The Constitutionally Illiterate Tawfik Tun Dr Ismail

7 06 2017

In a FMT’s article, “Did Zahid call Malaysia an Islamic state?” Tawfik attacks the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for calling Malaysia an Islamic state; because according to Tawfik, Malaysia is a secular country with Islam only as its official religion. 

That makes me wonder if Tawfik Ismail, who Free Malaysia Today (FMT) referred as “a prominent opponent of theocratic governance”, has ever read the Federal Constitution or understands the definition of the word secular.

A member of a liberal group called G25, Tawfik had made uncalled statements before such as urging JAKIM to be abolished.

Below are my answers (in blue) to Tawfik’s statements (in red) as published by FMT.


PETALING JAYA: A prominent opponent of theocratic governance, Tawfik Ismail, has questioned whether Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was calling the country an Islamic state during a recent breaking of fast gathering in Alor Setar.

He said Zahid would be wrong if it was true that he rejected the notion that Malaysia was a secular state.

Contrary to Tawfik’s accusation, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is right by calling the country an Islamic state and rejected the notion that Malaysia is or was a secular state. It is Tawfik who is constitutionally illiterate for rejecting the notion that Malaysia is an Islamic state and instead, claiming that our country is a secular state.

He was referring to a Bernama report that quoted the deputy prime minister as saying that those who claimed this country was secular should first have a look at the Federal Constitution. He said the constitution placed Islam as the official religion and referred to the country as a Muslim country.

I wonder if Bernama made a mistake in reporting when it wrote that the Deputy Prime Minister says, “the Constitution placed Islam as the official religion” because Berita Harian quoted Zahid saying that the Constitution states that Islam is the religion of the Federation. The Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia says:

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

Please note that the Constitutions says “Islam is the religion of the Federation and not ‘the official religion’. Adding the word “official” is a slender to the federal Constitution as it distorts the notion of the Article 3(1).

“It would be more accurate to call the country a Muslim-majority country. That would be factual,” Tawfik told FMT.

It is factual that Malaysia is an Islamic country, and also a Muslim-majority country. 

“The constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers, the sultans’ role as heads of religion in their respective states, the notion of equality under the law, the right of everyone to stand for public office regardless of race or religion all guarantee that Malaysia is a secular country.”

Tawfik’s problem is, he does not understand the definition of a secularism which means the separation of religion and state. His above statement does not define a secular country. 

Tawfik, who is a former Umno member and one-term MP of Sungai Benut, said Islam’s position as the country’s official religion gave little support to the argument that the country wasn’t secular.

Tawfik must first read the Federal Constitution before making any statement regarding the Federal Constitution. The Federal Constitution, in Article 3(1) enshrines Islam as the religion of the Federation and not as the official religion of our nation. 

“I think it means the sovereign or king is Muslim and therefore Islam is considered the official religion, just like the Queen in England is head of the church.

Tawfik must first study the Federal Constitution before talking about constitutional issues.

“You could say ours is a hybrid system because we have many races practising many religions allowed under the constitution. Just because the majority of Malaysians are Malays and Malays are defined under the constitution as Muslims, making Islam the dominant religion, it doesn’t dominate other faiths.”

In the High Court decision of the case, Meor Atiqulrahman bin Ishak & Ors v Fatimah Sihi & Ors[2000]  1 MLJ 393, the then Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah had clearly clarified that the Federal Constitution has provided that other religions have no equal standing as Islam:

In my opinion, “Islam is the religion of the Federation but other religions may be practied in peace and harmony” means that Islam is the main religion among other religions that are practied in the country such as Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and others. Islam is not equal to any other religion, not sitting together or stand upright. It sits on top, he walked past, located in the field and his voice heard. Islam is like teak trees – tall, strong and skilled. If not so Islam is not the religion of the Federation but is one among several religions practised in the country and everyone is equally free to practice any religion he professes, no more one than the other. Provisions ‘Islam is the religion of the Federation’ shall be defined and reviewed with the objective to read other provisions of the Constitution, especially Article 89, 152, 153 and 14.

Bebas spokesperson Azrul Khalib also spoke on the matter, agreeing that the constitution did not put Islam in a position to dominate other religions.

Since when does a Bebas or any NGO leader is given the rights to redefine and reinterpret the supreme law of our country? It is a mind-blowing to see FMT using just a mere opinion of an NGO leader who is not even a constitutional expert to define the Federal Constitution.

“It’s important to realise that nowhere does the constitution ever intend for the country to be an Islamic state,” he told FMT.

The Malay rulers as the stakeholders of the Federation have never intent for the country to become a secular state. In fact the word secular or anything related to secularism is not even mentioned in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

In the conclusion of the judgement of ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Another v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, where The Right Honourable Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said 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”.

And to further prove that Malaysia was meant to be an Islamic state and not a secular state, the Federal Constitution has Articles such as Article 11(4), Article 12(2), Article 37, Article 121(1A), and more.

“At the end of the day, it needs to be emphasised that the position of Islam as the official religion of the federation should not be a reference or a tool to bludgeon people of other religions into submitting to Islam.”

Islam is the religion of the Federation. Only constitutionally illiterate people think that Islam is the official religion of the federation; so there is no such thing as “using the position of Islam as the official religion of the federation should not be a reference or a tool to bludgeon people of other religions into submitting to Islam.”

He said that as much as it was important to look at the constitution to see that the country was a secular state, people should also look at court rulings affirming this.

The Federal Constitution has never said that Malaysia is a secular country. In fact, it is the government’s constitutional duty to protect the sanctity of Islam which is in itself denies that Malaysia is a secular country. This 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.”

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 a secular state, the government has no constitutional duty to protect the sanctity of a particular religion.

“The supremacy of secular law in Malaysia was upheld in 1988 in the Supreme Court case of Che Omar bin Che Soh vs Public Prosecutor in which the Supreme Court rejected the argument that the death penalty for drug trafficking was unconstitutional for offending the principles of Islam,” he said.

“The court said Article 3 of the Federal Constitution recognises Islam as the religion of the federation but it does not allude to Malaysia being an Islamic state, confirming that the country is secular.

This is another lame argument used by people who are trying to spin the fact that Malaysia is an Islamic state. In the judgement of the case Che Omar bin Che Soh v. Public Prosecutor, Tun Salleh Abas has never said that Malaysia is a secular state; alas he only said that Malaysia still uses the secular laws.

Today, there are other new judgments of more important cases that clearly state that Malaysia is an Islamic state such as Meor Atiqulrahman bin Ishak & Ors v Fatimah Sihi & Ors[2000]  1 MLJ 393, Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Kerajaan Malaysia & Menteri Dalam Negeri,  ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Another v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor and others.

“We need to remember the second part of Article 3, which reads ‘Islam is the religion of the federation, but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the federation.’ Therefore, Article 3 should not be used to impose dominance on non-Muslims or insist on religious superiority.”

The words “in peace and harmony” have been interpreted by the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Apandi Ali during the judgement of the Court of Appeal case of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Menteri Dalam Negeri & Kerajaan Malaysia. His words were:

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.

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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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Grow Up, MCA!

31 03 2017

“Malaysia is a secular country” – that is a very popular myth concocted and supported by people who are obviously constitutionally illiterate and clueless about the interpretation of the Federal Constitution of our country.

MCA Legal Affairs Bureau Chairman Datuk Tay Puay Chuan’s press statement  which was published on the MCA website yesterday (March 30, 2017) with the title, “Federal Constitution remains the supreme law of the nation” is part of the series of false and baseless accusations by certain groups to undermined the core principals of our country.

Tay Puay Chuan who clearly does not (or pretended not to) understand the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, as well as the definition of secularism, made several false accusations regarding the position of Islam in Malaysia, using the recycled baseless arguments which had been answered by many people for years.

I’ve written so many articles on this currently “hot issue” trying to open the minds of these people but then, it seems that some people just prefer to live in denial.

Below is the press statement (orange) together with my answers (blue) to all his twisted facts and wild accusations regarding Islam as the religion of the Federation.


I would like to stress again that the status of Islam as the religion of the federation, the roots of the Islamic law nationwide are granted by the Federal Constitution. This ascertains that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of Malaysia

It is true that the Federal Constitution of Malaysia is the supreme law of the Federation as mentioned in Article 4 of the Federal Constitution, but Islam as the religion of the Federation is placed in the Article 3(1) which is in a higher order of precedence of the Articles. Therefore it gives Islam a higher position than the supreme law itself, meaning the supreme law of the land must be subjected to Islam as the religion of the Federation. This was mentioned by the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Apandi Ali in the Court of Appeal judgement of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Kementrian Dalam Negeri & Kerajaan Malaysia, also known as the Kalimah Allah case.

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

This is in response to the booklet by Institute Kajian Strategik Islam Malaysia (IKSIM) on the ’10 Salah Tanggapan Tentang Kedudukan Islam di Malaysia (10 Misconceptions about the Position of Islam in Malaysia)’, in which it included topics that either directly wrote or implied that ‘Malaysia is not a secular country;’ ‘rejecting claims that Islam is lower than the Constitution;’ ‘As an Islamic  nation, Islamic system is the thrust;’ as well as ‘other religions have no equal standing; and ‘the nation does  not carry the responsibility to safeguard and defend other religions.’

Malaysian leaders of all religions must be constitutionally literate and uphold the Federal Constitution including Article 3(1) that enshrines Islam as the religion of the Federation making Malaysia an Islamic nation. All the Articles in the Federal Constitution must be read together and people cannot just cherry-pick what they like and interpret the Articles according to their fancy to serve their agendas. In the High Court decision of the case, Meor Atiqulrahman bin Ishak & Ors v Fatimah Sihi & Ors[2000]  1 MLJ 393, the then Justice Mohd Noor Abdullah had clearly clarified that other religions have no equal standing as Islam: 

In my opinion, “Islam is the religion of the Federation but other religions may be practied in peace and harmony” means that Islam is the main religion among other religions that are practied in the country such as Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and others. Islam is not equal to any other religion, not sitting together or stand upright. It sits on top, he walked past, located in the field and his voice heard. Islam is like teak trees – tall, strong and skilled. If not so Islam is not the religion of the Federation but is one among several religions practised in the country and everyone is equally free to practice any religion he professes, no more one than the other. Provisions ‘Islam is the religion of the Federation’ shall be defined and reviewed with the objective to read other provisions of the Constitution, especially Article 89, 152, 153 and 14.

Even though people of other religions can practise their religions (as long as they are in peace and harmony with Islam), there is no provision in the Federal Constitution to protect other religions except Islam, for example, the Article 11(4).

IKSIM must be alerted that the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution also explains that Islamic law is for persons professing the religion of Islam on matters related to succession, marriage, divorce, etc.

I have read the booklet and in the booklet, IKSIM has never said that the Islamic law has the jurisdiction over people professing other religions other than Islam.

The Federal Constitution is THE supreme law of the nation, and the supremacy of the Constitution renders Islam as the religion of the federation whilst other religions are allowed to be practised freely.

That is not only a false but also a malicious statement. The Constitution has never stated that “other religions can be practised freely” in any of its Articles or Schedules. Article 11(1) says that, Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it” while Article 3(1) clearly says, “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”. So, there is no phrase such as “other religions can be practised freely” in both Articles. Maybe Tay came across the word “bebas” in the Perjanjian Kerjasama Pakatan Harapan – PPBM and was confused by it.

As for the phrase, “in peace and harmony”, it was clearly interpreted by the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Apandi Ali in the Court of Appeal case of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v Kementerian Dalam Negeri & Kerajaan Malaysia.

Such publication will surely have an adverse effect upon the sanctity as envisaged under Article 3(1) and the right for other religions to be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation. 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.

Malaysia is a secular country. In fact, the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, Supreme Court judgement enables the implementation of secular laws in the country, which includes both criminal and civil laws. These laws apply to the entire country, irrespective of race and religion. Similarly, the Federal Constitution also provides that Islamic law may only be used on persons professing the religion of Islam. Therefore, Islamic law is not for everyone. Only secular laws may be applied to everyone. Hence, this is one of the proofs which shows that Malaysia is a secular country.

Contrary to what was argued by Tay, the fact that Malaysia has two court systems, the civil court systems and the Syariah Court systems proves that Malaysia is not a secular country.

By the way, does Tay understand the meaning of the word secularism? George Jacob Holyoake, the creator of the term secularism defined secularism as separating government and religion. Therefore, as said in many of my previous posts, it is impossible for Malaysia to be defined as a secular country when Islam is stated as the religion of the Federation. It also contradicts with other Articles of the Constitution such as the Articles 11(4), 12, 37, 76A, 121(1A) and others.

As I wrote in my article for the news portal Menara, in a secular country, the State does not have a religion and cannot has anything to do in relation to religion, for example in the case of Mount Soledad Easter Cross in San Diego, California.

Hence, by calling Malaysia a secular country, Tay slanders and challenges both the Federal Constitution and the definition of secularism.

Syariah law which is currently applied across all states, is the provision of rights granted to all state governments on the law as outlined in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution. It is stated with a condition that the criminal penalties and jurisdictions of the Syariah Court cannot contravene the Federal Constitution, or it will be considered void and unconstitutional.

The jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts does not contravene the Federal Constitution because it was conferred by the Federal Constitution in Item 1 of the Second List in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution also states that: Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.

This again shows that other religions are also protected by the Federal Constitution. Hence the claims made in the booklet that the country has no obligation to defend nor protect other religions are incorrect. Instead, our nation and the government have the responsibility of defending all religions in line with the Articles and spirit of the Federal Constitution.

What a mind blowing senseless argument! It shows that either Tay is truly constitutionally illiterate or he, in bad faith is trying to deny and debase the position of Islam in our Federal Constitution because his argument is against the core principals of the supreme law of the land. In the Court of Appeal judgement of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Kementrian Dalam Negeri & Kerajaan Malaysia, Tan Sri Apandi Ali said that the purpose of “in peace and harmony” were added to Article 3(1) is to protect the sanctity of Islam, and not to defend other religions as claimed by Tay.

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.

Therefore, Tay must be constitutionally illiterate if he really thinks that the Federal Constitution conferred Malaysia as a secular country, all religions have equal standing and the nation carries the responsibility to safeguard and defend other religions other than Islam.

It is a known fact that during the 13th General Election, MCA won it seats mostly because of the Malay voters, so this kind of attitude is not a gracious way to thank the voters who had graciously voted for the party candidates regardless of their race and religion. MCA must grow up and stop imitating DAP in debasing Islam and the Malays in trying to win the Chinese votes because it won’t work.  

We are now constitutionally literate and therefore the people are not stupid to easily be fooled by concocted lies. Is it too much for me to hope for leaders to understand and uphold the core principals of my country as clearly stated in the Federal Constitution and stop misinterpreting the supreme law of the land for their political and personal agendas?

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Constitutionally Illiterate!

23 03 2017

“We cannot accept Shariah law, for Malaysia already has a supreme law, which is the Federal Constitution. Article 4 of the Constitution declares it simply: ‘This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation’,” Baru said as reported by Borneo Post Online with the tittle, “Baru concurs with Abg Jo on concerns over proposed amendment to Act 355”.

Constitutionally illiterate! This senseless statement makes me wonder if the PKR leader knows what he is trying to say. In fighting against a law that has nothing to do with him as a non-Muslim, the PKR man said, “Hadi Awang and Umno may say this is Syariah and not hudud, but as far as I understand it, hudud is part of the Syariah and the proponents had said this bill was to pave way for hudud punishments in Kelantan. This attempt at RUU355 is but a political contest between Umno and PAS to champion the implementation of Syariah Law in Malaysia.”

Yes, Article 4 of the Constitution declares that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation, therefore the Shariah Court system is constitutional because Article 121(1A) confers the Syariah Courts systems as part of the Malaysian legal systems. Federal Constitution as the Supreme law of the land must not be misinterpreted and must be read as a whole.

In the judgement of the Federal Court case, Loh Kooi Choon v The Government of Malaysia [1977] 2 MLJ 187, the then Federal Court Judge, DYMM Almarhum Sultan Azlan Shah stated that, “Constitution as the supreme law, unchangeable by ordinary means, is distinct from ordinary law and as such cannot be inconsistent with itself”. Hence, it is wrong for Baru Bian to cherry-pick what he likes or bypassing other Articles in order to make his own interpretation to suit his argument and agendas.

If Baru Bian respects the Article 4, he must respect the fact that the Article 3(1) that says, “Islam is the religion of the Federation” for it is placed before the Article 4, hence stating the importance of Article 3. In the Court of Appeal’s judgement of the case, Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v. Menteri Dalam Negeri and Kerajaan Malaysia, the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali explained that , “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”. So by denying the acceptance of the Shariah laws, Baru Bian is literally against the Article 3(1) and therefore he is also against Supreme Law of the Federation.

If Baru Bian reads the Federal Constitution, he’ll understand that as the supreme law of the land, the Constitution defines the principles of our country, the sovereignty of Islam as the religion of the country, the sovereignty of the Rulers, the rights of the people, judicial system and other important laws but the Federal Constitution does not describe punishments and offences. It is the judiciary that interprets and applies the law in the name of our country through Act, Ordinance, Enactment and others. And there is no unconstitutional elements in the proposed amendment of the Act 355 because the Act 355 is an existing law, the proposed amendment is only to increase the Syariah punishments which are currently too low and not to introduce new sets of laws or seeks to widen the scope of its current jurisdiction.

Furthermore has Baru Bian forgotten or unaware of Article 11(3)(a) which says every religious group has the right to manage its own religious affairs? After all, why must the non-Muslims try so hard to deny the constitutional rights of the Muslims to manage our own religious affairs as granted by Article 11(3) of our Federal Constitution?

This is not a Hudud Bill and it is impossible for the amendment of Act 355 to enable the implementation of Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code II (1993) Enactment 2015 because it is not within the power of the Syariah Courts to implement capital punishment nor the jurisdiction over offences punishable under the Penal Code.

So, please stop debasing the Federal Constitution and as a leader, please at least learn to respect and uphold our supreme law.

 

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Act 355: Another Baseless and Illogical Arguement from G25

22 03 2017

Named as a “group of prominent Muslims” by DAP, G25 is a group of people who are so clueless about the teaching of Islam that their arguments and ideas regarding Islam are so mind-blowing and out of context, making them good friends of DAP’s Penang Institute. Sharing DAP’s stance regarding the amendment of Act 355, G25’s arguments on this matter are as baseless and illogical as those given by DAP. Below are my answers (in blue) to G25’s article in red:


To all honourable Members of Parliament,
We, G25, anxiously appeal for a promise from each Honourable Member of Parliament to not support/cancel the debate on PAS’ private motion to amend Act 355, or Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, which will now be debated in Parliament.
We hope the honourable MPs would ponder upon and note that any amendment to Islamic laws should be done within the framework of the Federal Constitution.
There is no law saying that Act 355 or any other Acts related to the Islamic Laws cannot be amended. The Hadi Private Bill to amend the Act 355 is being done within the framework of the Federal Constitution and  I’m sure that the members of G25 are aware that this is not the first time the Act 355 is amended. 

Specifically, Article 4 provides for the superiority of the federal law and civil courts over state Islamic enactments and shariah courts. This ensures the existence of only one system of justice governing all Malaysians.
A misleading fabricated statement. Syariah Courts is part of Malaysian legal systems as confers by Article 121(1A). There is no such thing as,“This ensures the existence of only one system of justice governing all Malaysians”.
1)
  Article 4 states that the Federal Constitution is the Supreme law and Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution says:

The courts referred to in Clause (1) shall have no  jurisdiction in respect of any matter within the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts. 

2) In the judgement of the case, ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Anor v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, the Federal court ruled in a unanimous decision that the section 16 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) is valid and not ultra vires the Federal Constitution, Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said:

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.

Limitations on the powers of the shariah courts:
Item 1 in the Ninth Schedule of the State List of the Federal Constitution states that the shariah courts “shall not have jurisdiction in respect of offences except in so far as conferred by federal law”. The purpose of this provision is for Parliament to have oversight and control over offences, including the nature of punishments created by state enactments, so that the state legislatures do not have a free hand to create offences or to prescribe sentences.
1) Act 355 is a Federal Law and not a State Law. The Act confers jurisdiction upon Courts constituted under any State law for the purpose of dealing with offences under Islamic law.
2) “Item 1 in the Ninth Schedule of the State List of the Federal Constitution” does not exist. What we have is, Item 1 of the State List in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution and it proves that the Syariah Court system is legal and constitutional.

Increasing status of the syariah courts complicates enforcement:
The desire to raise the status of the shariah courts to be on a par with the civil courts is worrying and very likely will shock our multiracial community as it will raise questions on the direction of the country’s legal system.
Is G25 unaware of the existence of Article 121(1A)?  In 1988, the then Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed tabled the Constitution (Amendment) 1988 Bill in Parliament to add Clause (1A) to the Article 121 which raised the status of the Syariah Courts. That happened 29 years ago and it had not “shock our multiracial community”. G25 must stop debasing the Syariah Courts.

A secular system of justice existing side by side with the Islamic system is not only unconstitutional but will cause considerable confusion and uncertainty in the enforcement of law and order.
Is G25 saying that Articles 74(2) and 121(1A) is unconstitutional and Item 1 of the State List in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution does not excise?

A big risk with investors:
Economists and international experts who have studied Malaysia’s remarkable economic development over a relatively short period to become one of the most advanced economies in the developing world, have always cited its system of law and administration as a key factor in attracting foreign and local investors to do business here. It is a system which foreigners are familiar with because it is similar to what they find in their own countries. Their presence is most important for the transfer of knowledge and technology so that Malaysians can benefit by developing our own skills to compete in the world market. Our country will be taking a big risk with foreign and local investors if we have a system of law which is moving away from its original character to become more religiously oriented and less tolerant of modern lifestyles and values.
Act 355 is not a new law  and it will not change our current “system of law”. I wonder if:
1) To G25, is “modern lifestyles and values” means lifestyles and values which are against the teaching of Islam?
2) In what way does the amendment of Act 355 can be bad for our economy in regarding to “attracting foreign and local investors to do business here”?
3) G25 really thinks that a “religiously oriented” Muslim society is bad for the economy?

A step towards hudud:
Supporters of the PAS bill to amend Act 355 insist that there is no intention to introduce hudud. Malaysians find this hard to believe as Kelantan, which is ruled by PAS, has already passed the Syariah Criminal Code II (1993) Enactment 2015, prescribing hudud punishment for zina (illicit sex), murder, theft, robbery, sodomy, consumption of liquor and apostasy.
The amendment of Act 355 cannot enable the implementation of the current Syariah Criminal Code II (1993) Enactment 2015. The amendment is only to enable the Syariah Court to increase its punishments limits, but its jurisdiction will still be limited to the crimes listed under the Item 1 of the Second List in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, which does not include murder, robbery and theft as in hudud. 

But State law is currently prevented from being enforced because of Act 355.
Another false fact. Act 355 confers the jurisdiction upon States’ Syariah Courts therefore it does not prevent the enforcement of State laws.

Prioritising good governance in public institutions
A well-governed country with laws and governing institutions that provide social justice for the poor and the needy should be a priority for the country’s social and economic progression. This would be more Islamic than the implementation of hudud. We should be proud that our shariah index is higher than other Muslim countries because our children are better educated; health and medical facilities are available in all corners of the country; unemployment and poverty rates are low; and our youth can look forward to a brighter future. Higher priority should be given towards improving the standards of governance and to strengthen the institutions of law and order so as to promote integrity and clean administration in the country. These governing qualities are far more important to the country than policing the moral behaviour of Muslims and punishing them like criminals. The personal sins of Muslims do not hurt others in the society or the economy but the corruption and financial mismanagement among politicians and civil servants and the perception that the institutions of justice favour those in power — these are the social diseases that can cause economies to collapse and the people to rise up against their rulers. The government and MPs should be careful not to support the PAS bill and instead spend their energy in dealing with the unresolved problems surrounding 1MDB so that the country can turn its attention to deal with the bigger issues facing the economy, in particular the weak ringgit and the rising cost of living.
We do not need the PAS bill to divide the nation at a time when all races should stand together. The time now is for the real 1Malaysia.
Contrary to what was claimed by G25, the amendment of Act 355 will not only lead to good governance but it will help to build a better society and reduce social problems among the Muslims. Talking about economy, the increase of punishments for drinking and gambling can hinder Muslims from wasting their money on those negative activities, hence will improve the economy of their families. And faithful Muslims will not be involved in “corruption and financial mismanagement”, hence will prevent “the social diseases that can cause economies to collapse and the people to rise up against their rulers”. 





Does Teresa Kok Understand English?

13 03 2017

On March 11, 2017, the DAP Seputeh MP said on her Facebook page that, “This case tells us that Syariah laws will affect non-Muslims in the end…..” with a photo of a man being caned in Aceh.

I wonder if Teresa Kok read the News Asiaone report before making her posting because  News Asiaon reported that the two men chose to be punished under the Syariah laws instead of Indonesian national legal system.

If Teresa Kok understands English, she’ll know that the Buddhists themselves chose to be caned instead of jailed.

Maybe Teresa Kok is trying to relate the news to the amendment of Act 355 in order to scare the non-Muslims that in the end, it will affect them as well.

If so, it is another dirty tactic to spew hatred towards the Muslims who are fighting for the Act 355 to be amended because:

  1. The amendment of Act 355 will not broaden the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court beyond its current limit but it will only increase its punishment limits to the Muslims who are under the jurisdiction of the court.
  2. To allow the Syariah laws to be applied to the non-Muslims, the Federal Constitution must be amended where the Item 1 List II Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia must first be amended.
  3. We do not subscribe to the laws of Indonesia. That happened in Aceh, Indonesia where Syariah law is applied to everyone but we are living in Malaysia, where the Syariah law only applies to the Muslims.
  4. The two Buddhists chose to be punished under the Syariah law instead of the secular law; why must that bothers Teresa Kok?

It is easy for leaders like Teresa Kok to spread lies to her supporters because:

  1. They trust their leaders and are too blinded to see the truth.
  2. Like Teresa Kok, they only read the titles and do not bother to find out what really happens.
  3. They do not understand the Bahasa Melayu and English.
  4. They do not understand the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.




PKR Claims Anwar Introduced Article 121 (1A)

20 02 2017

In order to play safe and avoid losing Malay votes by saying “no” to PAS President’s Private Bill, PKR publishes a book named, “Strengthening Islamic Jurisprudence in Malaysia”, where apart from recycling irrelevant and out of context questions that were answered a long time ago, the party issued a very confusing statement regarding the Bill in order not to directly says that the party is against the Bill.

Please read:

  1. “Jawapan Kepada Kenyataan Mengelirukan Khalid Samad Tentang Pindaan Akta 355”
  2. “Akta 355: Poster Dangkal SIS Forum Tentang Akta 355
  3. Another Seditious Article by MMO’s Boo Su-Lyn

Worst, PKR tries to take the credit for the Federal Government’s effort in 1988 to upgrade the Syariah Courts by claiming that the move was “upon the initiatives of Almarhum Tan Sri Prof. Ahmad Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim”.

Written on page 20 of the book:

At the Federal level, upon the initiatives of the late Tan Sri Prof. Ahmad Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Article 121 (1A) was introduced to the Federal Constitution. The introduction upgraded the legal position of the Syariah Courts without infringing the civil on the court rights of non-Muslims. It must be stress that this initiative was discussed by the Islamic Consultation Body, the Islamic Centre (now JAKIM), and the Cabinet.

~Strengthening Islamic Jurisprudence in Malaysia

It is a known fact that Almarhum Tan Sri Professor Ahmad Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmad is the person who initiated the move but since I have not come across on Anwar’s specific role in fighting for the Article 121 1(A) together with Almarhum Professor Ahmad Ibrahim, I spoke to several senior lawyers and Constitution experts to clarify the claim made by PKR in the said book.

Contrary to what was claimed in the PKR book, the answers from the senior lawyers are that Anwar Ibrahim has nothing to do with the move to add the Article 121 (1A) to our Federal Constitution, neither in coming out with the idea nor the fight in pursuing the matter until it was accepted by the Federal Government.

I was told by the lawyers that it was the initiative of Almarhum Tan Sri Professor Ahmad Mohamed Ibrahim with the help from the then Chief Justice Tun Hamid Omar and the then Attorney General that made it possible to bring the matter to Parliament and that it has nothing to do either with Anwar Ibrahim or PKR.

Furthermore, after studying the Parliament Hansard, I found out that on March 17, 1988, it was not Anwar Ibrahim who tabled the Constitution (Amendment) 1988 Bill regarding Article 121 (1A) in the Parliament but it was the then Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed who tabled the Bill.

Below is a part of the Parliament Hansard on the Constitution (Amendment) 1988 Bill:

Penyampai : DATO’ SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
Tajuk : MEMBENTANGKAN RANG UNDANG-UNDANG PERLEMBAGAAN (PINDAAN) 1988
Lokasi : DEWAN RAKYAT, KUALA LUMPUR
Tarikh : 17-03-1988

Tuan Yang di-Pertua,
Saya mohon mencadangkan iaitu Rang Undang-Undang bernama suatu Akta untuk meminda Perlembagaan Persekutuan dibacakan kali yang kedua sekarang….

…23. Perkara 118A menyatakan bahawa sesuatu aduan tentang tidak adanya dibuat pemilihan ke Dewan Rakyat hendaklah dianggap sebagai petisyen pilihanraya, dan Mahkamah Tinggi boleh membuat perintah untuk memaksa supaya pemilihan dibuat. Perkara itu juga menyatakan bahawa kegagalan membuat pemilihan dalam tempoh yang dinyatakan oleh Perkara 54 dan 55 tidak boleh dijadikan alasan untuk mengisytiharkan bahawa seseorang ahli itu telah tidak dipilih sewajarnya. Fasal 7 Rang Undang-Undang ini mencadangkan supaya Perkara 118A itu dipinda supaya ianya terpakai juga bagi pemilihan ke Dewan Undangan Negeri. PERKARA 121 ___________

24. Perkara 121 meletakhak kuasa kehakiman Persekutuan pada Mahkamah Tinggi dan mahkamah-mahkamah rendah. Ia juga meletakhak bidangkuasa tertentu pada Mahkamah Agung.

25. Fasal 8 Rang Undang-Undang ini mencadangkan supaya Perkara 121 dipinda dengan menghapuskan peruntukan tentang meletakhak kuasa-kuasa kehakiman pada mahkamah-mahkamah dan dengan memasukkan ke dalam Fasal (1) Perkara itu peruntukan yang menyatakan bahawa Mahkamah Tinggi dan mahkamah-mahkamah rendah hendaklah mempunyai bidangkuasa dan kuasa-kuasa sebagaimana yang diberi oleh atau di bawah undang-undang persekutuan. Dengan ini, Perkara itu tidak lagi akan memberi penekanan pada meletakhak kuasa kehakiman persekutuan pada mahkamah-mahkamah tetapi akan hanya memperkatakan tentang jenis-jenis mahkamah dan bidangkuasa serta kuasa-kuasanya.

~Office of the Prime Minister

Therefore, I have a few questions for PKR :

  1. What is the important role played by Anwar Ibrahim to justify his big role in Article 121 (1A) as claimed by PKR that, “At the Federal level, upon the initiatives of the late Tan Sri Prof. Ahmad Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Article 121 (1A) was introduced to the Federal Constitution”?
  2. Since the Clause (1A) was added to the Article 121 in 1988, on what basis can PKR take the credit by using Anwar’s name when;
    ——–i. PKR was then not yet existed.
    ——–ii. And Anwar Ibrahim who was then a leader of UMNO acted in the capacity
    ———–of an UMNO leader and in accordance with the principals of UMNO and by
    ———–the consent of  UMNO leadership?
  3. Are these concocted fictional claims are parts of PKR’s values and interpretation of the phrase “justice, humanity and based on the Islamic values of “rahmatan lil ‘alamin” (a mercy unto the world)” that was said in the book as what PKR is “committed in the struggle for”?

>>>Click here to read Strengthening Islamic Jurisprudence in Malaysia<<<

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