Mahathir should explain whether the endorsement of the Barisan Nasional
Supreme Council for UMNO’s Islamic state concept was for a “secular
Islamic state” as claimed by MCA in the Chinese media
(Penang, Saturday): The Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that there is no need for
Malaysia to amend its constitution to make it an Islamic state as
it is already one such nation.
by Lim Kit Siang
He said: “When UMNO declared Malaysia was an Islamic state recently,
it did not mean that there would be amendments to the Constitution.”
Mahathir told reporters after chairing the Barisan Nasional supreme
council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre that all the Barisan
Nasional parties were comfortable with UMNO’s definition of
Malaysia as an Islamic state.
Many questions await answer for this extraordinary chain of events,
Was the convening of the emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional supreme
council (which meets rarely except in extraordinary circumstances)
solely to get the official endorsement of the other Barisan Nasional component
parties to the UMNO announcement that Malaysia is an Islamic state under
Why did the MCA, Gerakan, SUPP, MIC and other Barisan Nasional component
parties agree so easily with UMNO that Malaysia is already an Islamic state,
without seeking the full consent and mandate from their respective party
central committees and congresses, especially as they had been calling
on the people in the past two years to reject an Islamic state - as recently
as in the Sarawak state general elections less than a week ago?
How did Malaysia transform from a secular to an Islamic state? Is
it on the declaration of the Prime Minister or on the expressed wishes
of the people of Malaysia?
When did Malaysia become an Islamic state? Bapa Malaysia and the
nation’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman had declared in Parliament
that Malaysia is not an Islamic state when he said:
In 1962, the then Chief Justice, Tun Mohamed Suffian Hashim interpreted
the scope of Islam in the constitution as being primarily for ceremonial
purposes, such as the permission for prayers to be offered in the Islamic
way on official public occasions such as the installation of the Yang di
Pertuan Agong, his birthday, Merdeka Day and other occasions.
“I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic
State as it is generally understood; we merely provide that Islam shall
be the official religion of the State.”
Could Mahathir unilaterally change one of the basic and cardinal features
of the Malaysian Constitution as a democratic, secular and morally-based
nation into an Islamic state by a mere declaration at the Gerakan annual
Finally, Mahathir should explain whether the endorsement of the Barisan
Nasional Supreme Council for the Islamic state concept which he announced
at the Gerakan national delegates’ conference last Saturday was for
a “secular Islamic state” as claimed by MCA in the Chinese media
in the past few days - that the difference between UMNO and PAS on the
Islamic state issue is that UMNO stands for a secular Islamic state?
Mahathir’s declaration of Malaysia as an Islamic state under UMNO
rule and the swift but blind and unthinking support given by the leaders
of other Barisan Nasional component parties threaten a fundamental
basis of the Malaysian nation-building process and must be the concern
of all Malaysians who are committed to the preservation of Malaysia
as a democratic, secular and morally-based nation.
*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman