In the above article, The Star reported that in a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal lead by Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus ruled that punishing transgenders for cross-dressing contravenes freedom of expression.
I was really shocked to hear the news because the transgenders and two of the three judges are Muslims and Malaysia is an Islamic country.
As a Muslim, I am sad with the ruling:
Isn’t the freedom of expression for the Muslims must be in accordance with the rule of Islam? Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution says, “Islam is the religion of the Federation”; and since LGBT is against the teaching of Islam, it contravenes with Article 3(1). How could cross-dressing be part of freedom of expression for the Muslims when it is against their religion and also the religion of the of the Federation?
Muslims must understand that we must obey the rules of Islam and not total freedom in human rights that is against Islam. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action says, “All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated… 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.” So I think that freedom of expression must be in accordance with a person’s “national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds”.
Comparing this case to Meor Atiqulrahman and others vs Fatimah Sihiand others, is cross-dressing that important in someone’s life that they have the rights to do that even though it is against the law?In Meor Atiqulrahman and others vs Fatimah Sihiand others; Meor Atiqulrahman, his brother and cousin wore ‘serban’ in school. Serban is not a part of the school’s uniform and the rule is to wear uniform to school. Their headmistress told them to wear songkok instead, but they did not listen. The headmistress told their parents to send them to another school and did not let them come the school again.
When it was brought to the court, Meor Atiqulrahman was not allowed to wear serban to school because although ‘serban’ is related to Islam, it is not a main part of the practice of Islam. And wearing ‘serban’ broke the school’s law.
Like wearing serban to Meor Atuqulrahman’s school, wearing other gender’s clothing is also against the law. So how can wearing other gender’s clothing be right when it is against the law and the rights of other people living in the same community? Imagine if a man in woman’s clothing enters a woman’s toilet because he dresses as a woman. Isn’t that contravenes the freedom of other women in the toilet? And what will happen in ‘surau’ and mosques? This matter is very serious because if this happens, it will involve the ‘aurat’ of others.
Malaysian government does not sign the SOGI Rights (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity) and Malaysia does not legalise LGBTIQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Queer). SOGI Rights is a part of Liberalism and Liberalism is against the teaching of Islam.
DAP Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said that Malaysia is proven to be a secular state by referring to Che’ Omar bin Che’ Soh v Public Prosecutor.
As a lawyer he must understands thatChe’ Omar bin Che’ Soh v Public Prosecutoris no longer a good law because it was decided before the coming into effect of Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution.
Furthermore, inChe’ Omar bin Che’ Soh v Public Prosecutor, Tan Sri Salleh Abbas did not say that Malaysia is a secular nation but Tan Sri Salleh Abbas only said that secular laws were used.
By the way, does Gobind Singh Deo understand what is a Secular State?
Wikipedia wrote that:
“A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/nonreligion over other religions/nonreligion. Secular states do not have a state religion (established religion) or equivalent, although the absence of a state religion does not necessarily mean that a state is fully secular; however, a true secular state should steadfastly maintain national governance without influence from religious factions; i.e. Separation of church and state.”
Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution says that:
“Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”.
InMeor Atiqul Rahman v Fatimah Sihiand others, Judge Yang Arif Dato’ Mohd Noor Abdullah explained that:
“Islam ialah ugama bagi persekutuan tapi ugama-ugama lain boleh diamalkan dalam aman dan damai. Islam adalah ugama utama di antara ugama-ugama lain yang dianuti di negara seperti Kristian, Buddha, Hindu. Islam bukan setaraf dengan ugama lain. bukan duduk berganding bahu dengan agama lain atau berdiri sama sama tegak. Ia duduk di atas, berjalan dahulu, terletak di tempat medan, dan suaranya lantang kedengaran. Islam ibarat pokok jati. Tinggi, teguh, dan terang. Jika bukan sedemikian, Islam bukanlah ugama bagi persekutuan, tetapi adalah salah satu di antara beberapa ugama yang dianuti di wilayah ini, dan setiap orang sama-sama bebas mengamalkan mana-mana ugama yang dianuti. Tiada lebih di antara satu sama lain.”
And in the case of Lina Joy v Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan, the then Chief Justice, Yang Amat Arif Tun Ahmad Fairus said:
“Islam itu bukan sahaja suatu himpunan dogma-dogma dan ritual-ritual tetapi ianya juga suatu cara hidup yang lengkap merangkumi semua bidang aktiviti manusia, persendirian dan awam, perundangan, politik, ekonomi, sosial, budaya, moral atau kehakiman etc.”
With those statements, it proves that Malaysia is not a Secular State because Malaysia has a state religion, that is Islam; and “secular states do not have a state religion”; therefore Malaysia is not officially neutral in matters of religion (as what was said in the ruling of Meor Atiqul Rahman v Fatimah Sihiand others) and “nonreligion” is against the first Rukun Negara or National Principles of Malaysia which says, “Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan” or “Belief in God”.
How could a lawyer like MP Gobind Singh Deo forget Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara?
And the DAP MP could only remember a small part of the case of Che’ Omar bin Che’ Soh v Public Prosecutor but forgot about more important cases like Meor Atiqul Rahman v Fatimah Sihi and others and Lina Joy v Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan.
Mr. Gobind Singh Deo, please be a good and responsible Malaysian citizen and please stop spinning stories and please respect the Federal Constitution.
Not everybody in Malaysia can be fooled by oppositions fairy tales.