Explosion in Rome Sparked Panic

An explosion that had damaged a car in a nearby car park had sparked panic among workers at the Poste Italiane office in the Aventino neighbourhood today.

So far, no injuries were reported.

The Independent reported that police believe the explosion was an “act of protest” but the target was unclear.

It is also reported that the homemade devices used flammable liquid and were placed between cars in a car park in Via Marmorata, which links the River Tiber with the Pyramid of Caius Cestius in central Rome.

Daily Express reported that, “A secondary bomb alert had been issued for the Piazza di Porta Capena – just streets away from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Headquarters – police and bomb disposal experts were deployed but have since been stood down and the incident deemed a false alarm”.

Human Rights in Relation to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia – Part 1

Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA) hosted an essay contest in 2015. I wanted to take part but I was not allowed because the age limit was from 18 years old and above. I was twelve at the time but I still wrote an essay on the topic given, and sent it to CENTHRA  as my submission for the contest even though I was told that I cannot take part because I was too young. I think young people like me must also be given the chance to voice out our opinions and not to be considered as immature. We also have our rights as granted by the Federal Constitution and the Convention of the Rights of the Child and we hope to be given the opportunity to be included in making the decision for the future of our country.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted as the result of the Second World War experience. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December, 1948 General Assembly resolution 217 A as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.

Generally when people talk about human rights, they will be referring to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) “common standard law of human rights” that was drafted by a group of people who subscribed to the ideology of liberalism.

The question is, is it fair to use the UDHR as the universal standard human rights law for all peoples from all nations in this world?

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993 states the human rights regulations must take into account, the religions, customs and cultural systems of the region. In other words, the human rights of the people must be subjected to the aspiration of the people; and not only subjected to the aspiration of the committee of the UNHRC and the drafters of the UDHR alone.

Part I, Para 5 of Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993:

All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis. 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.

In my opinion, human rights regulations must be subjected to the state laws of the Member State. Let us take Malaysia as an example. Malaysia is a country which has stated in its Federal Constitution (FC) that, “Islam is the religion of the Federation”, making Malaysia an Islamic country.

Article 3(1) of the FC:

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

Hence, any UNHRC human rights regulations that are against the law of Islam are against the FC which is the supreme law of Malaysia, as stated in Article 4 of the FC:

This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

Since the religion of Malaysia is placed under Article 3(1) of the FC, it shows the importance of Islam in the FC; hence the interpretation of other Articles of the FC must be harmonious with Islam; including the Articles about the human right of its people.

If we look at the UNHRC human rights conventions, we can see that some of the Articles of the conventions are against the FC. First, let us look at Article 18 of ICCPR:

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Thus, Article 18 of the ICCPR is inapplicable and unconstitutional in Malaysia because, while Article 11(1) of the FC guarantees freedom of religion; the rights to propagate is subjected to Article 11(4). In the Federal Court judgement of ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Another v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, The Right Honourable Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said:

“Thus, in the present case, we are of the view that Article 10 of the Federal Constitution must be read in particular with Articles 3(1), 11, 74(2) and 121. Article 3(1) declares Islam as the religion of the Federation. Article 11 guarantees every person’s right to profess and practise his religion and to propagate it. With regard to propagation, there is a limitation imposed by Article 11(4) which reads:-

“(4) State Law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.”

In the same judgement, Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif concluded that:

Federal Constitution allows the Legislature of a State to legislate and enact offences against the precepts of Islam. Taking the Federal Constitution as a whole, it is clear that it was the intention of the framers of our Constitution to allow Muslims in this country to be also governed by Islamic personal law.

Therefore, unlike the UNHRC liberal interpretation of freedom of religion, it is the right of the Muslims to be governed according to the Islamic law and to be protected against the secular and liberal ideology of the UNHRC common human rights regulations; apart from the freedom to manifest Islam in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Article 18 of the ICCPR also gives people the freedom to choose whether they want to believe or not to believe in god. It is very important to understand that according to the Rukun Negara or the National Principles, the “freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice” means ‘freedom of religion’ and not ‘freedom from religion’. The Rukun Negara clearly states that all citizens of Malaysia must believe in god in its first principal which is, ‘Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan’ or ‘Belief in God’. As opposed to the UNHRC’s ideas of human rights, atheism is not part of the rights guaranteed under the freedom of religion in Malaysia.

Apart from going against the Articles 3(1) and 11(4) of the FC; Article 18 of the ICCPR is also against the Articles 37, 38, 76 and 159(5) of the FC. That means it should be void even if it was signed by the federal government as pressured by the UNHRC.

According to Article 38 of the FC, the Parliament cannot make into law and implement Article 18 of ICCPR without the consent of the Conference of Rulers because it touches the matters of religious acts and observances.

Article 38(2)(b) of FC:

The Conference of Rulers shall exercise its functions of— (b) agreeing or disagreeing to the extension of any religious acts, observances or ceremonies to the Federation as a whole;

Article 38(2)(c) of FC:

consenting or withholding consent to any law and making or giving advice on any appointment which under this Constitution requires the consent of the Conference or is to be made by or after consultation with the Conference;

Also, Article 18 of ICCPR cannot be implemented and made into law without the concern of the Government of the State, as in accordance to Article 76 of the FC.

Article 76(1)(a) of FC:

Parliament may make laws with respect to any matter enumerated in the State List, but only as follows, that is to say – for the purpose of implementing any treaty, agreement or convention between the Federation and any other country, or any decision of an international organization of which the Federation is a member.

Article 76(2) ) of FC:

No law shall be made in pursuance of paragraph (a) of Clause (1) with respect to any matters of Islamic law or the custom of the Malays or to any matters of native law or custom in the States of Sabah and Sarawak and no Bill for a law under that paragraph shall be introduced into either House of Parliament until the Government of any State concerned has been consulted.

To be continued in Part II…

Lawmakers Must First Understand the Law

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.

Related articles:

Video: Flying Chairs In Rawang Storm Havoc

Yesterday at about 2 p.m. as we drove to a program in Melaka from Serdang, we were caught in a very heavy rain along the highway. 

The rain was especially heavy as we passed along the highway around the Universiti Putra Malaysia towards the Country Heights in Kajang.

And this morning, I saw the video below of a very terrible storm which hit the Rawang Golf Club.

Fortunately, we did not face such obstacle and there was no fallen trees along the Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan as we drove back from Melaka last night.

%d bloggers like this: