Speaking at the opening of the 12th Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) congress, Abdullah said the recent statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that Malaysia is an Islamic state was not “a statement of intent” as the Prime Minister’s statement was “a fact and the reality that exists”.
The overwhelming majority of Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, will not agree that Malaysia is today “in fact and reality” an Islamic State, especially when for 44 years of Malaysian nation-building, there has been no dispute whether in constitutional, political or legal history that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion.
In these circumstances, assurances by government leaders that there would be no change of the status quo, whether with regard to the present status of the Constitution or freedom of religion, are not very reassuring.
Abdullah should fully explain whether the government has adopted the
policy of the full implementation of the Islamic state as its “final
objective”, without a time frame fixed to it, as stated very clearly in
the recent official publication of the Information Ministry “Malaysia adalah
sebuah Negara Islam”, which made two important pronouncements of intent:
Abdullah should fully explain how the government’s “final objective” on the full implementation of the Islamic state in this two-pronged strategy as declared in the Information Ministry publication would impact on the political, economic, educational, social, religious and citizenship rights of non-Muslim Malaysians.
For some time, there has been a school of thought that Malaysia can establish an Islamic state without any amendment to the present Constitution, but through the creative interpretation of the present provisions in the Constitution.
Abdullah should explain whether UMNO and the Barisan Nasional government has come around to this school of thought - that it is possible to establish an Islamic state in Malaysia without amending the Federal Constitution.