On January 19, 2016, The Malay Mail Online published an article by Clive Kessler, “Enough of this nonsense! Malaysia was created as a secular nation”.
Stating that ,” Malaya and then Malaysia was created as a secular nation”, Clive Kessler who is an Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of New South Wales maliciously called Uncle Azril Mohd Amin as a “creative legal innovators and myth-maker” when it is him (Clive Kessler) himself who has maliciously distorted the facts about the Federal Constitution of Malaysia in his article.
I sent the article to Uncle Azril and he sent me Uncle Aidil Khalid’s statement:
It was with interest, if also great bemusement, that I read the article entitled “Enough of this nonsense! Malaysia was created as a secular nation” by Professor Clive Kessler and published on January 19, 2016 in The Malay Mail Online. Without citing any binding or persuasive legal authorities whatsoever, the professor had had the audacity to dismiss those affirming the constitutional position of Islam as the religion of the Federation (and thus rejecting the alleged secular notion of our nation), like Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar of the Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association and Azril Mohd Amin of the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy, as mere “creative legal innovators and myth makers.”In 2014, I wrote an article, also published in The Malay Mail Online, entitled “Wither the Myth of a Secular Nation”, wherein I argued that the secular notion of our nation is actually a myth not supported by any legal or constitutional basis. I shall reconstruct my arguments therein, albeit trancated, as a response to Professor Kessler herein, but for a more complete and holistic perspective, it is advisable to read my full arguments there.When one reads the provisions of the Federal Constitution, it is important that the provisions be read as it is, and not to disingenuouosly add words that are not there just to satisfy a certain ideology that one believes in. In Dato’ Menteri Othman bin Baginda & Anor v Dato’ Ombi Syed Alwi bin Syed Idrus  1 MLJ 29, the Late Royal Highness Raja Azlan Shah (as HRH then was) cautioned that “[r]espect must be paid to the language which has been used and to the traditions and usages which have given meaning to that language.”In this regard, a plain reading of the language used in Article 3(1) says that “Islam is the religion of the Federation.” So to suggest, as Professor Kessler did, that Islam is merely the “official emblamatic religion” of Malaysia, when neither the word ‘official’ nor ‘emblamatic’ ever appeared in the provision, is nothing short of constitutional fraud, not to mention intellectual dishonesty. It makes a world of a difference here, between the former and the latter.