welcomes the call by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia to
Malaysians of all faiths to resist any attempt to change the secular nature of
the Federal Constitution.
President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Most Rev Anthony Soter Fernandez said yesterday that the 7th
plenary meeting of the Conference involving archbishops and bishops of the
Catholic Church of Malaysia viewed with alarm and grave concern recent
developments in the country with the statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr
Mahathir Mohamad that Malaysia was already a model Islamic state, PAS' passing
of the Syariah Offences (Hudud and Qisas) Bill in the Terengganu State Assembly
and the increasing trend of politicising Islam in the political arena.
said: "The passing of the Bill by the Terengganu Legislative Assembly is
not only inconsistent with the provisions of the Malaysian Constitution but also
a breach of the social contract which cannot be changed without consultation and
consent of all communities that make up Malaysia."
also endorses the call by the Conference urging the Government to set up
inter-religious councils at national and state levels to promote inter-religious
understanding and harmony between Malaysians of all faiths.
is celebrating the 45th National Day at the end of the month, and it
will give added meaning to the 45th National Day celebrations for a
plural Malaysia to revive the
Inter-Religious Council first established under Tunku Abdul Rahman’s
premiership to reaffirm the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the “social contract”
and 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is
not an Islamic state.
Inter-Religious Council set up during Tunku’s time was headed by a Cabinet
Minister and it continued to
function under the second Prime Minister, Tun Razak and the third Prime
Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, but it was allowed to virtually go defunct under the
Prime Ministership of Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.