KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 ― The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) agreed with the view of a former top policeman who warned of trouble if the country turned into a theocracy.
The umbrella body representing non-Muslim religions said it fully supported former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor’s assertion that Malaysia was never meant to be an Islamic state or to have an official religion.
“MCCBCHST has consistently stated in the past that when Malaya gained Independence in 1957 and when Malaysia was formed in 1963, that there was no consideration or proposal for Malaya or Malaysia to be an Islamic Country,” the group said in a statement.
“Our forefathers had clearly envisioned Malaysia to be based on secular laws.
“That it would be unconstitutional and an attack on the ‘Core fabric’ of the constitution if one were to aspire for it to be an Islamic Country based on Islamic Laws including Hudud Offences”.Abdul Rahim told a forum in Sabah a week ago that Sabah and Sarawak would not have agreed to form Malaysia if the country were to become an Islamic nation.
He stated further that the majority of people in the two Bornean states, including Muslims, had opposed the idea that Islam be made the official religion.
The retired policeman felt the sentiment was reasonable as many Muslim-majority countries in the world, like Indonesia, also do not have Islam as their official religion.
Abdul Rahim subsequently warned that the country could be destabilised if those in power continue to succumb to growing pressure from conservatives to make Malaysia Islamic.
“If we continue down this line, it will destabilise the federation and maybe at that time, Sabah and Sarawak will think again whether they want to continue to be in Malaysia or whether they should leave,” he said then.
MCCBCHST echoed the view, and said all Malaysians should respect and abide by the founding principles on which Malaysia was formed.
“Adhering to this founding principles will ensure a strong and united Malaysia that would be able to meet the challenges of the 21st Century with confidence,” it said.