Malaysia an Islamic state – Najib repudiating first three PMs on meaning of Merdeka social contract

Is Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak repudiating the Merdeka “social contract” and the stand of the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn with his statement today that Malaysia is “an Islamic state with its own interpretation”?

Najib’s explanation that “as an Islamic state, it does not mean that we don’t respect the non-Muslims” and that “The Muslims and the non-Muslims have their own rights (in this country)” is no assurance at all, when there is unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional revision of the fundamental principles of nation-building agreed by the forefathers of the major communities on the founding of the nation that whilst Islam is the official religion of the Federation, Malaya and later Malaysia is not an Islamic State, whether of the PAS or Umno variety.

This cornerstone of nation-building was best spelt out by Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the 80th birthday celebrations organized by the Barisan Nasional in his honour on 8th February 1983, where Tunku pointedly said Malaysia should not be turned into an Islamic state, that Malaysia was set up as a secular State with Islam as the official religion which was enshrined in the Constitution.

Tunku said:

“The Constitution must be respected and adhered to. There have been attempts by some people who tried to introduce religious laws and morality laws. This cannot be allowed.

“The country has a multi-racial population with various beliefs. Malaysia must continue as a secular State with Islam as the official religion.”

Tunku’s stand that Malaysia was not and never conceived by the Merdeka Constitution to be an Islamic State was endorsed by Tun Hussein when the third Prime Minister celebrated his 61st birthday five days later.

There can be no doubt that this fundamental position that Malaysia was never conceived to be an Islamic State would also have been endorsed by Tun Razak if he had been alive in 1983 to celebrate Tunku’s 80th birthday and comment on his speech, as there had been no dispute whatsoever in the first three and even four decades of nationhood that Malaysia was a secular and not an Islamic state.

What confidence can non-Muslims have in Najib’s assurance that in his concept of Malaysia as an Islamic state “with its own interpretation”, “Muslims and non-Muslims have their own rights” when the basic citizenship rights of the non-Muslim Malaysians to preserve and protect the fundamental basis of nation-building could be summarily deprived and denied by a unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional revision of the Merdeka “social contract” with non-Muslim Barisan Nasional parties and leaders without having any say whatsoever?

This is not only denial of the fundamental citizenship rights of non-Muslim Malaysians but also of Muslim Malaysians the majority of whom would want Malaysia to steer away from extremist Islamist policies as practiced under the first three Prime Ministers of the country.

Najib has come out with the declaration that Malaysia is not a secular but an Islamic State, at a time when he faces great personal and political vulnerabilities, with many questions about his integrity and leadership swirling in the public domain.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad made the “929” declaration that Malaysia was an Islamic State on Sept. 29, 2001 when Umno which he led suffered its worst general election defeat and he conceived this unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional declaration as a major gambit to fend off the PAS challenge to the Malay heartland.

It would appear that the Merdeka social contract becomes a political pawn when political parties or individual political leaders find it expedient to manipulate and exploit it to shore up their political support.

Najib has cast a very dark cloud over the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations this year with his statement today, raising grave questions about the future of the Merdeka social contract and the compact reached by the forefathers of the major communities on the fundamental basis of Malaysian nation-building.

  1. #1 by trashed on Tuesday, 17 July 2007 - 11:44 pm

    The poor DPM is totally confused – we are all Malaysians and there has always been one Consititution governing us all.

  2. #2 by cklife on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 12:10 am


    Which Non-Muslim gonna vote for a person who called this country an Islamic State?

    When Syariah rules starts (perhaps already started) getting in the way of Non-muslims, they are going to kick into some action to deter the further injustice toward them.

    Please, religion and politics don’t mix. Never meant to be.

    By the way, unless Satanism is accepted, there is nothing better to do in this country.

  3. #3 by tidaknama on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 12:39 am

    It’s uncanny that the words that Lee Kuan Yew said 40 years ago still hold true.

    Source :

    “Malaysia — to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian. This is the doubt that hangs over many minds, and … [once] emotions are set in motion, and men pitted against men along these unspoken lines, you will have the kind of warfare that will split the nation from top to bottom and undo Malaysia.”[

    Lee responded with an unscripted speech made entirely in Malay opposing the government’s pro-Malay policies: “Of course there are Chinese millionaires in big cars and big houses. Is it the answer to make a few Malay millionaires with big cars and big houses? … If we delude people into believing that they are poor because there are no Malay rights or because opposition members oppose Malay rights, where are we going to end up? You let people in the villages believe that they are poor because we don’t speak Malay, because the government does not write in Malay, so he expects a miracle to take place [when Malay becomes the sole national language]. The moment we all start speaking Malay, he is going to have an uplift in the standard of living, and if doesn’t happen, what happens then? Meanwhile, whenever there is a failure of economic, social and educational policies, you come back and say, oh, these wicked Chinese, Indian and others opposing Malay rights. They don’t oppose Malay rights. They, the Malay, have the right as Malaysian citizens to go up to the level of training and education that the more competitive societies, the non-Malay society, has produced. That is what must be done, isn’t it? Not to feed them with this obscurantist doctrine that all they have got to do is to get Malay rights for the few special Malays and their problem has been resolved.”[77]

  4. #4 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 1:52 am

    Look at those poor Malays, Najid should just tell them “God fails you!”.

  5. #5 by sybreon on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 2:11 am

    No where in the constitution does it say that Malaysia is an “Islamic State” although Islam is the official religion. But trying to turn that into “we’re an Islamic State” is like saying that Singapore is a Malay State. But the people running our country have already shown that they hold our Constitution in ‘high’ regard.

    I can understand a politician playing to the gallery, in order to secure more votes. That’s just politics. But I cannot understand a son who spits on his father’s grave in order to further his ownself. [deleted]

    I don’t know what to do about any of this though.

  6. #6 by burn on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 2:29 am

    no need to celebrate merdeka!
    now 50 years, nothing to shout about!
    nama saja MALAYSIAN!
    no more merdeka for me, family, relatives and friends, till the day, we are all treated equally.
    tak payah nak kibar bendera malaysia.
    MCA, GERAKAN, and other components BN supporters…
    hopeless case! semua pandai bising, tapi bola talak, kaki jilat ramai!
    things will never change, till someone with open mind can lead malaysians as one.

  7. #7 by burn on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 2:32 am

    as usual… tomorrow news…
    MCA, GERAKAN and other component BN supporters will make hell of a noise! just another drama! muak nak tengok gelagat diaorang!

  8. #8 by wtf2 on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 8:16 am

    It somehow reinforce the notion of us vs them. Perhaps that’s what coming of age means – 50 years to draw the lines that Malaysia does not regard her citizens equally. Things are becoming race and religion based.

  9. #9 by Toyol on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 9:05 am

    Merdeka means Freedom. Freedom of speech, religion and free expression. Whats the point of celebrating Merdeka when we are being oppressed all the time…both economically and socially. What’s the differences between Colonial rule and being under the rule of UMNO warlords! No use flying the flag when we are not considered Malaysians!

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 9:11 am

    A desperately besieged Najib out to score points with the muslim Malays.

    It’s another of those unending Malaysian political drama.

    Live another 30 years and it will be the same story. Why? The same actors will still be around.

    That’s why we must change the cast. Vote BN out in the next GE.

  11. #11 by grace on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 9:16 am

    Then we would have Pak Lah being called Ayahtollah.

    Najib, you should be ashame of yourself for declaring Malaysia an Islamic state. If it is, do you live up to her name as Islamic State.
    Look at your goodself. And also the cabinet ministers’.
    Each and every one of the minister would need a hard disc of 240 Gigabytes or more to store up the sins committed.

  12. #12 by sotong on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 9:18 am

    This is the direct consequence of decades of bad leadership and governance of the country.

  13. #13 by sotong on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 9:55 am

    Based on the fundamnetal principles agreed by our forefathers, the people have the right to the absolute truth.

    Anything short of the absolute truth, the country and her ordinary people will continue to suffer and live in great shame for generations come.

  14. #14 by ProMalaysiaNotBN on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 10:01 am

    The reason for the difference between Malaysia and Singapore is exactly the difference in the leadership to build each respective nation.

    Malaysia progresses by trials and errors in its policies which are formulated by politicians with a penchant for the betterment of the individual and no vision (really and factually with no idea except selfish ones) for the nation’s growth and maturity.

    Singapore is built on a strong foundation of statesmanship, deep commitment and a conviction that even with its limited resources, the nation can be a nation to be reckoned with in the global arena.

    As earlier as when Bapa Malaysia held the top post of Malaysia, his inclination is already the success of the NEP even if his vision may be to see that once the NEP is given its run, all will revert to an even playing field for all Malaysians. But history has proven him to be a little bit optimistic but the failure of the NEP as a succession of ill conceived implementation plans – each trying to salvage what a previous plan has failed in but all not going anywhere in the ultimate end except to indefinitely entend its presence for political mileage than a betterment of the Malay poor. In the end the polarisation, continuous affirmative actions and the marginalisation processes keep building up to such an extent that now, religion is brought into play to introduce yet another factor into the mess UMNO and its lackeys MCA and MIC has so far generated in the country for everybody who has become increasingly confused as to his identity in and with the Nation. The mess has become a quicksand with no salvation in view in the near future. And that is dangerous as it may become too late to save the nation.

    What are we today is a resonating question that has no firm answer for anybody? Who are we is yet another defining question that needs urgent answer if Malaysia is not to fall apart? The ruling coalition has no notion of nation-building any more than anybody else whose main objective in wanting to run the country is to want to enrich himself and his family – immediate and extended. Why boast of working for the people on a small ministerial salary which is small change to the “dirty money” that forms the bigger part of their income? Why use slogans to front for mission statements?

    Well, Malaysia Boleh – so it is. Nothing can beat that.

  15. #15 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 10:08 am

    Let’s see the responses from MCA, MIC, Gerakan, etc (the political partners of their taiko UMNO) on this issue, since they always accuse DAP of working with PAS to make Malaysia an Islamic state, while not realising that their taiko has converted the nation to an Islamic state.

    Or, is this a case of ‘boh sia’?

  16. #16 by pwcheng on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 10:13 am

    Toyol Says:
    July 18th, 2007 at 09: 05.16

    Merdeka means Freedom. Yes freedom means freedom for UMNO to plunder the country.

  17. #17 by madmix on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 10:48 am

    He is just repeating what his former boss mahathir said. If he truly believe what he said, his wife and female family members should be covered up in tudungs. He should not be working fridays.

  18. #18 by winc on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 10:49 am

    What more you may need to celebrate merdeka out of Kuala Lumpur at a place without “lumpur” as suggested by some nymph.

  19. #19 by megaman on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 11:20 am

    put the right people in the right position and u will get miracles done …

    empower and teach the people to do things the right way n you dun even have to lift your finger to do anything …

    all these have been proven time and again … only people that fails to learn from history are blind to these truths …

    building the tallest building in the world is not going to be useful, if we can’t even fill it with the best professionals …

    building the largest and most modern airport is nothing compared to getting the no. 1 ranking in airports of the world …

    building a F1 race circuit is nothing when most of the time, the stands are devoid of spectators and we can’t secure the next F1 race ….

    giving everyone a university degree is waste of time if at the end of the day, the graduates can’t even work or get employment …

    creating an Islamic country and using Islamic law is useless if we can’t understand what Islam means and apply the teachings of Islam truthfully and properly …

    I am not against any of these including an Islam country (as I believe it is a peaceful and progressive religion if practiced properly), however we’ve been doing things the wrong way in the wrong order …

    People should come before Buildings & Money …
    Nation should come before People …
    World should come before Nation …

    *shake head* … where are we heading ??

  20. #20 by witoutprejudice on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 11:40 am

    this is a very serious allegation.

    How can this Najib declare that Malaysia is a Islamic state? who is he to change the social contract and the constitution? who is he? even if his father overthrow Tunku Abdul Rahman that doesn’t mean najib [deleted]can change the constitution. if the politics people keep changing the constitution, where is the law? Constitution is a fundamental and supreme law.

    ” Kalau u tak suka Malaysia punya constitution, you boleh keluar dari Malaysia. ”

    don’t you dare to challenge the constitution, najib [deleted].

  21. #21 by a-malaysian on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 11:57 am

    bn is irrelevant and does not exist. umno is the gomen and gomen is umno. Who are mca, mic, gerakan and the so call component or alliances of bn.

    A vote for mca or mic, gerakan etc is a vote for umno equals islamic state.

    Fellow Malaysian, now is the time to fight fire with fire. Vote umno and all its running dogs out or your hands can be chopped off or stone to death and you can never rest in peace when you die for your body may be snatched away and breaking up of family members can become a norm.

    50 years is ENOUGH
    Vote For A Change
    Vote For Any Opposition
    Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
    Remember bn Is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of parties.

  22. #22 by pwcheng on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 12:12 pm

    It is ironical that Malaysia is a Islamic State as claimed by TDM and now Najib but allow gambling houses which are haram to Muslims to be legalized. They just want to have the cake and eat it because they can collect taxes from these haram business.
    Indonesia which do not claim to be an Islamic State had closed down their casinos long time ago. I think I give PAS more respect in this sense because at least PAS is honest to say that they do not allow all these haram business where else UMNO is just a hypocrite.
    If you want an Islamic state the first thing to show the world is to close down all those legalized gambling houses, eg betting houses, casinos, horse racing, etc. Can UMNO do that?
    Even UK under Brown is slowly getting rid of all the Casinos. Back to you Najib. Please do not shoot something just to fit your political purpose only and selective use of the Constitution to suit UMNO politics.!!! We know PAS is hot behind your back.

  23. #23 by pwcheng on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 12:28 pm

    Read the Papers today. The MCA minister or deputy minister do not even dare to repudiate the statement of Najib. They are just subtlety saying something which do not justify here nor there. They think all the Chinese are naive like those in Machap. Why are OKT and Samy Vodoo remaining so silent. Obviously their skins are more important than all the skins of the Chinese or the Indians.

  24. #24 by AntiRacialDiscrimination on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 12:31 pm

    If our rotten Malay politicians do not change the ways they govern the country, Malaysia will one day become the next Afganistan. The Muslim Rehabilitation Centre is just like Guantanamo in Malaysia, both are disgusting! I think Malaysia is going to be the next doomed country because Najib will most probably be our next PM.

  25. #25 by shortie kiasu on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 2:46 pm

    Najib is not fit to be a future PM of Malaysia, which is made up of different races.

    He continues to make statement that divide the races in the country instead of uniting them under fair & just government policies.

    He keeps stirring up racial and religious sentiments among various races in the country.

    That is real bad and most unbecoming of him.

  26. #26 by pwcheng on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 2:53 pm

    a-malaysian Says:
    July 18th, 2007 at 11: 57.22

    BN is irrelevant and does not exist. umno is the gomen and gomen is UMNO,

    Of course that is true, and reinforced by Najib’s statement “but WE will protect the Non- Muslim”. Putting 2 and 2 together “WE” means UMNO. So Merdeka do not mean very much to the nons as we are just having a new Colonial Master, from the frying pan into the fire, that’s all.

  27. #27 by grace on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 3:01 pm

    Give another 5 years , we would be heading south!!!
    Look at our state of football.
    All the cohosts mange to get a few points. But we have zero points. Thailand’s performance was vey gppd. Vietnam too was way above us. One must remember Vietnam is a poor nayion.
    Tell those ministers to concentrate on being Asian champions first before trying to conquer Europe!!!

  28. #28 by ethnicmalaysian on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 4:15 pm

    For a DPM to come out with a statement that Malaysia has never been a secular state is truly mind boggling and beggars belief. In one stroke, it repudiates the basis on which this country is formed. It clearly repudiates the wishes and views of the first 3 PMs of this country and repudiates the history of this country in the last 50 years. And clearly ilustrates the total lack of understanding of the country’s history or worse, a conscious attempt at reinterpreting / tearing up the Constitution, which at the rate we’re going is not worth the paper it is written on.
    We’ve been living a lie for the last 50 years? We’ve been living in an Islamic state without knowing about it? Wow, now we know.

  29. #29 by Godfather on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 5:52 pm

    Guys, wake up ! 50 years ago, the racial composition was very different from what it is today. With Singapore out of the Federation, with the millions of ICs being given out in East Malaysia to “qualifying” Indonesians, with the state supporting the Malays’ habits of having multiple wives and countless children, with the emigration dynamics of the non-Malays – pretty soon, the minorities will be treated for what they are: just minorities with no say.

    In a one-person-one-vote system, this is to be expected. When Malaysia is 80 pct Muslim, what else can it be called ? Secular state ? In your dreams.

  30. #30 by Jan on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 6:09 pm

    Indonesia has 90% muslims and still is a secular state. Malaysia has 60% muslims and already declared islamic by some politicians.
    40% of the population is against the idea of an islamic nation and I am sure at least half of the muslim population would oppose it too. That makes it 70% of the population against the idea. I urge the silent majority of the muslim population to voice their objections to such a declaration.

  31. #31 by hermes on Thursday, 19 July 2007 - 12:32 pm

    Remember in the general elections of 1999 the UMNO government and, in particular the MCA, demonised the DAP but taking large advertisments in the media that the DAP was getting into an unholy pact with the devil by teaming up with the PAS for the elections. The basis of this demonisation was that PAS trying to make Malaysia an Islamic state.

    Well, what do we have now? MCA is not only in bed with a party trying to make Malaysia an Islamic state. It is already and still in bed with a party who has declared that it has made Malaysia an Islamic state. [deleted] Which is worse? MCA in bed with a party who has made Malaysia an Islamic state or DAP who has rejected PAS’s attempt to make Malaysia an Islamic state? DAP has declared it will not have any pact with PAS for the next elections. MCA is still very happy to sleep with the Islamic party.

    Who is the worse hypocrite on this matter? Who is protecting their own political positions and sacrificing principles for office? Does anyone believe that MCA, in the face of their being in bed with the party which has made Malaysia an Islamic state, is defending the position of the non-malays and non muslims? MCA, such two faced liars!!!


  32. #32 by Anak_Permyjaya on Saturday, 21 July 2007 - 5:05 pm

    anything against malays, will be covered and no one ever mentioned it anymore or else you’ll be jailed…………

  33. #33 by paix on Sunday, 22 July 2007 - 6:03 am


  34. #34 by csl on Friday, 5 October 2007 - 6:58 am

    If you throw away the racist thinking, what’s wrong with “declaring” the country as Islamic country? Talk only, just to please certain people (those who like to hear it). After announced, songs continue to be sang, dances continue to be danced and horses continue to raced. Can’t you see this is just a show? No doubt the gov body is seriously corrupted, including the party in power. But to make it clear, all races of people also involved. From bottom to the top. Because this type of wealth distribution deal had been practice since day one of the NEP had been abused. So, I think people should use a different point of view to judge it in stead of with a full racist mind.

    Why must limit ourselves and comply to the type of political policy? Why can’t create one out of all and make it become ours?

    To make a good start, we should request the politicians for not overlap their position between minister and wakil rakyat. Else, talk nonsense only, because they make the policy and they execute the policy. Basically whatever come out from their mouth is the law. Probably can print something on the T-shirt that saying “I vote opposition because I don’t like to see position overlap that can bring corruption” during the coming election. But who you wanna vote is not my call. I just vote the people can help me, not party.

    *Kindly please correct me on the position overlap deal. I don’t really know what is the right name to call it.

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