Lawmakers Must First Understand the Law

5 05 2017

The failure to apprehend the supreme law of the land will lead to disloyalty to the Rulers and the country. And this is a problem that we are facing with some of our Members of Parliament and other political leaders; who not only fail to understand, but do not even want to make the attempt to learn and uphold the law; which brings us to all kinds of conflicting and out of context statements that should not have came from the people who proudly call themselves the lawmakers. Worst, there are even some of them who purposely misinterpret our supreme law for their own political agendas.

The simplest example is how they fail to respect and uphold the main fundamental principal of our country which is clearly written in the Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution. The words are crystal clear but some Members of Parliament and political leaders especially from DAP, PKR, and PAN are still denying the truth, and arrogantly insist that Malaysia is a secular country and Islam is merely the official religion; which in reality is a baseless and a malicious distortion of truth!

Members of Parliaments irrespective of their political ideologies are the lawmakers of the country; hence they must be responsible, constitutionally literate and must not in anyway try to debase the ideology of our country. Alas, instead of upholding the supreme law, some of these leaders are busy degrading and undermining the religion of the Federation. In other words, they are using their positions to corrupt the core foundation of our country and corrupt the minds of their supporters into believing in something that is not true.

It is unconstitutional for the lawmakers to deny the constitutional obligation of the government to protect and defend the sanctity of Islam and the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation. Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution says that:

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

And to understand the interpretation of “other religions may be practised in peace and harmony”, we have read the Court of Appeal judgment of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Kerajaan Malaysia & Menteri Dalam Negeri where the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Apandi Ali stated that:

It is my judgment that the purpose and intention of the insertion of the words: “in peace and harmony” in Article 3(1) is to protect the sanctity of Islam as the religion of the country and also to insulate against any threat faced or any possible and probable threat to the religion of Islam.

Unfortunately the phrase, “other religions may be practised in peace and harmony” is commonly used as the proof to debase the position of Islam as merely the official religion despite the fact that what was ever written is only, “Islam is the religion of the Federation” and not “the official religion”; and there is no Articles in the Federal Constitution that ever mentioned or implied that Islam is merely “the official religion” of the country.

It is the constitutional duty of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong as the supreme head of our country to “at all time protect the Religion of Islam”, as said in the Article 37(1) or commonly referred to as the oath of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong which was written in Part I of the Fourth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

Article 37(1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia:

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall before exercising his functions take and subscribe before the Conference of Rulers and in the presence of the Chief Justice of the Federal Court (or in his absence the next senior judge of the Federal Court available) the oath of office set out in Part I of the Fourth Schedule; and the oath shall be attested by two persons appointed for the purpose by the Conference of Rulers.

Part I of the Fourth Schedule of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia:

OATH OF YANG DI-PERTUAN AGONG
Kami ……………………………………. ibni ……………………………………………………. Yang di-Pertuan Agong bagi Malaysia bersumpah dengan melafazkan:
Wallahi; Wabillahi; Watallahi;
maka dengan lafaz ini berikrarlah Kami dengan sesungguh dan dengan sebenarnya mengaku akan taat setia pada menjalankan dengan adilnya pemerintahan bagi Malaysia dengan mengikut sebagaimana undang-undang dan Perlembagaan yang telah disah dan dimasyhurkan dan yang akan disah dan dimasyhurkan di masa hadapan ini. Dan lagi Kami berikrar mengaku dengan sesungguh dan dengan sebenarnya memeliharakan pada setiap masa Agama Islam dan berdiri tetap di atas pemerintahan yang adil dan aman di dalam Negeri.

English translation taken from Part III of the Fourth Schedule of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia:

We …………………………………………. ibni ………………………………………………… Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia do hereby swear:
Wallahi; Wabillahi; Watallahi;
and by virtue of that oath do solemnly and truly declare that We shall justly and faithfully perform (carry out) our duties in the administration of Malaysia in accordance with its laws and Constitution which have been promulgated or which may be promulgated from time to time in the future. Further We do solemnly and truly declare that We shall at all time protect the Religion of Islam and uphold the rules of law and order in the Country.

Since the oath is the oath of office of the supreme head of the country, by law it is not only the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong who is bound by the majesty’s oath to protect the Religion of Islam, but also the Prime Minister, the ministers, the lawmakers and the government servants; for they are tasked with the duty of administering the country on behalf of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

And the government’s constitutional duty to protect the sanctity of Islam is proven by the Court of Appeal judgement of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Kerajaan Malaysia & Menteri Dalam Negeri, when YA Dato’ Abdul Aziz Rahim said:

I would add however that the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation, to my mind imposes certain obligation on the power that be to promote and defend Islam as well to protect its sanctity. In one article written by Muhammad Imam, entitled Freedom of Religion under Federal Constitution of Malaysia – A Reappraisal [1994] 2 CLJ lvii (June) referred to by the learned counsel for the 8th appellant it was said that: “Article 3 is not a mere declaration. But it imposes positive obligation on the Federation to protect, defend, promote Islam and to give effect by appropriate state action, to the injunction of Islam and able to facilitate and encourage people to hold their life according to the Islamic injunction spiritual and daily life.”

And in the judgement of the Federal Court case of Fathul Bari Mat Jahya & Anor v. Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Sembilan & Ors, Tun Arifin Zakaria clarified that the integrity of Islam needs to be safeguarded at all cost.

The requirement of a tauliah for the purpose of protecting the public interest falls within the concept of Siyasah Syari’yah. Such order or direction is made not merely to prevent deviant teachings, but also to maintain order and prevent division in the community. Clearly, no one could suggest that the requirement of a tauliah as stipulated in s. 53 of the Enactment is a maksiat (vice). On the contrary, it is necessary in this day and age for the authority to regulate the teachings or preaching of the religion in order to control, if not eliminate, deviant teachings. The integrity of the religion needs to be safeguarded at all cost. That is what s. 53 purports to do. This being the case, the contention that the Syariah Court in Negeri Sembilan does not have the jurisdiction to try an offence under s. 53 of the Enactment is devoid of any merit. (paras 26 & 27)

Malaysia was formed as an Islamic country, and that the government is tasked to protect the religion of Islam, therefore, only those who are constitutionally illiterate and those who are blinded by their own illusions cannot see the truth, which unfortunately included our lawmakers; which is a very embarrassing situation! 

Hence, there is no legitimate reasons for the Members of Parliament, the lawmakers, the government servants and even the ministers to question the fact that Malaysia is an Islamic country. We cannot change the core foundation of our country that had united the people and give away what we have achieved just to chase the rainbows. We must not be blinded by the beautiful colours of the rainbow; and there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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