November 13, 2014
Precis – In a nutshell, the constitutional position is that it is not enough for public authorities, whether civil or ecclesiastical, to have noble intentions. It is not enough for them to act in the name of God or religion. They must also stay within the substantive limits of their powers and observe all procedural requirements.
In a country with a supreme constitution, there is the additional requirement that the law under which their action was taken must not be in violation of the supreme Constitution, specifically of the provisions on fundamental rights, federal-state division of powers and legislative procedures.
The Constitution includes many fundamental rights in Articles 5-13.
Though Islam has the exalted position of being the religion of the federation, Article 3(4) says, “Nothing in this Article derogates from any other provision of this Constitution”. This means that Article 3(1) does not override any other provision of the Constitution. The decision in Che Omar Che Soh (1988) followed this provision: the Constitution, and not the syariah, is the litmus test of constitutionality. Read the rest of this entry »
August 14, 2014
SIDANG INJIL BORNEO (SIB) SABAH PRESS RELEASE 14 Aug 2014
BUMIPUTERA CHRISTIANS WELCOME ARCHBISHOP’S PUSH FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
We fully support the call for freedom of religion by Sabah Catholic Archbishop John Wong and for the authorities to respect our rights to practise our faith as guaranteed by the constitution.
The Archbishop made this call at the mamangkis gathering organised by the Perpaduan Anak Negeri (PAN) Sabah – the Native Solidarity of Sabah – in Papar last Saturday (9 August 2014).
As highlighted by Archbishop Wong, we call on JPN (National Registration Department) to immediately rectify the wrong classification of Bumiputera Christians in Sabah as Muslims just because they have ‘bin’ and ‘binti’ in their names. The JPN must desist from this Islamisation drive through changing the religious status in the MyKad of these Christians. Read the rest of this entry »
June 21, 2014
Bar Council Malaysia
MAIS and JAIS Should Adhere to the Attorney General’s Decision and Abide by the Federal Constitution
The Malaysian Bar supports the Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute the Bible Society of Malaysia (“BSM”) over the more than 300 copies of the Alkitab (Bahasa Malaysia bible) and Bup Kudus (Iban bible) that contained the word “Allah” and that were seized by Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (“JAIS”) on 2 January 2014.
The Malaysian Bar views with much concern reports of the refusal by Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (“MAIS”) and JAIS to abide by the findings of the Attorney General and to comply with his request that JAIS take consequential and appropriate action in accordance with the law. Read the rest of this entry »
February 22, 2014
PRESS STATEMENT (22 Feb 2014) by Perpaduan Anak Negeri Sabah
Officiated by Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong.
Precis: History tells us that on 1 August 1972, the then Chief Minister of Sabah, Tun Mustapha Harun announced the policy of unity under the USNO government as “one language, one culture, one religion” in Kota Kinabalu in the presence of the then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and his deputy Tun Razak Hussein.
The following year on 27 Sept 1973, the State Constitution of Sabah was amended to make Islam the religion of Sabah.
This is in gross violation of the 20-point agreement that Sabah insisted before consenting to confederate with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia. The first point is that there should be complete freedom of religion in Sabah. We only agree to Islam being the religion of the Federation and not Sabah and that Malaysia is to be a secular country.
Today, after 42 years of the “one language, one culture, one religion” policy, the Anak Negeri has become restless wanderers and aliens worst that second -class citizens in our own land. This is our history, a history of a betrayed people. If we forget our history, we forfeit our destiny as a people called forth by God for His glory alone. Read the rest of this entry »