Tawfik Tun Dr Ismail Wants Jakim Abolished

9 11 2015

Today TMI publishes an article regarding their interview with former Deputy Prime Minister’s son, Tawfik Ismail who is another member of G25, about the religious authorities in Malaysia.

Tawfik who is Tun Dr. Ismail’s eldest son said that he wants the days when JAKIM did not exist and ‘no one batted an eye when Muslims owned dogs’.

It is so sad to see a son of a great and good man turning into a liberal who are against the religious authorities in Malaysia.

G25 ‘attacked’ the religious authorities in its open letter dated December 7, 2014.

I’ll try to answer Tawfik’s uncalled and rude statement; TMI’s article is in red and my answer is in blue.

There was a time in the country’s history when the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) did not exist, Putrajaya did not tell Malaysians how to practise their faith, and no one batted an eye when Muslims owned dogs.

And the former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman’s eldest son, Tawfik Ismail, wants those days back.

I am very sad if that is what Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman’s eldest son, Tawfik Ismail really wants. He is a Muslim but he does not want the Islamic authorities to uphold Islam; very odd. He seems to be confused about Islam and he needs help from JAKIM to go back to the right path of Islam.

The main step is to dissolve Jakim, Tawfik said during an interview in conjunction with the release of “Drifting into Politics”, a collection of his late father’s writings during the nation’s formative years, edited by Tawfik and academic Ooi Kee Beng.

Jakim was created during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time and seems to serve no other purpose than to intervene in the personal lives of Malaysians, Tawfik told The Malaysian Insider when met at his house in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

“I think Jakim should be abolished. I don’t think Jakim should exist. What is the government afraid of? You have 13 muftis with 13 different fatwas and 13 different ways of approaching it (religion).

Abolish JAKIM? Tawfik Ismail does not understand the function of JAKIM. Article 37 says that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong must take his oath to protect the religion of Islam before exercising his functions. JAKIM is one of the authorities appointed to carry the duty to protect Islam and uphold Islam on behalf of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. (Please click here for the oath.)

As an Islamic country, we have different Islamic authorities and each has its own duty. It will be impossible for the mufti do everything.

“What is the purpose of Jakim? Halal certificates? That can go to the health ministries, trade ministry. What else does Jakim do? Print the Quran? We have a communications minister,” said the softspoken, yet candid, 64-year-old former MP.

Do not belittle JAKIM for protecting and upholding Islam. Regarding the halal certificates, it is a very serious matter to the Muslims, not only in Malaysia but all over the world. In fact JAKIM’s halal certificates are recognised by Muslim bodies all over the world. The health or trade ministries cannot certify that something is halal because they are not Islamic experts.

Naysayers may argue that Jakim is needed to “protect” the sanctity of Islam, but Tawfik was quick to point out that the Agong, sultans, imams (Muslim scholars) and muftis already filled that void.

The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Sultans, imams and the muftis have their duties to protect the sanctity of Islam and so is JAKIM. JAKIM as the Federal Islamic authority, works under the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong while the muftis are under the State authorities, working under their respective Sultans.

“Jakim is an advisory body to the government, but constitutionally it really has no role. Islam is the province of the sultan of the state, it has nothing to do with the government.”

I do not agree with the above statement. Malaysia is an Islamic country, because Islam is the religion of the Federation as written in Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution. And constitutionally, JAKIM has a role to uphold Article 3(1) and carry the duty of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong as in Article 37(1) to protect Islam.

So which areas of Muslim life should the government intervene in? Tawfik flat-out said nothing at all.

“National integration in this country is the biggest challenge. How do you integrate the nation if you are going around this route of looking for faults among Muslims?” he asked.

But, Tawfik clarified that his views on dismantling Jakim were his own, and that G25, the group of retired Malay top civil servants of which he is a member, did not share them.

Please understand our Federal Constitution. In the judgment of ZI Publications v Government of Selangor, The Right Honourable Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Md Raus bin Sharif concluded that:

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. Thus, a Muslim in this country is therefore subjected to both the general laws enacted by Parliament and also the State laws enacted by the Legislature of a State.

G25 does, however, want Jakim to justify its existence as well as the hundreds of millions of ringgit it receives from the federal budget each year, which he said could have been funnelled to the Health or Education Ministry instead.

The Government allocated funds to all federal departments, including the Islamic authorities. The problem is, why is Tawfik against the Islamic department getting allocation from the federal budget? Is Islam not important to him? As a Muslim he must put Islam above everything else in his life.

“I think there’s a subversion of the constitution by religious authorities at the state level where they are actually testing the limits that they can go in intruding on a person’s personal life,” he added.

It’s to fix a person’s belief or akidah, not ‘intruding on a person’s personal life’.

Putrajaya had not always acted as the defender of the people’s faith, revealed Tawfik, who served as MP from 1986 to 1990.

He said that during the time of Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, only a small religious department existed in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Our Islamic authorities are doing their best to protect Islam and the akidah of the Muslims in Malaysia. As a Malaysian, he must be proud to see the small religious department grows into what it is now and hope it will be better in the future and not the other way around. 

There was no minister of religious affairs, and no national outcry over the fact that his father, Tun Dr Ismail, owned a dog.

“My dad had a Boxer, and, before that, an Alstatian,” recalled Tawfik.

He said all this changed after Dr Mahathir took over and his then deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, tried to infuse their definition of “Islamic values” into every aspect of Malaysian life.

People must not be proud of doing things against their religions. He is a liberalist but he cannot expect other Muslims to be liberal because it is against Islam. Spreading liberal teaching to the Muslims is against the Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

It is good to promote Islamic values into every aspect of Malaysian life. Islam is not only ritual but Islam is the way of life. And every Muslim must be subjected to the Islamic laws.

This was done to counter the growing influence of PAS, which had never been an issue during the early years of Independence, said Tawfik.

As a result, Malaysia today is now facing “Arabisation”, with society eschewing its Nusantara roots in favour of appropriating the culture of the Middle East, he said.

What does he mean by Arabisation? Is it the Muslim clothing and way of life? Then why didn’t he complain about Westernisation; where people wear miniskirts, coats, ties and others? If he wants to preserve our Nusantara roots, we should also put away the Western way of life. Is it alright for him when the “society eschewing its Nusantara roots in favour of appropriating the culture of the” West?

“We seem to be delighting in coming up with creative ways of ‘speaking’ Arabic in this country.”

Arabic is the language of the Qur’an. It’s very important to learn Arabic and it’s also good to learn other languages. I’m learning German. Why didn’t he complain about Malays learning Chinese, or Indian, or even European languages like German?

Tawfik said it was for this reason that Drifting Into Politics may not sit very well with Putrajaya.

“Certain things my father says here are quite interesting.

“For example, he said whenever Tunku had a meeting at his house with a group of people… occasionally one or two of them would go into the kitchen and have a drink of brandy and whisky, then come back and join in. He admits this.

Is he proud of that? First, brandy and whisky are against Islam. Secondly. even non-Muslims must not drink alcohol during meetings, because how can one focus with the effect of alcohol? I can’t imagine having a country led by people who drink brandy and whisky during important meetings.

“Yes, it’s an open secret, but it’s never been in writing by a leader,” chuckled Tawfik.

His father died in 1973 at the age of 57, after just three years of serving as deputy prime minister. November 4 was his 100th birth anniversary.

With such records in existence, no matter how it tried to Islamise Malaysia, Tawfik said, the government would never be able to rewrite history nor erase its roots. – November 9, 2015.

As a Muslim, even if that is true, he must not be proud of something haram. I pity his father who was a good man.

Tawfik should learn history. Malaysia came from Malaya, and before that, the Federated Malay States which was formed from nine different sovereign Islamic countries; the sovereign Malay States. He should attend one of Datin Paduka Datuk Professor Dr. Ramlah Adam’s talk, then he can understand more about our roots.

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Gobind Singh: Malaysia Is A Secular State – Another Fairy Tale?

18 06 2014

GSDThe opposition parties tried hard to prove that Malaysia is a Secular State just because they want Malaysia to be a Secular State .

(Please read: Is Malaysia A Secular State?)

DAP Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said that Malaysia is proven to be a secular state by referring to Che’ Omar bin Che’ Soh v Public Prosecutor.

As a lawyer he must understands that Che’ Omar bin Che’ Soh v Public Prosecutor is no longer a good law because it was decided before the coming into effect of Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution.

Furthermore, in Che’ Omar bin Che’ Soh v Public Prosecutor, Tan Sri Salleh Abbas did not say that Malaysia is a secular nation but Tan Sri Salleh Abbas only said that secular laws were used.

By the way, does Gobind Singh Deo understand what is a Secular State?

Wikipedia wrote that:

“A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/nonreligion over other religions/nonreligion. Secular states do not have a state religion (established religion) or equivalent, although the absence of a state religion does not necessarily mean that a state is fully secular; however, a true secular state should steadfastly maintain national governance without influence from religious factions; i.e. Separation of church and state.”

Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution says that:

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

In Meor Atiqul Rahman v Fatimah Sihi and others, Judge Yang Arif Dato’ Mohd Noor Abdullah explained that:

“Islam ialah ugama bagi persekutuan tapi ugama-ugama lain boleh diamalkan dalam aman dan damai. Islam adalah ugama utama di antara ugama-ugama lain yang dianuti di negara seperti Kristian, Buddha, Hindu. Islam bukan setaraf dengan ugama lain. bukan duduk berganding bahu dengan agama lain atau berdiri sama sama tegak. Ia duduk di atas, berjalan dahulu, terletak di tempat medan, dan suaranya lantang kedengaran. Islam ibarat pokok jati. Tinggi, teguh, dan terang. Jika bukan sedemikian, Islam bukanlah ugama bagi persekutuan, tetapi adalah salah satu di antara beberapa ugama yang dianuti di wilayah ini, dan setiap orang sama-sama bebas mengamalkan mana-mana ugama yang dianuti. Tiada lebih di antara satu sama lain.”

And in the case of Lina Joy v Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan, the then Chief Justice, Yang Amat Arif Tun Ahmad Fairus said:

“Islam itu bukan sahaja suatu himpunan dogma-dogma dan ritual-ritual tetapi ianya juga suatu cara hidup yang lengkap merangkumi semua bidang aktiviti manusia, persendirian dan awam, perundangan, politik, ekonomi, sosial, budaya, moral atau kehakiman etc.”

With those statements, it proves that Malaysia is not a Secular State because Malaysia has a state religion, that is Islam; and “secular states do not have a state religion”; therefore Malaysia is not officially neutral in matters of religion (as what was said in the ruling of Meor Atiqul Rahman v Fatimah Sihi and others) and “nonreligion” is against the first Rukun Negara or National Principles of Malaysia which says, “Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan” or “Belief in God”.

How could a lawyer like MP Gobind Singh Deo forget Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara?

And the DAP MP could only remember a small part of the case of Che’ Omar bin Che’ Soh v Public Prosecutor but forgot about more important cases like Meor Atiqul Rahman v Fatimah Sihi and others and Lina Joy v Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan.

Mr. Gobind Singh Deo, please be a good and responsible Malaysian citizen and please stop spinning stories and please respect the Federal Constitution.

Not everybody in Malaysia can be fooled by oppositions fairy tales. 

Related Posts:

DAP vs Tan Sri Khalid And His Aku Janji





PKNS Issue: An Example Of Good Governance?

19 01 2014

The opposition leaders especially PKR leader, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim always preach about good governance.

They and their supporters always justify their illegal actions such as ‘BLACKOUT 505’ illegal demonstration as heroic actions partly because they claim that the Malaysian government does not practise good governance.

And of course they proudly claim that they practise good governance in Selangor and Pulau Pinang even if only their supporters believe their words.

Good governance is too important for them that some of Pakatan’s Muslim supporters feel that good governance practice is more important than Article 3(1) and Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

I wonder what are the good governance practices that they are so proud of?

Good Governance à la PKR. The image looks so 'kalam kabut' as the PKR.

Good governance à la PKR. The image looks so messy as the situation in PKR.

What kind of good governance is this?

The PKR leaders are fighting openly with each other like small children fighting for toys.

May be they should take a break and listen to what Michael Jackson said in his song, ‘Man In The Mirror’:

“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change” – Michael Jackson (Man In The Mirror).

What about their integrity?

Well, may be integrity means nothing to them.








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