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Human Rights in Relation to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia – Part 1

Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA) hosted an essay contest in 2015. I wanted to take part but I was not allowed because the age limit was from 18 years old and above. I was twelve at the time but I still wrote an essay on the topic given, and sent it to CENTHRA  as my submission for the contest even though I was told that I cannot take part because I was too young. I think young people like me must also be given the chance to voice out our opinions and not to be considered as immature. We also have our rights as granted by the Federal Constitution and the Convention of the Rights of the Child and we hope to be given the opportunity to be included in making the decision for the future of our country.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted as the result of the Second World War experience. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December, 1948 General Assembly resolution 217 A as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.

Generally when people talk about human rights, they will be referring to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) “common standard law of human rights” that was drafted by a group of people who subscribed to the ideology of liberalism.

The question is, is it fair to use the UDHR as the universal standard human rights law for all peoples from all nations in this world?

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993 states the human rights regulations must take into account, the religions, customs and cultural systems of the region. In other words, the human rights of the people must be subjected to the aspiration of the people; and not only subjected to the aspiration of the committee of the UNHRC and the drafters of the UDHR alone.

Part I, Para 5 of Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993:

All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In my opinion, human rights regulations must be subjected to the state laws of the Member State. Let us take Malaysia as an example. Malaysia is a country which has stated in its Federal Constitution (FC) that, “Islam is the religion of the Federation”, making Malaysia an Islamic country.

Article 3(1) of the FC:

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

Hence, any UNHRC human rights regulations that are against the law of Islam are against the FC which is the supreme law of Malaysia, as stated in Article 4 of the FC:

This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

Since the religion of Malaysia is placed under Article 3(1) of the FC, it shows the importance of Islam in the FC; hence the interpretation of other Articles of the FC must be harmonious with Islam; including the Articles about the human right of its people.

If we look at the UNHRC human rights conventions, we can see that some of the Articles of the conventions are against the FC. First, let us look at Article 18 of ICCPR:

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Thus, Article 18 of the ICCPR is inapplicable and unconstitutional in Malaysia because, while Article 11(1) of the FC guarantees freedom of religion; the rights to propagate is subjected to Article 11(4). 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 the same judgement, Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif concluded that:

Federal Constitution allows the Legislature of a State to legislate and enact offences against the precepts of Islam. 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.

Therefore, unlike the UNHRC liberal interpretation of freedom of religion, it is the right of the Muslims to be governed according to the Islamic law and to be protected against the secular and liberal ideology of the UNHRC common human rights regulations; apart from the freedom to manifest Islam in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Article 18 of the ICCPR also gives people the freedom to choose whether they want to believe or not to believe in god. It is very important to understand that according to the Rukun Negara or the National Principles, the “freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice” means ‘freedom of religion’ and not ‘freedom from religion’. The Rukun Negara clearly states that all citizens of Malaysia must believe in god in its first principal which is, ‘Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan’ or ‘Belief in God’. As opposed to the UNHRC’s ideas of human rights, atheism is not part of the rights guaranteed under the freedom of religion in Malaysia.

Apart from going against the Articles 3(1) and 11(4) of the FC; Article 18 of the ICCPR is also against the Articles 37, 38, 76 and 159(5) of the FC. That means it should be void even if it was signed by the federal government as pressured by the UNHRC.

According to Article 38 of the FC, the Parliament cannot make into law and implement Article 18 of ICCPR without the consent of the Conference of Rulers because it touches the matters of religious acts and observances.

Article 38(2)(b) of FC:

The Conference of Rulers shall exercise its functions of— (b) agreeing or disagreeing to the extension of any religious acts, observances or ceremonies to the Federation as a whole;

Article 38(2)(c) of FC:

consenting or withholding consent to any law and making or giving advice on any appointment which under this Constitution requires the consent of the Conference or is to be made by or after consultation with the Conference;

Also, Article 18 of ICCPR cannot be implemented and made into law without the concern of the Government of the State, as in accordance to Article 76 of the FC.

Article 76(1)(a) of FC:

Parliament may make laws with respect to any matter enumerated in the State List, but only as follows, that is to say – for the purpose of implementing any treaty, agreement or convention between the Federation and any other country, or any decision of an international organization of which the Federation is a member.

Article 76(2) ) of FC:

No law shall be made in pursuance of paragraph (a) of Clause (1) with respect to any matters of Islamic law or the custom of the Malays or to any matters of native law or custom in the States of Sabah and Sarawak and no Bill for a law under that paragraph shall be introduced into either House of Parliament until the Government of any State concerned has been consulted.

To be continued in Part II…

“Firstly Islam was a NEVER a Religion of PEACE”, Apa Komen Kak Wan?

Is this PKR man sane and worthy to be a leader of our country?

Lately, making seditious statements is the latest trend for some people who wanted to be seen as a hero for certain group of people. 

Latest is a former PKR ADUN of Batu Uban, Pulau Pinang, Raveentharan Subramaniam’s  turn to do so.

“Firstly Islam was a NEVER a Religion of PEACE”, wrote the former PKR ADUN of Batu Uban, Pulau Pinang, Raveentharan Subramaniam on his Facebook page.

Raveentharan later posted an apology saying that he never intended to offend Islam.

However, how can such a direct seditious, malicious and rude statement on Islam was said as not “intended to offend Islam”?

In fact, not only does the statement offend the Muslims, but worst it can cause a racial tension between the Muslims and the non-Muslims.

It was reported that he will be investigated under Section 298 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Moreover, by saying that, “Islam was NEVER a Religion of PEACE”, Raveentharan has gone against the Section 3(1)(e) of the Sedition Act, which says:

A “seditious tendency” is a tendency— to promote feelings of ill will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia…

By the way, what does PKR party president has to say about her man’s malicious statement?

And if Kak Wan and her allies say nothing, may I ask if that PKR agrees with Raveentharan Subramaniam’s statement?

 

Zairil Dakwa Tun M Mencadangkan Pindaan Semberono?

Saya tidak terkejut apabila ahli Parlimen DAP Bukit Bendera, Zairil yang walaupun mengaku beragama Islam tetapi menentang taraf, kedudukan dan bidang kuasa Mahkamah Syariah di Malaysia seperti yang telah termaktub di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Di dalam artikel yang bertajuk, “Kembalikan kuasa Mahkamah Persekutuan sebagai pemutus muktamad isu undang-undang”, yang telah disiarkan oleh RoketKini.com, Zairil mempertikaikan Perkara 121(1A) Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia yang menghalang Mahkamah Tinggi untuk membatalkan keputusan Mahkamah Syariah.

>>>Tekan sini untuk baca artikel tersebut<<<

Tidak setakat itu, ahli Parlimen DAP itu juga mencadangkan agar bidang kuasa yang telah diperuntukkan kepada Mahkamah Syariah untuk menghakimi “hal-hal yang melibatkan hak dan kebebasan asasi, termasuk dalam kes-kes yang melibatkan Perkara 121(1A) di mana Mahkamah Tinggi tidak mempunyai bidang kuasa” itu dirampas atau ditarik balik.

Lebih parah lagi, dengan memberi gambaran bahawa Perkara 121(1A) itu seolah-olah tidak adil dan satu “dilema sistem kehakiman“, pemimpin DAP itu mencadangkan satu jalan pintas diambil untuk merampas bidang kuasa Mahkamah Syariah melalui jalan belakang, seperti kenyataannya, “Malah, ini boleh dibuat dengan mudah tanpa pindaan Perlembagaan atau apa-apa perubahan kepada Perkara 121”.

Bukankah cadangan Zairil itu bermakna menarik balik bidang kuasa Mahkamah Syariah secara ‘bypass’ Perlembagaan Persekutuan?

Kenyataan Zairil:

Oleh itu, saya ingin mencadangkan agar Mahkamah Persekutuan dikembalikan tarafnya sebagai pemutus muktamad dalam segala isu undang-undang, yakni sebagai Mahkamah Perlembagaan. Malah, ini boleh dibuat dengan mudah tanpa pindaan Perlembagaan atau apa-apa perubahan kepada Perkara 121.

Penyelesaian kepada masalah ini boleh dicapai melalui pindaan kepada Akta Mahkamah Kehakiman dalam dua perkara. Pertamanya, pendefinisian bidang kuasa Mahkamah Persekutuan harus menyatakan dengan jelas bahawa Mahkamah Persekutuan tidak dihadkan kepada bidang kuasa yang sama dengan Mahkamah Tinggi.

Kedua, satu prosedur harus diperkenalkan bagi membenarkan pengemukaan petisyen secara langsung kepada Mahkamah Persekutuan dalam hal-hal yang melibatkan hak dan kebebasan asasi, termasuk dalam kes-kes yang melibatkan Perkara 121(1A) di mana Mahkamah Tinggi tidak mempunyai bidang kuasa. 

~Zairil (DAP)

Kalau dahulu Lim Guan Eng dengan celuparnya membuat fitnah dan hasutan jahat menuduh UMNO sanggup bekerjasama dengan PAS untuk “bypass the Federal Constitution to allow these laws to take effect” dalam hal Akta 355, kini terbukti siapa sebenarnya yang berniat jahat untuk “bypass the Federal Constitution” untuk mencapai hasrat mereka.

“MCA, MIC, Gerakan and SUPP deserve public condemnation for betraying their principles and promises to uphold and defend the Federal Constitution but also for their political expediency to continue to deceive the people by supporting UMNO that is willing to work together with PAS to bypass the Federal Constitution to allow these laws to take effect.”

~Lim Guan Eng

Lebih teruk lagi, Zairil juga telah memberi sebab yang tidak masuk akal dalam mempertikaikan Perkara 121(1A):

Jika kita kembali kepada Perlembagaan, Perkara 75 menyatakan bahawa undang-undang Persekutuan mengatasi undang-undang Negeri, manakala Perkara 4 menyatakan Perlembagaan Persekutuan mengatasi semua undang-undang lain. Hal ini jelas dan tidak dipertikaikan.

~Zairil (DAP)

Walaupun undang-undang Syariah itu dibawah negeri, namun sistem Mahkamah Syariah adalah sebahagian daripada sistem perundangan Persekutuan; kerana kedudukan Mahkamah Syariah telah diperuntukkan oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan melalui Perkara 121(1A).

Selain daripada Zairil, Lim Kit Siang juga mempertikaikan Perkara 121(1A).

Menariknya pada masa yang sama, rakan sekumpulan mereka iaitu PKR menyangkal tuduhan DAP dan mengiktiraf Perkara 121(1A) sebagai penting dan baik sehingga mendakwa pemimpin mereka, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahimlah yang memainkan peranan utama dalam usaha untuk menambah Fasal 1A kepada Perkara 121.

At the Federal level, upon the initiatives of the late Tan Sri Prof. Ahmad Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Article 121 (1A) was introduced to the Federal Constitution. The introduction upgraded the legal position of the Syariah Courts without infringing the civil on the court rights of non-Muslims. It must be stress that this initiative was discussed by the Islamic Consultation Body, the Islamic Centre (now JAKIM), and the Cabinet.

~Strengthening Islamic Jurisprudence in Malaysia – Page 20

Malah, bukan setakat itu sahaja, tetapi jika mereka membaca Hansard Parliamen, mereka akan mendapati bahawa rakan baik terkini parti DAP, Tun Dr. Mahathirlah yang merupakan orang yang mencadangkan penambahan Fasal 1(A) kepada Perkara 121 di Parlimen pada tahun 1988.

Jadi, apakah Zairil menuduh Dr. M seorang yang tidak cermat dan tidak berfikiran panjang sehingga mencadangkan satu “pindaan semberono” yang “telah meninggalkan warisan yang buruk kepada negara kita”?

Pindaan semberono yang dibuat pada tahun 1988 telah meninggalkan warisan yang buruk kepada negara kita dan mencetuskan krisis Perlembagaan dan penafian hak dan kebebasan asasi rakyat seperti yang berlaku dlm kes-kes S. Deepa dan Indira Gandhi.

~Zairil (DAP)

Apakah pindaan Perkara 121(1A) yang dituduh satu “pindaan semberono” oleh Zairil akan benar-benar menjadi satu “dilema” kepada DAP, PKR dan PPBM?

Maka persoalannya ialah:

  1. Apakah pendirian bersama parti DAP, PKR dan PPBM mengenai Perkara 121(1A)?

  2. Siapakah yang akan beralah dalam soal ini atau adakah PKR dan PPBM hanya bermain politik dan akhirnya akan akur akan semua kehendak DAP?

  3. Sanggupkah PKR dan Tun Dr. Mahathir bersekongkol dengan DAP untuk menarik balik bidang kuasa Mahkamah Syariah?

  4. Di manakah suara pemimpin Islam mereka yang pernah berkata mahu memperkasakan Mahkamah Syariah?

  5. Apakah inilah yang mereka maksudkan sebagai pemerkasaan Mahkamah Syariah versi mereka?

Aerial Photos: California’s Winter Floods 2017

Floodwaters surround a home on February 22, 2017, in San Jose, California. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes early Wednesday in the northern California city of San Jose as floodwaters inundated neighborhoods and forced the shutdown of a major highway. / AFP / NOAH BERGER (Photo credit should read NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Floodwaters surround a home on February 22, 2017, in San Jose, California. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes early Wednesday in the northern California city of San Jose as floodwaters inundated neighborhoods and forced the shutdown of a major highway. / AFP / NOAH BERGER (Photo credit should read NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

NBC Los Angeles – Winter storms unleashed days of downpours on California. These aerial images show the extent of the flooding and effects of the unrelenting winter storms throughout the state, including San Jose, where 14,000 people were evacuated after neighborhoods were inundated with water. Several more weeks remain in California’s wet season, which brings the potential for more damage.

Source: nbclosangeles.com

PKR Claims Anwar Introduced Article 121 (1A)

In order to play safe and avoid losing Malay votes by saying “no” to PAS President’s Private Bill, PKR publishes a book named, “Strengthening Islamic Jurisprudence in Malaysia”, where apart from recycling irrelevant and out of context questions that were answered a long time ago, the party issued a very confusing statement regarding the Bill in order not to directly says that the party is against the Bill.

Please read:

  1.  “Jawapan Kepada Kenyataan Mengelirukan Khalid Samad Tentang Pindaan Akta 355”
  2. “Akta 355: Poster Dangkal SIS Forum Tentang Akta 355
  3. Another Seditious Article by MMO’s Boo Su-Lyn

Worst, PKR tries to take the credit for the Federal Government’s effort in 1988 to upgrade the Syariah Courts by claiming that the move was “upon the initiatives of Almarhum Tan Sri Prof. Ahmad Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim”.

Written on page 20 of the book:

At the Federal level, upon the initiatives of the late Tan Sri Prof. Ahmad Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Article 121 (1A) was introduced to the Federal Constitution. The introduction upgraded the legal position of the Syariah Courts without infringing the civil on the court rights of non-Muslims. It must be stress that this initiative was discussed by the Islamic Consultation Body, the Islamic Centre (now JAKIM), and the Cabinet.

~Strengthening Islamic Jurisprudence in Malaysia

It is a known fact that Almarhum Tan Sri Professor Ahmad Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmad is the person who initiated the move but since I have not come across on Anwar’s specific role in fighting for the Article 121 1(A) together with Almarhum Professor Ahmad Ibrahim, I spoke to several senior lawyers and Constitution experts to clarify the claim made by PKR in the said book.

Contrary to what was claimed in the PKR book, the answers from the senior lawyers are that Anwar Ibrahim has nothing to do with the move to add the Article 121 (1A) to our Federal Constitution, neither in coming out with the idea nor the fight in pursuing the matter until it was accepted by the Federal Government.

I was told by the lawyers that it was the initiative of Almarhum Tan Sri Professor Ahmad Mohamed Ibrahim with the help from the then Chief Justice Tun Hamid Omar and the then Attorney General that made it possible to bring the matter to Parliament and that it has nothing to do either with Anwar Ibrahim or PKR.

Furthermore, after studying the Parliament Hansard, I found out that on March 17, 1988, it was not Anwar Ibrahim who tabled the Constitution (Amendment) 1988 Bill regarding Article 121 (1A) in the Parliament but it was the then Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed who tabled the Bill.

Below is a part of the Parliament Hansard on the Constitution (Amendment) 1988 Bill:

Penyampai : DATO’ SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
Tajuk : MEMBENTANGKAN RANG UNDANG-UNDANG PERLEMBAGAAN (PINDAAN) 1988
Lokasi : DEWAN RAKYAT, KUALA LUMPUR
Tarikh : 17-03-1988

Tuan Yang di-Pertua,
Saya mohon mencadangkan iaitu Rang Undang-Undang bernama suatu Akta untuk meminda Perlembagaan Persekutuan dibacakan kali yang kedua sekarang….

…23. Perkara 118A menyatakan bahawa sesuatu aduan tentang tidak adanya dibuat pemilihan ke Dewan Rakyat hendaklah dianggap sebagai petisyen pilihanraya, dan Mahkamah Tinggi boleh membuat perintah untuk memaksa supaya pemilihan dibuat. Perkara itu juga menyatakan bahawa kegagalan membuat pemilihan dalam tempoh yang dinyatakan oleh Perkara 54 dan 55 tidak boleh dijadikan alasan untuk mengisytiharkan bahawa seseorang ahli itu telah tidak dipilih sewajarnya. Fasal 7 Rang Undang-Undang ini mencadangkan supaya Perkara 118A itu dipinda supaya ianya terpakai juga bagi pemilihan ke Dewan Undangan Negeri. PERKARA 121 ___________

24. Perkara 121 meletakhak kuasa kehakiman Persekutuan pada Mahkamah Tinggi dan mahkamah-mahkamah rendah. Ia juga meletakhak bidangkuasa tertentu pada Mahkamah Agung.

25. Fasal 8 Rang Undang-Undang ini mencadangkan supaya Perkara 121 dipinda dengan menghapuskan peruntukan tentang meletakhak kuasa-kuasa kehakiman pada mahkamah-mahkamah dan dengan memasukkan ke dalam Fasal (1) Perkara itu peruntukan yang menyatakan bahawa Mahkamah Tinggi dan mahkamah-mahkamah rendah hendaklah mempunyai bidangkuasa dan kuasa-kuasa sebagaimana yang diberi oleh atau di bawah undang-undang persekutuan. Dengan ini, Perkara itu tidak lagi akan memberi penekanan pada meletakhak kuasa kehakiman persekutuan pada mahkamah-mahkamah tetapi akan hanya memperkatakan tentang jenis-jenis mahkamah dan bidangkuasa serta kuasa-kuasanya.

~Office of the Prime Minister

Therefore, I have a few questions for PKR :

  1. What is the important role played by Anwar Ibrahim to justify his big role in Article 121 (1A) as claimed by PKR that, “At the Federal level, upon the initiatives of the late Tan Sri Prof. Ahmad Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Article 121 (1A) was introduced to the Federal Constitution”?
  2. Since the Clause (1A) was added to the Article 121 in 1988, on what basis can PKR take the credit by using Anwar’s name when;
    ——–i. PKR was then not yet existed.
    ——–ii. And Anwar Ibrahim who was then a leader of UMNO acted in the capacity
    ———–of an UMNO leader and in accordance with the principals of UMNO and by
    ———–the consent of  UMNO leadership?
  3. Are these concocted fictional claims are parts of PKR’s values and interpretation of the phrase “justice, humanity and based on the Islamic values of “rahmatan lil ‘alamin” (a mercy unto the world)” that was said in the book as what PKR is “committed in the struggle for”?

>>>Click here to read Strengthening Islamic Jurisprudence in Malaysia<<<

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Lagi Usaha Parti Pembangkang Menipu Umat Islam

After posting my article, “Perjanjian DAP, PKR, PAN, PPBM Untuk Meminda Perkara 3(1)“, I received two comments from two law experts regarding another important part of the agreement that I had overseen.

Both, Uncle Dato’ Naser Disa, the CEO of IKSIM and Dr. Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia, highlighted that in the agreement, it was written, “… dan agama-agama lain … ” whereas in the original text of the Federal Constitution, the Article 3(1) says ” … tetapi agama-agama lain …”; meaning in their agreement, the opposition parties had not only add the word “bebas” but also changed the word “tetapi” (but) to the word “dan” (and). 

These are not small matters, important agreements are written by lawyers and lawyers are very specific in choosing each word for such agreements, to make sure that it covers specifically the important matters that were asked by their clients.

And we as the citizens must know and protect our rights as provided by our Federal Constitution and do not let others fool us with sweet promises of protecting our rights but at the same time cheat us behind our back.

Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution:

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

or

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

As in the case of adding the word, “bebas to the Article 3(1), replacing the word tetapi” with the word “dan” to the same Article seems to reaffirm their intention to rewrite the Article 3(1) and to undermine Islam.

The word “tetapi” in the Article 3(1) signifies the supreme position of Islam as the religion of the Federation as compared to other religions in Malaysia.

So, by replacing the word “tetapi” with the word “dan” in the context of the Article 3(1), the opposition leaders who signed the agreement has distort the interpretation of the Article 3(1) by positioning other religions at the same level as Islam, which is a distortion of the truth; not only to the Article 3(1) but also to our Federal Constitution.

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 has clearly clarified this matter:

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. Peruntukan ‘Islam ialah ugama bagi Persekutuan’ hendaklah ditakrif dan ditinjau tujuannya dengan membaca bersama peruntukan lain dalam Perlembagaan khususnya Perkara 89, 152, 153 dan 14.

Hence, the intention of the phrase, “but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation” in the Article 3(1) is to specify that even though Islam is the religion of the Federation, people of other religions are allowed to practise their religions but their actions must be in peace and harmony with the people of other religions, especially Islam which is the religion of the Federation; and not to give them the freedom to do anything they wish.

In other words, even though Islam is the religion of the Federation, Malaysia does not discriminate people of other religions, they are allowed to the practise their religions as long as they obey the laws and not to do things that have “the potential to disrupt the even tempo of the life of the Malaysian community”.

In the Court of Appeal’s judgement of the case, Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Menteri Dalam Negeri and Kerajaan Malaysia, the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali states:

[42] It is my judgment that, based on the facts and circumstances of the case, the usage of the word “Allah” particularly in the Malay version of the Herald, is without doubt, do have the potential to disrupt the even tempo of the life of the Malaysian community. Such publication will surely have an adverse effect upon the sanctity as envisaged under Article 3(1) and the right for other religions to be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation. Any such disruption of the even tempo is contrary to the hope and desire of peaceful and harmonious co-existence of other religions other than Islam in this country.

In fact, by doing what some people may think as small changes, the oppositions are not only giving a totally different meaning to the Article 3(1) but they are also interfering with other important Articles in the Federal Constitution such as Article 10(2), 11(4), 153 and others; as the Articles of the Federal Consitution cannot stand alone or cannot be read singularly, but must be read as a whole because each Article are ‘connected’ with other Articles.

In the judgement of the Federal Court case, Loh Kooi Choon v The Government of Malaysia [1977] 2 MLJ 187, the then Federal Court Judge, DYMM Almarhum Sultan Azlan Shah stated:

Constitution as the supreme law, unchangeable by ordinary means, is distinct from ordinary law and as such cannot be inconsistent with itself.

So when they replace the word “tetapi” with the word “dan”, they are positioning other religions at par with Islam which is against the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and by adding the word “bebas” to the same Article, they are giving the freedom to people of other religions to do whatever they want in the name of practising their religions even though it can cause disorder in the community.

As stated by the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Apandi Ali in the judgement of the case, Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v Menteri Dalam Negeri and Kerajaan Malaysia, the “Freedom of other Religions” which is Article 11 is subjected to Islam since Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution is “within the confines of Part I of the Constitution” while Article 11 is under the Part 2 of the Constitution.

[31] It is my observation that the words “in peace and harmony” in Article 3(1) has a historical background and dimension, to the effect that those words are not without significance. The Article places the religion of Islam at par with the other basic structures of the Constitution, as it is the 3 rd in the order of precedence of the Articles that were within the confines of Part I of the Constitution. It is pertinent to note that the fundamental liberties Articles were grouped together subsequently under Part II of the Constitution.

Just one word can make a very big different, and in this case, not only it distorts the interpretation of Article 3(1) and interfere with other Articles of the Federal Constitution but discriminate and take away the rights of the Muslims as provided by the Federal Constitution.

Since In the “Perjanjian Kerjasama Pakatan Harapan – PPBM, the leaders of DAP, PKR, PAN and PPBM on behalf of their parties agree to uphold the Federal Constitution, “Islam sebagai agama bagi Persekutuan dan agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan bebas, aman dan damai di negara ini sejajar dengan Perkara 3”, the people must understand that DAP, PKR, PAN and PPBM only vow to uphold their edited version of the Article 3(1) and not the one that is written in our Federal Constitution.

This action by them is consistent with their stance that Malaysia is a secular country whereas Malaysia is not and has never been a secular country.

Related Article:

Answering “Marina: What crime has Namewee committed?”

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) published an article, “Marina: What crime has Namewee committed?” where Marina Mahathir criticised the arrest of the controversial rapper Namewee.

Police reports were made by the public against Namewee after he humiliated Islam and the other three main religions in Malaysia in his music video, “Oh My God!”

I would like to answer Marina’s statement; the FMT article will be in red and my answers will be in blue.


PETALING JAYA: Offending sensibilities isn’t necessarily a crime, says human rights activist Marina Mahathir.

Commenting on the arrest of controversial rapper Namewee over his newest music video, Marina told FMT she felt the police action was extreme and probably prompted by a need to appease oversensitive Muslims.

It is Namewee and people like Marina whose “actions were extreme”, as if their human rights is above the highest law of our country, the Federal Constitution.

Namewee not only humiliated Islam, the religion of the Federation but he also disrupts the peace and harmony of the Muslims.

Article 3(1):

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

The word, “peace and harmony” in the Article 3(1), was interpreted by the then Federal Court judge, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali in the Court of Appeal’s judgement of the Kalimah Allah case:

[31] It is my observation that the words “in peace and harmony” in Article 3(1) has a historical background and dimension, to the effect that those words are not without significance. The Article places the religion of Islam at par with the other basic structures of the Constitution, as it is the 3 rd in the order of precedence of the Articles that were within the confines of Part I of the Constitution. It is pertinent to note that the fundamental liberties Articles were grouped together subsequently under Part II of the Constitution.

“We can’t keep kowtowing to people who spend most of their time being offended. I find it rather offensive that they are offended,” she quipped.

“We can’t keep kowtowing to people who spend most of their time” offending “others. I find it offensive that they” cannot respect the sensitivities of the majority others. 

Marina made a similar statement about oversensitive Muslims in a blog posting last January. She cited several “ridiculous things” that she said they would get hysterical over, including the alleged presence of pig DNA in chocolates and crucifix-like designs on the roofs of houses.

It is a pity that Marina is not sensitive about things like pig DNA in chocolates, because halal is a very serious matter in Islam, and as we are living in an Islamic country, the crucifix-like designs on the roofs of houses should be avoided.

She had added that she couldn’t understand why Malaysian Muslims were not ashamed to admit their faith was weak and in need of constant protection.

I cannot “understand why some Malaysian Muslims were not ashamed to admit their faith was weak” to the extent that they do nothing when Islam is being humiliated.

In contrary to Marina’s statement, only the Malaysian Muslims whose “faith was weak” will let others humiliate Islam.

I wonder why FMT wrote that Marina “couldn’t understand why Malaysian Muslims …” instead of ” “couldn’t understand why some Malaysian Muslims …” when Marina is also a Malaysian Muslim?

Criticising Namewee’s arrest, she said, “He should not have been treated that way. The authorities should look at the video properly and find out what laws he has broken. Just because people are offended, it doesn’t mean that it’s a crime.”

Even in a secular country like Singapore, people are not allowed to humiliate religion.

Instead of telling the authorities to “look at the video properly”, it is Marina who must take a good look at the video and understand that a peaceful nation is more important than letting people who have no respect to others doing what ever they wish just because they have nothing better to do.

She said she hadn’t seen the video herself.

A credible person will not make such a judgement and blames others about the video when the person “hadn’t seen the video herself”.

The 33-year-old Namewee, whose real name is Wee Meng Chee, was arrested at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Sunday. He has been remanded for four days.

The offending video is for his song “Oh My God.” It shows him rapping in front of places of worship around the country.

Prematilaka KD Serisena, the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism had also spoken to FMT regarding the matter, saying that people needed a platform to voice their frustrations.

If the Secretary-General of MCCBCST and Marina think that the video does not offend them, it does not mean that the authorities must not take any action against the rapper.

It is against the human rights of other Malaysians to be forced to agree with them on the matter.

He said that the best way to deal with them was to hear them out. Sending Namewee to jail would only make matters worse, he added.

It is MCCBCHST’s right to let others humiliate the religions they represented but the council must understand that the rapper humiliate Islam, the religion of the Federation and the religion of our Malay Rulers who are the supreme heads of the States in Malaysia as well as the country.

It is weird that the council finds it alright when a person humiliate the religions under its umbrella but finds the need to interfere into the internal matter of Islam and denying the constitutional rights of the Muslims to manage their own religion when the council does not represent Islam.

In fact the interfaith group’s statement on Dato’ Seri Haji Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill regarding the Act 355 risks weakening constitutional liberties of the Muslim.