Tag Archives: Article 11 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia

Surat Balas Tun M Tidak Menjawab Persoalan

Yesterday evening I was stunned when my father showed me a letter that was address to me from former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in replying to my blog article, Perjanjian DAP, PKR, PAN, PPBM Untuk Meminda Perkara 3(1)?

The letter was sent by the Office of Datuk Badariah Arshad, Director of Operations, Perdana Leadership Foundation (Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana) to my father via e-mail, to be forwarded to me.

I want to thank Tun M for writing to me, I am very honoured to receive a letter from a former Prime Minister and to know that someone as important as him reading my blog article.

Below is Tun M’s letter that was addressed to me.


In my article, I commented that the opposition parties’ agreement, Perjanjian Kerjasama Pakatan Harapan – PPBM that was signed by DAP, PKR, PAN and PPBM, had misquoted the Article 3(1) by adding the word ‘bebas‘. Please click here for my article.

In explaining about the added word, Tun M wrote:

It is true that the word “bebas” is not in the sentence referring to Islam as the official religion of the Federation.
But the word “bebas” is not meant for Islam the official religions but for “other religions” (agama-agama lain). We know that the followers of other religions can freely change their religions. This is necessary as many have converted to Islam and to Christianity.

From what I understand, Tun M explains that the word, “bebas” in the agreement refers to the freedom to convert to other religion where Tun M further wrote that, “But the word “bebas” was not meant for Islam, but for the followers of “other religions” (agama-agama lain). We know that the followers of other religions can freely change their religions. This is necessary as many have converted to Islam and to Christianity”.

I am sad to say that not only Tun M’s explanation does not answer my question, but it also makes the matter more confusing because the fact that the Article 3(1) is the Article that explains about Islam as the religion of the Federation and it’s position over other religions in Malaysia and not about the rights to convert to other religions.

Let us take a look of what is stated in the 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.


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

I do not mean to be rude but it seems like Tun M is confused about what is written in the Article 3(1) and therefore Tun M’s explanation about the reason for adding the word “bebas” is totally out of context, because adding the word “bebas” to the Article 3(1) means that the followers of other religions are given the freedom do anything they wish in the name of practising their religions even though if it disrupts the peace and harmony of the community.

Hence, I questioned the opposition parties’ intention of the adding the word “bebas” to the Article 3(1) because the added word “bebas” distorts the interpretation of the Article 3(1) and undermines the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation.

I have to stress that the Article 3(1) that places the religion of Islam at par with the other basic structures of the Constitution and that is grouped under Part 1 of the Constitution, must not be confused with the Article regarding the “freedom of religion” which is the Article 11 that is grouped under Part II of the Constitution.

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

[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.

And I also wrote that as the supreme law of the Federation, each word in the Articles of the Federal Constitution was chosen for a very specific reason, therefore adding just a word can change the interpretation of the Article and can disrupt other related Articles.

Another important matter that I have to highlight is, it is incorrect to say that Islam is the official religion of the Federation as written by Tun M in his letter because Islam is not merely the official religion, but it is the religion of the Federation as what was said by Tun M himself during his years as the Prime Minister, that Malaysia is a “Negara Islam” .

I made the video below to help people understand that Islam is actually the religion of the Federation because a lot of us are still confused about this important fact.

It seems like Tun M’s principals has changed, for, during Tun M’s reign, in order to maintain peace and harmony among the people in Malaysia, Tun did not give the freedom to the people; but now as a leader of an opposition party, Tun M went against his own principle and is fighting for total freedom.

Rukun Negara, The Foundation Of The Federal Constitution

How could a person talk about our national unity if the person does not understand the Rukun Negara or the National Principles of Malaysia?

Do all citizens of Malaysia memorised the five principles of our Rukun Negara and understand the importance of the principles in building a harmonious society where people respect each other regardless of our different races and religions?

In my opinion, all Malaysian must all least memorise the the five principles of Rukun Negara, which is the basic pillar of our nation.

Below is what I understand about our Rukun Negara after listening to a talk by Aunty Prof. Syamrahayu Abdul Aziz.

MAKA KAMI, rakyat Malaysia, berikrar akan menumpukan seluruh tenaga dan usaha kami untuk mencapai cita-cita tersebut berdasarkan atas prinsip-prinsip yang berikut :


The first principle of the Rukun Negara is “Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan” or “Belief in God”, which is in consistent with Article 11 of our Federal Constitution.

“Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan” means that all Malaysians must belief in god or in another word, every citizen of Malaysia must has a religious belief; we must remember that Article 11 of the Federal Constitution is about “Freedom of Religion”, and not “Freedom from Religion”.

Religions tie us to god and and teach us to obey rules; religious people respect others, do not humiliate or cause trouble with others, including those from different races and religions.

Therefore, atheism is not recognised in Malaysia as it is against the first principle of Rukun Negara as well as the Article 11 of our Federal Constitution.

The second principle of the Rukun Negara is “Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara” or “Loyalty to the King and Country”.

This is very important because the royal institution is the key to the stability of our country.

Article 32 of The Federal Constitution says that the King or the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is the Supreme Head of the Federation, so loyalty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong also means loyalty to the country.

How could a person says that he or she is loyal to a country if he or she is not loyal to the Supreme Head of the country?

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Article 153, is the caretaker of the rights of the people of all races in Malaysia as agreed in the Social Contract or agreement made by our great forefathers in giving the citizenship to the non-citizen migrants before our Merdeka Day.

Article 153 (1) states that:

It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.

Article 153 protects the rights of all races of Malaysians; so the Article unites the citizens of Malaysia as it ties us to our rights and at the same time we respect the rights of others.

Questioning the Article 153 is against the national unity because it is also questioning the citizenship given to the Chinese and the Indians; and that must not happen because all of us have our own rights as agreed by our forefathers.

A person is worthless if he or she demands his or her rights as a citizen but is not loyal to his or her country.

The third principle of the Rukun Negara is “Keluhuran Perlembagaan” or “Upholding the Constitution”.

Article 4 of the Federal Constitution states that the Federal Constitution is the “Supreme law of the Federation”, therefore it must be upheld by each and every citizen of Malaysia.

Article 4(1) states that:

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.

Apart from being the supreme law, the Federal Constitution is also an agreement between us as the citizen and our nation; and upholding the Constitutions means that we must put the national interests and the loyalty to the Federation above others including our ‘states sentiments’. 

Honest people will uphold their promises at all time, so good citizens must uphold the Federal Constitution at all time; and respect all the Articles that had been agreed upon by our forefathers.

The fourth principle is “Kedaulatan Undang-Undang” or “Rule of Law”.

“Kedaulatan Undang-Undang” means that every citizen must respect the law, is subjected to the law and that our country must be governed by law.

If a person, even if he is a party leader, was found guilty by the Federal Court which is the highest court of our country, he must respect the rule of law and not asking foreign powers to interfere with the law of our country; for all citizens must not only uphold the rule of law but must protect the sovereignty of our country. 

The last principle of the Rukun Negara is “Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan” or “Good Behaviour and Morality”.

“Kesopanan dan kesusilaan” is the key to a harmonious society that is the core factor in ensuring the stability of a nation. 

It is impossible to live harmoniously in a country where each and every citizen exercises personal total freedom, either freedom of speech or freedom of expression without thinking of others because we will be end up hurting each other for our needs and interests are different.

Living in society, we cannot be individualistic and selfish but we need to also respect the rights of others in consistent to the Federal Constitution and the rule of law of the nation.

In fact, the Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia states the limits of one’s freedom of speech and expression.

Therefore, liberalism is against our Rukun Negara and our Federal Constitution because the liberalists want to be free from rules either rules of religion or rules of the country; and interpret all matters only the way they wish, according to their own personal interests.

Rukun Negara as the foundation of the agreement in forming the Federal Constitution must be understood and upheld by all Malaysian citizens.

* I want to thank Aunty Sham for helping me to understand the Rukun Negara that helps me to write this assignment given by my mother.