Tawfik must first read the Federal Constitution before making any statement regarding the Federal Constitution. The Federal Constitution, in Article 3(1) enshrines Islam as the religion of the Federation and not as the official religion of our nation. 

“I think it means the sovereign or king is Muslim and therefore Islam is considered the official religion, just like the Queen in England is head of the church.

Tawfik must first study the Federal Constitution before talking about constitutional issues.

“You could say ours is a hybrid system because we have many races practising many religions allowed under the constitution. Just because the majority of Malaysians are Malays and Malays are defined under the constitution as Muslims, making Islam the dominant religion, it doesn’t dominate other faiths.”

In the High Court decision of the case, Meor Atiqulrahman bin Ishak & Ors v Fatimah Sihi & Ors[2000]  1 MLJ 393, the then Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah had clearly clarified that the Federal Constitution has provided that other religions have no equal standing as Islam:

In my opinion, “Islam is the religion of the Federation but other religions may be practied in peace and harmony” means that Islam is the main religion among other religions that are practied in the country such as Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and others. Islam is not equal to any other religion, not sitting together or stand upright. It sits on top, he walked past, located in the field and his voice heard. Islam is like teak trees – tall, strong and skilled. If not so Islam is not the religion of the Federation but is one among several religions practised in the country and everyone is equally free to practice any religion he professes, no more one than the other. Provisions ‘Islam is the religion of the Federation’ shall be defined and reviewed with the objective to read other provisions of the Constitution, especially Article 89, 152, 153 and 14.

Bebas spokesperson Azrul Khalib also spoke on the matter, agreeing that the constitution did not put Islam in a position to dominate other religions.

Since when does a Bebas or any NGO leader is given the rights to redefine and reinterpret the supreme law of our country? It is a mind-blowing to see FMT using just a mere opinion of an NGO leader who is not even a constitutional expert to define the Federal Constitution.

“It’s important to realise that nowhere does the constitution ever intend for the country to be an Islamic state,” he told FMT.

The Malay rulers as the stakeholders of the Federation have never intent for the country to become a secular state. In fact the word secular or anything related to secularism is not even mentioned in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

In the conclusion of the judgement of ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Another v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, where The Right Honourable Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said that:

”Taking the Federal Constitution as a whole, it is clear that it was the intention of the framers of our Constitution to allow Muslims in this country to be also governed by Islamic personal law”.

And to further prove that Malaysia was meant to be an Islamic state and not a secular state, the Federal Constitution has Articles such as Article 11(4), Article 12(2), Article 37, Article 121(1A), and more.

“At the end of the day, it needs to be emphasised that the position of Islam as the official religion of the federation should not be a reference or a tool to bludgeon people of other religions into submitting to Islam.”

Islam is the religion of the Federation. Only constitutionally illiterate people think that Islam is the official religion of the federation; so there is no such thing as “using the position of Islam as the official religion of the federation should not be a reference or a tool to bludgeon people of other religions into submitting to Islam.”

He said that as much as it was important to look at the constitution to see that the country was a secular state, people should also look at court rulings affirming this.

The Federal Constitution has never said that Malaysia is a secular country. In fact, it is the government’s constitutional duty to protect the sanctity of Islam which is in itself denies that Malaysia is a secular country. This is proven by the Court of Appeal judgement of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Kerajaan Malaysia & Menteri Dalam Negeri, when YA Dato’ Abdul Aziz Rahim said:

I would add however that the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation, to my mind imposes certain obligation on the power that be to promote and defend Islam as well to protect its sanctity. In one article written by Muhammad Imam, entitled Freedom of Religion under Federal Constitution of Malaysia – A Reappraisal [1994] 2 CLJ lvii (June) referred to by the learned counsel for the 8th appellant it was said that: “Article 3 is not a mere declaration. But it imposes positive obligation on the Federation to protect, defend, promote Islam and to give effect by appropriate state action, to the injunction of Islam and able to facilitate and encourage people to hold their life according to the Islamic injunction spiritual and daily life.”

In the Federal Court judgement of ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Another v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, The Right Honourable Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said:

“Thus, in the present case, we are of the view that Article 10 of the Federal Constitution must be read in particular with Articles 3(1), 11, 74(2) and 121. Article 3(1) declares Islam as the religion of the Federation. Article 11 guarantees every person’s right to profess and practise his religion and to propagate it. With regard to propagation, there is a limitation imposed by Article 11(4) which reads:-

“(4) State Law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.”

In a secular state, the government has no constitutional duty to protect the sanctity of a particular religion.

“The supremacy of secular law in Malaysia was upheld in 1988 in the Supreme Court case of Che Omar bin Che Soh vs Public Prosecutor in which the Supreme Court rejected the argument that the death penalty for drug trafficking was unconstitutional for offending the principles of Islam,” he said.

“The court said Article 3 of the Federal Constitution recognises Islam as the religion of the federation but it does not allude to Malaysia being an Islamic state, confirming that the country is secular.

This is another lame argument used by people who are trying to spin the fact that Malaysia is an Islamic state. In the judgement of the case Che Omar bin Che Soh v. Public Prosecutor, Tun Salleh Abas has never said that Malaysia is a secular state; alas he only said that Malaysia still uses the secular laws.

Today, there are other new judgments of more important cases that clearly state that Malaysia is an Islamic state such as Meor Atiqulrahman bin Ishak & Ors v Fatimah Sihi & Ors[2000]  1 MLJ 393, Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Kerajaan Malaysia & Menteri Dalam Negeri,  ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Another v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor and others.

“We need to remember the second part of Article 3, which reads ‘Islam is the religion of the federation, but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the federation.’ Therefore, Article 3 should not be used to impose dominance on non-Muslims or insist on religious superiority.”

The words “in peace and harmony” have been interpreted by the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Apandi Ali during the judgement of the Court of Appeal case of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Menteri Dalam Negeri & Kerajaan Malaysia. His words were:

It is my judgment that the purpose and intention of the insertion of the words: “in peace and harmony” in Article 3(1) is to protect the sanctity of Islam as the religion of the country and also to insulate against any threat faced or any possible and probable threat to the religion of Islam.

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