Malaysia Is Not, And Has Never Been, A Secular State

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said that MALAYSIA has never been declared a secular nation and the Federal Constitution made no mention of the word ‘secular’.

He was replying to John Fernandez, Seremban’s Member of Parliament from the DAP party (DAP-Seremban), who wanted to know if Malaysia was a secular state based on a Supreme Court decision in 1988.

Nazri said the position of Islam as a federal religion was also noted in several provisions under the Con­stitution, which include the development and propagation of Islam amongst Muslims and that civil courts had no jurisdiction over the powers of Syariah courts.

“There is also the oath taken by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Sche­dule Four to preserve Islam at all times,” he added.

Based on Article 162 of the Constitution, Nazri noted the 1988 Supreme Court’s decision in Che Omar did not declare the country as a secular nation although secular laws were used.

He also noted the words used in context of Article 162 referred to laws that were passed prior to Independence and were stated as ‘existing laws’ rather than ‘secular laws’.

This is not the first time the issue had been brought up. The members of the opposition parties had always claimed Malaysia to be a secular nation despite that in the Article 3 (1) it had been clearly stated that Islam is the Religion of the Federation.

Since the definition of secularism itself is the ‘indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations’, it is impossible to say that Malaysia is a secular country when it has already been stated in the Constitution that ‘Islam is the religion of the Federation’. Thus this is contrary to popular belief that Islam is simply the ‘official religion’ of Malaysia which it is only subject to ritual and ceremonies.

Uncle Haji Mahamad Naser Disa of the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council legal bureau and Uncle Azril Mohd Amin of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia had numerous times spoken to clarify this matter (see: Hijrah Minda: Agenda Transformasi Islam by Uncle Naser Disa). Uncle Zainul Rijal, president of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia had recently written an article on the place of Islam in the Constitution which was published in The Malaysian Bar and Utusan Malaysia.

He wrote that according to the experts of the Constitutional Law of Malaysia, there are seven main factors which formed the backbone of the Federal Constitution, the first one being Islam as the religion of the federation, and that each of them cannot be eroded from the Constitution. In fact, all of these seven factors should to be defended by all parties, be it a leader or even the ‘rakyat’ themselves. (read more here: Kedudukan Islam)

Despite this fact, the Democratic Action Party wrote in its manifesto (on the DAP Website: Vision & Mision): “DAP remains unswerving in its commitment that Malaysia shall remain as a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation.” One may question why the leaders of the opposition parties insist on claiming Malaysia is a secular nation. The way I see it, this is their dirty tactics and ploys in order to achieve their goals; to dethrone Islam of its place in the federation and to declare Malaysia as a secular country like Singapore (see Sang Saka Malaya Controversy)

Thus saying, as long as the current Constitution stands without being change, Malaysia shall remain standing as an Islamic nation whether or not it agrees DAP, PAS or PKR.


A Weak Earthquake Hits Kudat, Sabah

A weak earthquake with a magnitude of 2.9 on the Richter scale occurred near Kudat, Sabah at 8:46p.m. yesterday, 21st October 2012. The press statement released by the Malaysian Meteorological Department says that the epicenter of the Earthquake is located at latitude 6.7° North and longitude 116.8° East, 22km South of Kudat and tremors were felt in areas of Kudat.

Click here for the press statement released by the Malaysian Meteorological Department

The last time Malaysia was hit by an earthquake was on the Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 12:44:14 AM, also in Sabah at latitude 4.78 North and longitude 118.32 East, about 75 km Northeast of Tawau with a magnitude of 4.6 on the Richter scale according to US Geological Survery.

A Visit To A Real TV Studio!

From left: Me, Anisah, Ahmad Ali, Aunty Farah and Aeshah

When my father was invited to the TV Al-Hijrah studio for another appearance on a segment of their morning show, ‘Assalamualaikum’, he asked if any of us would like to come with him. Not surprisingly, Ahmad Ali (and I suppose my sister Aeshah too, although she would not show it) went head over heels with excitement and anticipation.

Ahmad Ali and Aeshah Adlina at the main entrance

Arriving at their headquarters, you could see the excitement written all over the face of the young ones. Ahmad Ali gazed around with a childish wonderment and glee, with his grin stretched from ear to ear. He even had the rare opportunity to take a photo inside the studio before the program was aired!

Inside the recording studio

We were in the ‘meeting room’ while waiting for our father’s turn and it was there where we first met Aunty Farah Adeeba and Abang Amin Idris, the hosts for the day’s show. Aunty Farah was very charming and amiable and since I’ve often teased Ali that Abang Amin is the ‘future Ahmad Ali’ by their similar expressive body language, it amused me to note that he even ‘posed’ like Ahmad Ali!

Ahmad Ali and Abang Amin Idris

Ahmad Ali posing in front of a FedEx Shipsite

This reminds me of the time when I myself had felt the same thrill as I walked into Karangkraf’s headquarters for a photo session. I was featured as the cover-girl on the distinguished children’s magazine, Dewan Pelajar December 2006 issue. I can still remember the disappointment that I felt as I walked into the Karangkraf office. I was expecting a large and ‘exciting’ studio like the ones I’ve been watching on ‘Kidsongs’, quite forgetting that I was going to a photography studio and not a television studio!

Cover of the December, 2006 issue of the Dewan Pelajar magazine

It is funny to think that when I actually walked into a real TV studio, I have lost that excitement that I used to have before. It would be really fun if I could be at the studio when I was younger… like my little brother, Ahmad Ali.