Day 12

Posted On August 2, 2007

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Since Merdeka, the constitutional position of Islam as “the religion of the Federation” in Article 3 has generally been understood as primarily for ritual and ceremonial purposes.
The constitutional document explicitly expresses that Article 3 does not imply to make Malaysia a theocratic state.
The Reid Commission Report, based on the social contract made by the country’s founding fathers, has made clear that the observance of such provision “shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practicing their own religions; and shall not imply that the State is not a secular state.”
In 1958, Tunku Abdul Rahman declared in the Parliament that, “I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic State as it is generally understood, we merely provided that Islam shall be the official religion of the State.”
The then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas, in the case of Che Omar bin Che Soh v. Public Prosecutor (1988), after reviewing Malaysia’s constitutional history, ruled that the religion of Islam
in Article 3 meant only actions related to rituals and ceremonies. It was never intended to extend the application of Syariah to the sphere of public law.
In other words, the Federal Constitution was never intended to raise Islamic law above civil law.
Because of the existence of Islamic laws governing personal and family matters of those who profess Islam, Malaysia can be at best described as a qualified secular state.

(Extracted from


1. Praise God for His wisdom on those involved in drafting the constitution to make Malaysia a secular state.
2. Government at all levels, i.e. the legislative, executive and judicial, to uphold our secular constitution.
3. Separation of religious institutions from the state institutions.
4. The interests of all citizens irrespective of religious background will be safeguarded.
a. Politicians will not exploit religion for their own political agenda.
b. Religious authorities will not exploit religion for their religious agenda.
5. Salt & light:
    Christian politicians to be courageous, to stand for justice and speak the truth; favour with God and men.


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