Monday, March 12, 2007

The call for an Islamic State in a plural society like Malaysia is not only unconstitutional but also incompatible with the plurality of this country

It seems that PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has not given up the hope to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State.

Hadi Awang also twists and turns the fact that there was no reason why they (the non-Muslim) could not accept the concept of an Islamic state, since non-Malays accepted capitalism, socialism and other Western ideologies, as reported in today News Straits Times.

DAP Selangor would like to remind Hadi about the very fundamental foundation of the country – despite that Islam is the religion of the Federation, Malaysia is not an Islamic State and other religions can be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Malaysia.

It is this main idea of the doctrine of separation of religious elements from various nation building agenda including the administration of governments from various levels.

And therefore for Hadi Awang to call for an Islamic State in a plural society like Malaysia is not only unconstitutional but also incompatible with the plurality of this country.

To accept that Malaysia is an Islamic State is no difference from abandoning the 50-year Merdeka “social contract” that Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State - whether ala-PAS or ala-UMNO, whether through the UMNO and Barisan Nasional “Islam Hadhari” or the PAS Islamic State Document.

In fact, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the second Prime Minister, Tun Razak and the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn publicly and the fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir (for the first 20 years as PM) had championed and defended the Merdeka compact of Malaysia as a secular democracy with Islam as the official religion.

It is a fallacy that just because the majority of the populations of a country are Muslims, the country must become an Islamic State, as the majority of the countries in the world with Muslim majorities are not Islamic States.


The best example is our neighbour, Indonesia, whose population is 88% Muslims or over 200 million Muslims out of 230 million population. Indonesia, however, is not an Islamic State, but a secular republic and a motion to turn Indonesia into an Islamic State based on shariah law was defeated in the Indonesian Parliament four years ago by the overwhelming majority of Muslim MPs!

Therefore, Hadi Awang should acknowledge that Malaysia is a plural society and that any call to turn the country into a state of any religion, be it Islamic State, Catholic State, Christian State, Buddhist State or Hindu State is unconstitutional, incompatible in Malaysia and violate the fundamental basis of nation-building process.
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