Constitution Supreme Over Syariah

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 »

Kota Kinabalu Declaration 2014 on Malaysia Day

September 18, 2014

Highlights

7 AND WHEREAS the proliferation of oppressive laws that violates our fundamental civil liberties continues unabated, the legislative, executive and the judiciary must take urgent measures to remove such offensive laws and selective prosecutions and to restore just, fair, and democratic principles of governance as envisaged by the framers of our Constitution and our founding fathers.

12 AND WHEREAS Islam is the religion of the Federation but other religions may be practised and people of other faiths shall have the constitutional right and freedom to profess, practise, propagate, and manage their respective faiths without interference and intervention by the State. 13 AND WHEREAS the Constitution provides for laws to be enacted for the administration of Islam, such laws shall not be applied to non-Muslims nor non-Muslims be subject to Shariah law.

14 AND WHEREAS freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and set out in the first of the 18 and 20-point conditions of Sarawak and Sabah respectively to be part of the Malaysia Agreement, but the legislative, executive and judiciary have persistently and wilfully trampled upon such rights of people of other faiths by making laws and decisions that militate against such freedom. The prohibition of the usage of the word ‘Allah’ by Bumiputera Christians to refer to the one true God and the restricted ban on the use of the Alkitab, the Malay language Bible, since the early 1980s are instances of gross violations of human rights.

19 AND WHEREAS there are extremist dakwah elements who undertake aggressive Islamisation by both covert and overt means to convert Bumiputera Christians through intimidation, deception, or inducements particularly targeting remote and poor villagers as well as conversions of school children living in government hostels. The National Registration Department despite its denials are also classifying native Christians with ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ in their names as Muslims in their MyKad without their knowledge or consent. Such unlawful and oppressive practices must stop immediately.

For the full declaration go to http://www.krisispraxis.com/archives/2014/09/kota-kinabalu-declaration-2014-on-malaysia-day/

 

 

Native Christians [Surreptitiously] ‘Converted’ by State Policy

August 25, 2014

Malaysiakini 24 Aug 2014

When Juinah binti Paulus, a native Christian, went to the National Registration Department (NRD) to get her new identity card, the NRD changed her religious identity to Islam without her knowledge nor consent.

This is not unusual. Many native or bumiputera Christians in Sabah and Sarawak with bin (son of) or binti (daughter of) in their names, are automatically classified as Muslims in their identity cards, known as MyKad. Once this is done there is virtually no remedy, except to wait in an administrative purgatory.

Christians and non-Muslims consider this as backdoor conversion or “MyKad Islamisation”. Read the rest of this entry »

Native Christians Want Immediate Stop to ‘Mykad-Islamisation’

August 14, 2014

SIDANG INJIL BORNEO (SIB) SABAH PRESS RELEASE 14 Aug 2014

BUMIPUTERA CHRISTIANS WELCOME ARCHBISHOP’S PUSH FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOMpdf download

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 »

Court Orders Return of Confiscated Christian CDs

July 21, 2014

Malaysiakini Jul 21, 2014

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered the Home Ministry and government to return the eight Christian religious CDs with the word “Allah” that it seized from Sarawakian Christian Jill Ireland in May 2008.

However, Justice Zaleha Yusof declined to rule on the constitutional prayers under Article 8, 11, sought by Jill.

Justice Zaleha ruled that the senior authorised officer from the Customs Department Suzana Muin, who issued the seizure order, had acted illegally in withholding the CDs as such powers lie with the home minister.

She held that the respondents had acted in error of the law under Section 9 of the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984, by withholding the CDs.

“Suzana acted ultra vires as such detention (of CDs) must be authorised by the minister himself and is not delegated to anyone else.

“Following this, the CDs are to be returned to the plaintiff. Though this is a public interest case, I order respondents to pay RM500 costs,” Justice Zaleha ruled. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Allah’ Controversy Resurfaces in Another Court

June 30, 2014

Highlights: [Lead Counsel] Lim said Jill Ireland is seeking justice from the court. “This case is not about Christians pitting themselves against Muslims; Christianity against Islam…but a native Bumiputera Chritian seeking her constitutional rights…

Lim pointed out that the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law appear to have been seriously subverted and transplanted by the alien doctrine of supremacy of the religious bureaucracy and the rule and dictates of the religious authority…the involvement of JAKIM, the federal Islamic Development agency, brings another objectionable feature of the administration of the Printing Presses and Publicatins Act 1984 (PPPA) by the minister and government into focus.

“There is clear evidence of surrender of discretionary power to an extraneous third party. As noted above, one of the three (3) grounds cited is “Melanggar Garis Panduan JAKIM”. Here we have a department which is not vested with any lawful authority in the administration of the PPPA dictating and directing how an officer under the PPPA is to exercise his powers,” he said.

Lim asked, “Are we governed by rule of law or religious bureaucracy?”

“Are we a nation governed by rule of law or religious bureaucracy?” – See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/even-the-quran-says-allah-used-by-christians-and-jews-high-court-told#sthash.WY5kyjbV.dpuf“It is submitted that viewed objectively it is evident that rather than exercising an independent statutory discretionary power, the Minister had acted under the dictation of JAKIM.”.

He also said the Respondents who are Federal Government and a Federal Minister have taken upon themselves the constitutional power to control or restrict propagation of religious doctrine or faith among Muslims. This is a jurisdiction vested in the various state legislative assemblies pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

“The Respondent’s action constitutes an act on the part of the Federal Government and its officials using the PPPA to enforce the several state enactments controlling and restricting propagation. Enforcement of the enactment with regard to Selangor is by “authorized officers” appointed by the Ruler in Council. This is tantamount to a collateral use of the PPPA by federal agencies to enforce state enactments which are for the states to determine and not the Federal Government. Thus, the disputed decision constitutes not only unlawful and unconstitutional usurpation of state powers under the guise of the PPPA but also a colourable excuse and collateral use of the PPPA,”Lim said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bar Council: MAIS/JAIS Should Abide by AG’s Decision & Federal Constitution and Release Seized Alkitab & Bup Kudus

June 21, 2014

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Majlis Peguam

Bar Council Malaysia

Press Release
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 »

Judge Rules Civil Court Superior to Syariah

May 30, 2014

Malaysiakini 20 May 2014
The civil High Court has a higher jurisdiction than the syariah court on the religious dispute of a spouse who does not convert to Islam, the High Court in Ipoh ruled today.
In giving convert father K Pathmanathan @ Muhammad Ridhuan Abdullah one week to return his six-year-old daughter to the non-Muslim mother, M Indira Gandhi, the court also found the father guilty of contempt.

Judge Lee Swee Seng said failure to hand over the child would require the police to enforce a warrant of arrest on Pathmanathan for committing contempt and not abiding by the court order.

Reading out his two-and-a-half hour judgment, Justice Lee said the supervisory jurisdiction of the civil High Court is based on the fact that a syariah court decision cannot bind a non-Muslim party in a marriage.

He said the country practises secular law under which the civil High Court has unlimited jurisdiction and is superior in nature to the syariah court. Read the rest of this entry »

Sabahans Slam their Christian leaders in Cabinet for Remaining Silent on Religious Issues

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 »

Native Christians Want PM Datuk Seri Najib to Act Against Political Islam

January 25, 2014

Press Statement by Perpaduan Anak Negri (PAN) Sabah 25 Jan 2014

In Sabah, we are one big family with Christians and Muslims living in peace and harmony side by side even within the same family.  But we want to make it very plain that for the past 50 years we have been in Malaysia, we have been facing threats from extreme political Islam to systematically eradicate  our cultural heritage as Christians and our ethnicity as Anak Negeri, the true sons and daughters of Sabah.  Some call this a form of genocide.

PM Datuk Seri Najib must lead the way to assure us that he is not only a PM for the Malays but for all Malaysians.  All must be treated fairly and have the freedom to embrace a faith of their choice. We acknowledge Islam is the religion of the Federation, but not extreme political Islam,  in ways not envisaged by the framers of our Federal Constitution. This is the supreme law of the nation and not syariah. Read the rest of this entry »


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