The Minister in the Prime Minister Department (Law and Parliamentary Affairs), YB Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz made that statement at the parliament yesterday.
He said that Malaysia has never been declared a secular nation despite having secular laws.
“Under the Federal Constitution, there is no mention of the word secular in it,” he said when replying a question raised John Fernandez (DAP-Seremban) at the parliament on Monday.
Referring to Article 3 (1) of the Federal Constitution, Nazri also said that the position of Islam as a federal religion was also noted in several provisions under the Constitution which included the development and spread of Islam amongst the Muslim community and that civil courts have no jurisdiction over the powers of the Syariah courts.
“There is also the oath taken by the 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’.