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THE POSITION OF ISLAM IN MALAYSIA CANNOT BE CHANGED


PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — Datuk Seri Najib Razak moved today to calm a raging controversy over unsubstantiated reports in the media about a plot to make Christianity the official religion, by pointing out that Islam would remain the religion of the federation.
The prime minister allayed fears sparked by an Utusan Malaysia report about Christian groups conspiring with the DAP to install a Christian prime minister by assuring Muslim leaders Islam’s position cannot be changed in any form.
  • “This is because the reality is that we have the Federal Constitution, and its provision on the position of Islam and the other religions is very clear,” Najib told reporters after meeting with 22 Muslim leaders and intellectuals, here.
  • “Regardless of the circumstances, the Federal Constitution cannot be amended and as such, no one should be worried or feel uneasy on this matter,” he said.
  • Najib said that during his hour-long meeting with Muslim leaders, the contents of the Utusan report were discussed.
  • “I normally meet with the Muslim leaders from time to time. But under the present circumstances, it is imperative that I meet this group and discuss the issue as well as other matters,” the PM explained.
  • The Malay daily carried a front-page article on Saturday, headlined “Kristian agama rasmi?” (Christianity the official religion?), claiming the DAP was conspiring with Christian leaders to take over Putrajaya and abolish Islam as the religion of the federation.
The report, based entirely on unsubstantiated blog postings by several pro-Umno bloggers, charged the DAP with sedition for allegedly trying to change the country’s laws to allow a Christian prime minister.
Christian groups and the DAP have repeatedly denied the allegation, and have slammed the Umno daily for printing “dangerous lies”.
  • Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution does not position Islam as the “official” religion of the country.
  • It only states that “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.”
  • 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.
On the same token, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will meet a select group of church leaders for lunch in Putrajaya tomorrow, after the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government took flak over reports of a presumed plot by Christians to usurp Islam as Malaysia’s main creed.
  • Bishop Ng Moon Hing, who heads the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), confirmed he received the invitation from the Prime Minister’s Office last week and will be attending the closed-door lunch meeting with representatives from the Roman Catholic Church, the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) and the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF).
Source: The Malaysian Insider
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