Call on Keng Yaik to ask the Cabinet tomorrow to direct the withdrawal of the new Information Ministry special publication “Penjelasan mengenai Malaysia sebagai negara Islam” as going against the 45-year fundamental  constitutional principle of Malaysia as a secular state

Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang,  Tuesday): Last December, after objections and protests by the DAP inside and outside Parliament, the government withdrew the Information Ministry special publication, “Malaysia adalah sebuah Negara Islam”, as it was  prejudicial to plural Malaysia being  insensitive and offensive to non-Muslims and contrary to the Vision 2020 objective of Bangsa Malaysia.

The Information Ministry has now come out with a new publication, “Penjelasan mengenai Malaysia sebagai negara Islam”, which declared that the status of Malaysia as an Islamic state can no longer be disputed.

This is highly objectionable, as it is not only undemocratic but goes  against the Malaysian Constitution which had stipulated without dispute for 45 years that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion.

As such, I call on the Gerakan President and Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to ask the  Cabinet tomorrow for a  directive to withdraw the new Information Ministry special publication as it is most improper and unacceptable for it  to produce  a publication which runs counter to  the 45-year Federation  Constitution on Malaysia as a secular and not an Islamic state.

In this connection, Keng Yaik should also raise in Cabinet two articles on the website of JAKIM, the Depatment of Islamic Development in the Prime Minister’s Department, (, which are no different in  content from the earlier Information Ministry special publication which had been withdrawn as prejudicial to Malaysia’s plural society and insensitive to non-Muslims.

The two articles on the JAKIM website which are as offensive as the Information Ministry booklet “Malaysia adalah sebuah Negara Islam” in being insensitive and offensive to non-Muslims in Malaysia, contrary to Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia are firstly the  article “Malaysia Negara Islam - oleh Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia” and secondly, the article “Konsep Negara Islam” by Dr. Abd. Halim El Muhammady, Fakulti Undang-Undang, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Both these articles referred to the final objective of having an Islamic state in all its full perfection in Malaysia after declaring that the question of Malaysia as an Islamic is no longer subject to dispute.

The second article advocated the amendment of all Federal laws,  the Federal Constitution and state laws which obstruct  the full establishment of a perfect  Islamic State, stating:

“Oleh itu bagi memudahkan proses penyatuan umat di masa depan kita perlu menerima sebagai suatu kenyataan bahawa negara ini ialah sebuah negara Islam. Dengan menerima negara ini sebagai sebuah negara Islam  bukan bermakna ianya telah selesai segala tuntutannya. Kesempurnaannya perlu kepada pengisian daripada kita, sama juga seorang Muslim yang diakui sebagai Muslim selepas mengucap dua kalimah syahadah bukan bermakna Muslimnya sudah sempurna, kesempurnaan Islamnya bergantung kepada proses peningkatan ilmu & penghayatan Islam pada dirinya.”

These two JAKIM articles go against the 45-year fundamental constitutional principle of Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious Malaysia and the Cabinet should direct that  both be taken down from the JAKIM website.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman