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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G25, Another Voice Of Liberal Muslims?

21 08 2015

The Malaysia Insider reported that a “group of retired Malay civil servants of G25 against religious extremism plans to seek an audience with the Malay rulers to petition for a committee that will review the application of Islam in Malaysian law.”
G25 wrote an open letter dated December 7, 2014 (please click here for the open letter) among others expressed that they are disturbed and deeply dismayed “over the continuing unresolved disputes on the position and application of Islamic laws in this country” and stated that “the teachings of our faith must continue to evolve” to be relevant.
They wrote that:

“The on-going debate over these matters display a lack of clarity and understanding on the place of Islam within our constitutional democracy.”

Actually, there should not be any question about the place of Islam within our constitution because it is clearly stated in Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia that Islam is the religion of the Federation and the oath pledged by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as in accordance to Article 37(1) is made in the name of Allah, “Wallahi Wabillahi Watallahi” and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong pledges to uphold Islam at all time.

Article 3(1) said that:

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

Article 37(1) stated that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong needs to take his oath before exercising his functions:

“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.”

The oath pledged by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong:

“Wallahi: Wabillahi: Watallahi,

Maka dengan lafaz ini berikrarlah Kami dengan sesungguhnya dan dengan sebenarnya mengaku akan taat setia pada menjalankan dengan adilnya pemerintahan bagi Malaysia dengan mengikut sebagaimana undang-undang dan Perlembagaan yang telah disahkan dan dimasyurkan dan akan disah dan dimasyurkan 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 permintaan yang adil dan aman di dalam Negeri.”

G25 also wrote:

“We refer specifically to the current situation where religious bodies seem to be asserting authority beyond their jurisdiction; where issuance of various fatwa violate the Federal Constitution and breach the democratic and consultative process of shura; where the rise of supremacist NGOs accusing dissenting voices of being anti-Islam, anti-monarchy and anti-Malay has made attempts at rational discussion and conflict resolution difficult; and most importantly, where the use of the Sedition Act hangs as a constant threat to silence anyone with a contrary opinion. These developments undermine Malaysia’s commitment to democratic principles and rule of law, breed intlerance and bigotry, and have heightened anxieties over national peace and stability.”

Contrary to the accusation made by G25, the religious bodies are not “asserting authority beyond their jurisdiction, but they are doing their job to uphold Islam as the religion of the Federation as stated under Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution.

“…the rise of supremacist NGOs accusing dissenting voices of being anti-Islam, anti-monarchy and anti-Malay has made attempts at rational discussion and conflict resolution difficult…” – G25

From the above statement I guess the NGOs that G25 called supremacist are the Malay and Islamic NGOs who are fighting to uphold Islam which is the religion of the Federation as written in Article 3(1) and protecting the rights of the Malays as written in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
I just wonder why the Malays of G25 are so disturbed by people fighting for Islam and the rights of the Malays?
And why is G25 quiet when liberal NGOs like COMANGO questioned, humiliated and challenged Islam, the Malays rights and our Rulers?
Does G25 think that it is constitutional when people like Lim Kit Siang, Eric Paulsen and Tony Pua humiliate and slender Islam, the Friday Sermon and JAKIM?
What about some illegal coalition of NGOs such as BERSIH who went against the law by organising illegal street demonstrations, with the hope to topple a democratically elected government?
G25 also attacked Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom for doing his job as the minister in charge of the Islamic affairs:

“…we are particularly concerned with the statement issued by Minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, in response to the recent Court of Appeal judgement on the right of transgendered women to dress according to their identity.”

Calling the Sedition Act as a tool to silence the voices with a contrary opinion shows that one does not understand the Sedition Act.
According to Tan Sri Aziz Abdul Rahman, (please refer to this article) the Sedition Act or Akta Hasutan was written after the government identified four serious issues as one of the major causes of the serious 1969 racial riot:

  • Article 153 of the Federal Constitution: Special Rights For The Malays
  • Article 152 of the Federal Constitution: Malay As The National Language
  • Part III: of the Citizenship Rights                 
  • Article 181 of the Federal Constitution: Rights, Status, Sovereignty Of The Rulers

I just do not understand why G25 members want the four sensitive issues to be questioned when open debates on the four issues could actually “heightened anxieties over national peace and stability.”

The G25 further wrote:

“The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land and any law enacted, including Islamic laws, cannot violate the Constitution, in particular the provisions on fundamental liberties, federal-state division of powers and legislative procedures”

How could the Islamic laws violate the Federal Constitution when Islam is the religion of the Federation as stated in Article 3(1) of the the Federal Constitution?
In the ruling of the Court of Appeal’s three-member panel led by Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali on the Kalimah Allah case:

[31] It is my observation that the words “in peace and harmony” in Article 3(1) has a historical background and dimension, to the effect that those words are not without significance. The Article places the religion of Islam at par with the other basic structures of the Constitution, as it is the 3 rd in the order of precedence of the Articles that were within the confines of Part I of the Constitution. It is pertinent to note that the fundamental liberties Articles were grouped together subsequently under Part II of the Constitution.

And in the case of Ramah v Laton, it has been decided that the Islamic laws are the laws of the land, so it does not violate the Federal Constitution.

G25 then wrote:

“It is our fervent belief that for Islam to continue to be relevant and universal in our times, the understanding, codification and implementation of the teachings of our faith must continue to evolve.”

We have to follow the real teaching of Islam. We are the Muslims of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah from the Shafie school of thought or madhhab, so this is the guideline followed by our Islamic authorities.
The true teaching of Islam is always relevant, therefore it must never be evolved or liberalised by anybody.








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