Menjawab Dr. Ariffin Omar: Apa salahnya kalau Penang hendak dijadikan Christian city?

22 06 2017

DAP’s senator, Dr. Ariffin Omar’s arrogant statement in the Dewan Negara on the 19th of April 2017 saying, “Apa salahnya kalau Penang hendak dijadikan Christian city” had enraged many Muslims.

It seems that the idea of turning Penang into a Christian city is alright to Arrifin, who is also the vice-chairman of DAP, as what he said in the Dewan Negara:

The DAP leader may think that with the power that DAP now has over Penang, DAP leaders can do anything, even interfering in the matters related to Islam.

Is this DAP’s good governance is all about?

The main issue here is, has the DAP man forgotten that in the Article 3(3) of the Federal Constitution, it is clearly written that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is the Head of the religion of Islam in Pulau Pinang?

The Constitution of the States of Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak shall each make provision for conferring on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the position of Head of the religion of Islam in that State.

The DAP man must understand that it is the constitutional duty of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to “at all time protect the Religion of Islam”, as stated in the oath of office of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, or the Article 37(1); the text is written in Part I and III of the Fourth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

And the Article 32(1) states that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is the Supreme Head of the Federation.

Although the state of Penang is now ruled by DAP, the Supreme Head of Penang is still the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and not a DAP leader; hence the power of the Penang state government is not above the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, especially in matters related to  the sovereignty of the state.

Having said that, Dr. Ariffin Omar’s arrogant statement is not merely rude but also offensive and might has the tendency to challenge and to deprive the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong from the sovereignty of Penang.

The Section 121B of the Penal Code says that anyone whoever compasses, imagines, invents or intends the deposition or deprivation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong from the sovereignty of Malaysia shall be punished with imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.

And the Section 121C(1) of the same Act says that whoever abets the commission of any of the offences punishable by section 121A or 121B shall be punished with the punishment provided for the said offences while the Section 121D(1) says that whoever knowing or having reason to believe that any offence punishable under section 121, 121A, 121B or 121C has been committed intentionally omits to give any information respecting that offence,which he is legally bound to give, shall be punished with imprisonmentfor a term which may extend to seven years or with fine or with both.

Dr. Ariffin’s offensive statement had enraged the Muslim, causing the feeling of enmity and hatred that can bring to the sate of disharmony or disunity on grounds of religion not only in Penang but also in the whole country.

The Section 298A(1) of the Penal Code states that whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs,or by visible representations, or by any act, activity or conduct, or by organizing, promoting or arranging, or assisting in organizing, promoting or arranging, any activity, or otherwise in any other
manner—
(a) causes, or attempts to cause, or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will; or
(b) prejudices, or attempts to prejudice, or is likely to prejudice, the maintenance of harmony or unity,
on grounds of religion, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years.

It is a fundamental rule for lawmakers to understand the Supreme law of the land.

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

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

The then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali in the Court of Appeal’s judgement of the case, Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Menteri Dalam Negeri and Kerajaan Malaysia interpreted in peace and harmony” as:

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.

In the same judgment, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali also states:

Any such disruption of the even tempo is contrary to the hope and desire of peaceful and harmonious co-existence of other religions other than Islam in this country.

Lawmakers must remember that Malaysia is governed by our rule of law and we are not a lawless country that practices absolute freedom.

Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali in the above ruling also stated:

The alleged infringement of the fundamental liberties of the respondent can be negated by trite law that any freedom is not absolute. Freedom cannot be unfettered, otherwise, like absolute power, it can lead to chaos and anarchy. Freedom of speech and expression under Article 10(1) are subjected to restrictions imposed by law under Article 10(2)(a). Freedom of religion, under Article 11(1), as explained above is subjected to Article 11(4) and is to be read with Article 3(1).

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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.





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.





Hudud Is Against Federal Constitution, Total Freedom Is Not?

31 03 2015

Insider 16The Malaysian Insider (TMI) reported that, “Bar Council constitutional law committee chairperson Firdaus Husni said the current framework of Malaysia’s Federal Constitution did not allow for hudud implementation, based on several articles.”

According to TMI, the articles are Articles 7, 8 and 3 of the Federal Constitution.

It puzzles me when Firdaus Husni said that, “hudud could also be challenged using Article 3, which stated that Islam was the religion of the federation”; when hudud is a part of Islam and not against the religion of the Federation.

Article 3(1) says:

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

She went on saying:

“Instead, the 1993 Supreme Court case held it to mean that Islam in the context of Article 3 only relates to rituals and ceremonies,” –  The Malaysian Insider. 

I guess she was referring to the case of Che Omar Che Soh v Public Prosecutor (1988) 2 MLJ 55; an old case which is no longer a good law; in fact the case was decided before the coming into effect of Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution.

To define Islam in Article 3(1), she should refer to later and more important cases to like the cases of Meor Atiqul Rahman v Fatimah Sihi and others [2000] 5 MLJ 375 and Lina Joy v Majlis agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan & 1 Lagi [2007] 4
MLJ 585.

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 in Malaysia.

Articles 3(1), 11(4), 12(2), 37(1) and 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution proves that Malaysia is an Islamic country, in fact, that the word ‘secular’ has never been written in the Federal Constitution.

After giving all her arguments of why Hudud is against the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, I have a question for the Bar Council; has the Bar Council forgotten about Articles 3(1), 10(4), 11(4), 181 and others when it fights for the LBGT rights, the freedom for the Muslims to change their religion or to become atheists and to abolish of the Sedition Act?

Indeed as lawyers they surely understand that in order for the Sedition Act to be removed, it needs the consent of nine Sultans because the Sedition Act is related to Article 10 (4); but they do not respect and sort of question the rights of the Sultan which is against the Article 181 of the Federal Constitution.

The Bar Council also supports COMANGO that are fighting for lots of things that are against the Federal Constitution in Geneva.

To simplify what I am trying to say, I think those Bar Council lawyers do not mind to change the Federal Constitution in order to achieve what they want.

So what is the logic of the Bar Council’s arguments saying that Hudud is against the Federal Constitution, when they are also fighting for things which are against the Federal Constitution?

If we compare Hudud to the rights to leave Islam, I think Hudud as the Islamic laws is more relevant in Malaysia since Islam is the religion of the Federation.

As a Muslim, Bar Council lawyer, Firdaus Husni must fight for Islam and not against Islam.








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