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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Surat Balas Tun M Tidak Menjawab Persoalan

13 01 2017

Yesterday evening I was stunned when my father showed me a letter that was address to me from former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, in replying to my blog article, Perjanjian DAP, PKR, PAN, PPBM Untuk Meminda Perkara 3(1)?

The letter was sent by the Office of Datuk Badariah Arshad, Director of Operations, Perdana Leadership Foundation (Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana) to my father via e-mail, to be forwarded to me.

I want to thank Tun M for writing to me, I am very honoured to receive a letter from a former Prime Minister and to know that someone as important as him reading my blog article.

Below is Tun M’s letter that was addressed to me.

tun-m-letter

 

In my article, I commented that the opposition parties’ agreement, Perjanjian Kerjasama Pakatan Harapan – PPBM that was signed by DAP, PKR, PAN and PPBM, had misquoted the Article 3(1) by adding the word ‘bebas‘. Please click here for my article.

In explaining about the added word, Tun M wrote:

It is true that the word “bebas” is not in the sentence referring to Islam as the official religion of the Federation.
But the word “bebas” is not meant for Islam the official religions but for “other religions” (agama-agama lain). We know that the followers of other religions can freely change their religions. This is necessary as many have converted to Islam and to Christianity.

From what I understand, Tun M explains that the word, “bebas” in the agreement refers to the freedom to convert to other religion where Tun M further wrote that, “But the word “bebas” was not meant for Islam, but for the followers of “other religions” (agama-agama lain). We know that the followers of other religions can freely change their religions. This is necessary as many have converted to Islam and to Christianity”.

I am sad to say that not only Tun M’s explanation does not answer my question, but it also makes the matter more confusing because the fact that the Article 3(1) is the Article that explains about Islam as the religion of the Federation and it’s position over other religions in Malaysia and not about the rights to convert to other religions.

Let us take a look of what is stated in the Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution:

Islam ialah agama bagi Persekutuan ; tetapi agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai di mana-mana Bahagian Persekutuan.

or

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

I do not mean to be rude but it seems like Tun M is confused about what is written in the Article 3(1) and therefore Tun M’s explanation about the reason for adding the word “bebas” is totally out of context, because adding the word “bebas” to the Article 3(1) means that the followers of other religions are given the freedom do anything they wish in the name of practising their religions even though if it disrupts the peace and harmony of the community.

Hence, I questioned the opposition parties’ intention of the adding the word “bebas” to the Article 3(1) because the added word “bebas” distorts the interpretation of the Article 3(1) and undermines the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation.

I have to stress that the Article 3(1) that places the religion of Islam at par with the other basic structures of the Constitution and that is grouped under Part 1 of the Constitution, must not be confused with the Article regarding the “freedom of religion” which is the Article 11 that is grouped under Part II of the Constitution.

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 wrote that:

[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 I also wrote that as the supreme law of the Federation, each word in the Articles of the Federal Constitution was chosen for a very specific reason, therefore adding just a word can change the interpretation of the Article and can disrupt other related Articles.

Another important matter that I have to highlight is, it is incorrect to say that Islam is the official religion of the Federation as written by Tun M in his letter because Islam is not merely the official religion, but it is the religion of the Federation as what was said by Tun M himself during his years as the Prime Minister, that Malaysia is a “Negara Islam” .

I made the video below to help people understand that Islam is actually the religion of the Federation because a lot of us are still confused about this important fact.

It seems like Tun M’s principals has changed, for, during Tun M’s reign, in order to maintain peace and harmony among the people in Malaysia, Tun did not give the freedom to the people; but now as a leader of an opposition party, Tun M went against his own principle and is fighting for total freedom.





Lagi Usaha Parti Pembangkang Menipu Umat Islam

5 01 2017

After posting my article, “Perjanjian DAP, PKR, PAN, PPBM Untuk Meminda Perkara 3(1)“, I received two comments from two law experts regarding another important part of the agreement that I had overseen.

Both, Uncle Dato’ Naser Disa, the CEO of IKSIM and Dr. Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia, highlighted that in the agreement, it was written, “… dan agama-agama lain … ” whereas in the original text of the Federal Constitution, the Article 3(1) says ” … tetapi agama-agama lain …”; meaning in their agreement, the opposition parties had not only add the word “bebas” but also changed the word “tetapi” (but) to the word “dan” (and). 

These are not small matters, important agreements are written by lawyers and lawyers are very specific in choosing each word for such agreements, to make sure that it covers specifically the important matters that were asked by their clients.

And we as the citizens must know and protect our rights as provided by our Federal Constitution and do not let others fool us with sweet promises of protecting our rights but at the same time cheat us behind our back.

Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution:

Islam ialah agama bagi Persekutuan ; tetapi agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai di mana-mana Bahagian Persekutuan.

or

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

As in the case of adding the word, “bebas to the Article 3(1), replacing the word tetapi” with the word “dan” to the same Article seems to reaffirm their intention to rewrite the Article 3(1) and to undermine Islam.

The word “tetapi” in the Article 3(1) signifies the supreme position of Islam as the religion of the Federation as compared to other religions in Malaysia.

So, by replacing the word “tetapi” with the word “dan” in the context of the Article 3(1), the opposition leaders who signed the agreement has distort the interpretation of the Article 3(1) by positioning other religions at the same level as Islam, which is a distortion of the truth; not only to the Article 3(1) but also to our Federal Constitution.

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 has clearly clarified this matter:

Pada pendapat saya “Islam ialah ugama bagi Persekutuan tetapi ugama-ugama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai” bermakna Islam adalah ugama utama di antara ugama-ugama lain yang dianuti di negara ini seperti Kristian, Buddha, Hindu dan selainnya. Islam bukan setaraf dengan ugama lain, bukan duduk berganding bahu atau berdiri sama tegak. Ia duduk di atas, ia berjalan dahulu, terletak di tempat medan dan suaranya lantang kedengaran. Islam ibarat pokok jati – tinggi, teguh dan terampil. Jika bukan sedemikian Islam bukanlah ugama bagi Persekutuan tetapi adalah salah satu di antara beberapa ugama yang dianuti di negara ini dan setiap orang sama-sama bebas mengamalkan manamana ugama yang dianutinya, tiada lebih satu dari yang lain. Peruntukan ‘Islam ialah ugama bagi Persekutuan’ hendaklah ditakrif dan ditinjau tujuannya dengan membaca bersama peruntukan lain dalam Perlembagaan khususnya Perkara 89, 152, 153 dan 14.

Hence, the intention of the phrase, “but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation” in the Article 3(1) is to specify that even though Islam is the religion of the Federation, people of other religions are allowed to practise their religions but their actions must be in peace and harmony with the people of other religions, especially Islam which is the religion of the Federation; and not to give them the freedom to do anything they wish.

In other words, even though Islam is the religion of the Federation, Malaysia does not discriminate people of other religions, they are allowed to the practise their religions as long as they obey the laws and not to do things that have “the potential to disrupt the even tempo of the life of the Malaysian community”.

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 states:

[42] It is my judgment that, based on the facts and circumstances of the case, the usage of the word “Allah” particularly in the Malay version of the Herald, is without doubt, do have the potential to disrupt the even tempo of the life of the Malaysian community. 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.

In fact, by doing what some people may think as small changes, the oppositions are not only giving a totally different meaning to the Article 3(1) but they are also interfering with other important Articles in the Federal Constitution such as Article 10(2), 11(4), 153 and others; as the Articles of the Federal Consitution cannot stand alone or cannot be read singularly, but must be read as a whole because each Article are ‘connected’ with other Articles.

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:

Constitution as the supreme law, unchangeable by ordinary means, is distinct from ordinary law and as such cannot be inconsistent with itself.

So when they replace the word “tetapi” with the word “dan”, they are positioning other religions at par with Islam which is against the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and by adding the word “bebas” to the same Article, they are giving the freedom to people of other religions to do whatever they want in the name of practising their religions even though it can cause disorder in the community.

As stated by the then Federal Court Judge, Tan Sri Apandi Ali in the judgement of the case, Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v Menteri Dalam Negeri and Kerajaan Malaysia, the “Freedom of other Religions” which is Article 11 is subjected to Islam since Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution is “within the confines of Part I of the Constitution” while Article 11 is under the Part 2 of the Constitution.

[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.

Just one word can make a very big different, and in this case, not only it distorts the interpretation of Article 3(1) and interfere with other Articles of the Federal Constitution but discriminate and take away the rights of the Muslims as provided by the Federal Constitution.

Since in the “Perjanjian Kerjasama Pakatan Harapan – PPBM”, the leaders of DAP, PKR, PAN and PPBM on behalf of their parties agree to uphold the Federal Constitution, “Islam sebagai agama bagi Persekutuan dan agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan bebas, aman dan damai di negara ini sejajar dengan Perkara 3”, the people must understand that DAP, PKR, PAN and PPBM only vow to uphold their edited version of the Article 3(1) and not the one that is written in our Federal Constitution.

This action by them is consistent with their stance that Malaysia is a secular country whereas Malaysia is not and has never been a secular country.

Related Article:





Perjanjian DAP, PKR, PAN, PPBM Untuk Meminda Perkara 3(1)?

2 01 2017

Four Malaysian opposition political parties, DAP, PKR, PAN and PPBM had signed an agreement on the 13th of December 2016.

In the agreement which is named, Perjanjian Kerjasama Pakatan Harapan – PPBM, the four parties agreed on several main issues including to uphold the Federal Constitution.

15439895_1820054294933619_5239681811501991150_n

{For the full document, please >>>click here<<<}

I read the agreement and since I am familiar with the Article 3 of the Federal Constitution, the below sentence below caught my eye:

15419650_1820054354933613_2455664813730344125_o

Screenshot taken from the agreement

The above sentence says, “To fight in accordance with the provisions and spirit of the Constitution 1957/63 especially to uphold the Federal Constitution”, but then it went on saying, “… dan agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan bebas, aman dan damai di di negara ini sejajar dengan Perkara 3 …”

Well, let us take a look of what is stated in the Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution:

“Islam ialah agama bagi Persekutuan ; tetapi agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai di mana-mana Bahagian Persekutuan.”

Now, where did the word, “bebas” comes from and more importantly, why did they add the word “bebas” to the Article 3(1)?

Are the opposition parties trying to rewrite the Article 3(1) in order to undermine Islam as the religion of the Federation?

As the supreme law of the Federation, each word in the Articles of the Federal Constitution was chosen for a very specific reason.

The Article 3(1) states that, “… other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony” or “agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai“; there is no such word as ‘bebas‘ in the clause, and adding the word ‘bebas‘ gives the Article a totally different meaning.

Thus, it is a violation of the Article 3(1).

How could the opposition parties pledge, “To fight in accordance with the provisions and spirit of the Constitution 1957/63 especially to uphold the Federal Constitution“, when they clearly changed and violated the Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution?

To understand this matter, we need to know the meaning of the words, “aman dan damai” or “peace and harmony” in the context of the Article 3(1).

The word, “aman dan harmoni” in the Article 3(1), has been interpreted by 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:

[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.

[33] In short, Article 3(1) was a by-product of the social contract entered into by our founding fathers who collectively produced the Federal Constitution, which is recognized as the Supreme Law of the country. 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. It is also my judgment that the most possible and probable threat to Islam, in the context of this country, is the propagation of other religion to the followers of Islam. That is the very reason as to why Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution came into place.

[42] It is my judgment that, based on the facts and circumstances of the case, the usage of the word “Allah” particularly in the Malay version of the Herald, is without doubt, do have the potential to disrupt the even tempo of the life of the Malaysian community. 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.

Therefore, the phrase, “tetapi agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai” means that the practice of religions other than Islam, must be in peace and harmony with the people of other religions, especially Islam which is the religion of the Federation; thus by adding the word, “bebas“, the opposition had violated the Federal Constitution.

In the same judgement, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali also said:

[36] 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).

So, contrary to what is claimed by the opposition leaders, even the Article 11(1) does not give us total freedom of religion, for it is subjected to Article 11(4) and is to be read with Article 3(1).

Article 11(1) of the Federal Constitution:

Every person has the right to profess and practise his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it.

Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution:

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.

What is the intention of the opposition leaders in adding the word ‘bebas‘ in their reference to the Article 3(1), for the implication of the added word can undermine the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation and distort the interpretation of the Article?








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