The Malaysia Insider reported that some Muslim bloggers have published wild and groundless accusations that Christians in Malaysia conspire to supplant Islam as the official religion of the country:
Christian leaders condemn claims trying to usurp Islam LINK
By Debra Chong. May 06, 2011
“Organisers of a Christian meeting in Penang denied today allegations from pro-Umno bloggers that they were conspiring with the DAP to supplant Islam’s position as the country’s official religion in a bid to take over Putrajaya…
The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), together with partners Global Day of Prayer, Marketplace Penang and Penang Pastors Fellowship, said the claims against their community were lies and slammed the pro-Malay rights groups for driving a further wedge to create social disharmony in multicultural Malaysia apart from being seditious…
Several pro-Malay rights blogs posted today articles charging the secular party of sedition for trying to change what the bloggers believed to be the country’s laws to enable a Christian to be prime minister…
In a posting headlined “Agong under threat? DAP wants to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia?” blogger Marahku (marahku.blogspot.com) accused DAP of trying to amend the federal constitution to allow a Christian to become prime minister.”
PRESS STATEMENT BY MCCBCHST
In response to this groundless accusation the Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha, Kristian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) released the following press statement on 6 May 2011:
MCCBCHST: Let Us Work Together Towards A Harmonious, Judicious And United Malaysia
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) is concerned by the statement issued by Dr Yusri Mohamad on behalf of Muslim NGO’s that lslam’s position in Malaysia is under siege.
How could lslam’s position be under siege when all public institutions and other Organs of Government are under the control of Muslims? We Quote ZAID IBRAHIM (Malaysia Today: 29/4/2011; http://www.zaiduntukrakyat.com).
“…Even without recent “unity call”, the Malays are in complete political control. More than two-thirds of the cabinet is Malay….more than two-thirds of Parliamentarians are Malay or Bumiputra. The Sultans are Malay. All except one of the Menteri Besars and Chief Ministers are Malay Bumiputra. Eighty-five percent of Civil Service is Malay’ including the diplomatic Corps and the educational and judicial services. The Armed Forces and Police are composed primarily of Malays. Rela Members are mostly Malay.
….Government-linked companies (GLCS) such as Maybank, Petronas, Telekom Malaysia, TNB, Khazanah Nasional, PNB, Media Prima, Felda, Sime Darby and many others the vast majority of which are owned by the Government and managed by Malay-Bumiputras? The G-20 group of largest listed GLCS alone possesses RM353 bilion (around half) of the market capitalization of the entire Bursa Malaysia”.
We are further amazed to read that the designation of a Non-Muslim affairs exco in Penang is unconstitutional and threaten’s lslam’s position. There is no prohibition anv where in the Federal Constitution aqainst the desiqnation of a Non-Muslim affairs exco. ln fact, currently most states under Barisan Nasional have Non-Muslim Affairs Committees to address religious, places of worship, burial grounds and other issues faced by the Non-Muslims.
The MCCBCHST is not aware of any person or body having questioned lslam’s position as enshrined in Article 3 of the Federal Constitution.
ARTICLE 3(1) provides that lslam is the religion of the Federation and concludes with “…other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.”
ARTICLE 3(4) provides that “Nothing in this Article derogates from any other provision of the Constitution….” This means that Article 3 does not extinguish anything else in the constitution. Professor Shad Faruqi (STAR: 3/5/2011 page N51) stated;
“…Further, Article 3 (on lslam) does not extinguish anything else in the Constitution. Article 3(4) provides that “Nothing in this Article derogates from any other provision of this Constitution. This means that Articles 3 cannot be employed to challenqe the validity of a druq traffickinq law on the ground that some of its provisions were Un-lslamic (Che Omar Che Soh (1988). Nor-can Article 3 be relied on to trump any other constitutional provision – whether on fundamental rights or system of parliamentary government…”
Thus, one cannot use the position of lslam as the religion of the Federation to question other’s rights. lt has to be based on the provisions of the Federal Constitution.
Therefore, fundamental and other rights guaranteed in the Federal Constitution cannot be over-ridden by Article 3 and some such rights are:-
Article 4(1) – “This Constitution is the Supreme law of the Federation…”
Article 8(1) – “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law”.
Article 11(1) – “Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and subject to clause (4) to propagate it”
Article 153(1) – “The legitimate interest of other communities” most of the time ignored”.
Article 153(9) – Which prohibits restriction of business or trade solely for Malays is also totally ignored.
The MCCBCSHT reiterates and accepts unequivocally the Position of lslam as the religion of the Federation as provided for by Article 3. We note however that Article 3 cannot be used to challenge any other constitutional position.
The MCCBCHST therefore calls on Dr Mohamad Yusri and the Muslim NGO’s to work together with all citizens towards a harmonious, judicious and united Malaysia.
Reverend Dr Thomas Philips
Pembela blames ‘aggressive Christians’ for Muslim siege mentality LINK
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
Malaysia Insider May 07, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Islam is under siege in Malaysia because aggressive Christians are determined to convert Muslims who are nonchalant about their faith, several Islamist groups alleged today.
The Muslim Organisations in Defence of Islam (Pembela) accused Christians of strategising an elaborate plan to ensure that more and more Muslims leave the faith, which is illegal in Malaysia.
Pembela president Dr Yusri Mohamad said the Christian community’s demands over the “Allah” issue as well as the Alkitab row proved that they wanted to convince Muslims to embrace Christianity and abandon Islam.
“We are dealing with aggressive, confrontational groups of Christians.
“Their demands over the Alkitab, kalimah Allah are connected to their attempts to spread Christianity… They are using this strategy to tame Muslims, by using terms that we are familiar with in our own religion,” Yusri said today during a Pembela function here.
The syariah lawyer said these are direct attempts to “compromise the position of Islam” as the country’s official religion.
Muslim convert Ann Wan Seng, who was part of a panel today to discuss whether “Islam was under threat?”, said the problem with Muslims in the country was that they did not feel that they were under siege.
“We need to feel threatened; the problem is our people don’t feel anything, even when we are actually being threatened.
“We cannot just blame the Christians for doing their work, we are not doing ours,” he said.
Ann alleged that Petaling Jaya currently serves as a hub to spread Christianity and Muslim apostasy.
“Christians have been doing it in quiet and also in the open, they have been passing leaflets to our Muslims students.
“I have seen it happen in Universiti Malaya. The girls wear tudung but when you take away the tudung, they are wearing a crucifix,” Ann charged.
He claimed that something similar happens in Johor, where the “Malay Christian Association of Singapore” sends people over to Johor to convert Muslims there to Christianity.
Another panellist, Zaid Kamaruddin from Jemaah Islamiyah Malaysia, said Muslims could not afford to rest on their laurels and expect their rights to be protected by the federal constitution or even political parties.
“We cannot rely on political parties or the federal constitution because this can be amended.
“All Muslim groups, NGOs need to be united on common ground,” he said.
Utusan Malaysia had carried out a front-page article today titled “Malaysia, a Christian country?” (Malaysia, negara Kristian?), based entirely on blog postings by several pro-Umno bloggers.
The bloggers had charged the DAP with sedition for trying to change the country’s laws to enable a Christian to be prime minister, pointing to a grainy photograph showing what they described to be a secret pact between the DAP and pastors at a hotel in Penang on Wednesday.
The federal constitution does not expressly specify race or religious requirements for the position of prime minister. Article 43(2)(a) of the constitution states only that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint as PM a member of Parliament who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat.
In a posting headlined “Agong under threat? DAP wants to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia?” blogger Marahku (marahku.blogspot.com) accused the DAP of trying to amend the federal constitution to allow a Christian to become prime minister.
“The whole point of changing the official religion is to allow a Christian to become prime minister of this country,” the blogger said.
On bigdogdotcom.wordpress.com, the writer claimed to have received a message that the DAP’s Jeff Ooi had organised a dinner for pastors from Sarawak and overseas at the Red Rock Hotel in Jalan Macalister, Penang.
“Among the activities that night included the 35 pastors taking a group oath. They formed a circle and touched each other’s shoulder and vowed in English to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia and put a Christian prime minister in office,” the anonymous writer said in his blog under the headline “Making Christianity the official religion?”
He also pointed to the same grainy picture he posted at the top of his blog page, which he had captioned “Partying pastors or pastors doing the party do and vow to have a Christian as Malaysian prime minister”.
The blogger further alleged that the DAP had labelled the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as an “anti-Christ agent” in the run-up to polls in Sarawak, showing the opposition party was “openly against BN on religious grounds and they are now making it their clarion call, their rabble rousing horn”.
The blogger said it was a seditious and religiously-divisive statement that was never investigated by the police “or at least they did not tell us about any investigations on the matter”.
He called on the authorities to investigate the allegations for sedition, warning that if the authorities failed in their duty the country may be “shattered again”.
The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), together with partners Global Day of Prayer, Marketplace Penang and Penang Pastors Fellowship, said the claims against their community were lies, and has already denied the bloggers’ allegations last night.
Similarly, Ooi said the dinner had been organised by the Christian pastors in recognition of the DAP team who had visited them while in Sarawak for the state election and that the prayer sessions — one before dinner and one at the end — were a usual part of their worship, and not a pledge as alleged.
In response, another panel speaker at the Pembela forum today said that even though there were no legal provisions as to the race or religion of the country’s prime minister, the prime minister must be Muslim.
“The PM must be a Muslim. Or else he cannot advice the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Islamic matters… how can you have a non-Muslim advise the Agong on Islamic matters?” said lawyer Datuk Zainal Rejal.