Malaysia not Islamic state – Bernard Dompok commended, which BN Minister next who dare to speak the truth?

I congratulate Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, UPKO President and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, for his honesty, courage and conviction in speaking the truth today that Malaysia is not an Islamic state.

On the occasion of the nation’s 50th Merdeka anniversary (but 44 years of the Malaysian Federation for Sabah and Sarawak), Bernard has made Sabahans and all Malaysians proud.

At the launch of ‘The Merdeka Statement’ by the Centre for Public Policy Studies in Kuala Lumpur, Bernard said the nation’s founders did not have in mind an Islamic state when the Federation of Malaysia was formed in 1963.

He said: “I think my colleagues in the government will forgive me for saying that I will not agree that we are an Islamic state.”

Bernard is right. That Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state was one of the fundamental principles of nation-building in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 for the establishment of Malaysia with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, which left the federation two years later in 1965.

What is most shocking is that for past six years, no Sabah or Sarawak leader, whether Minister or Deputy Minister, whether at the national or state level, had come forward to state such a simple historical truth.

Bernard must be commended for being the first Minister from Sabah and Sarawak with the political principle, conviction and integrity to speak up to defend and uphold the fundamental principle of nation-building in the establishment of Malaysia. The question is which next Minister or Deputy Minister, whether at national or state level, Sabah or Sarawak, will now emulate Bernard to speak and defend the truth. From PBS in Sabah or SUPP in Sarawak?

This crucial issue concerns not just Sabah and Sarawak but the whole Malaysian nation — for the fundamental principle that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state was not only the crux of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 but also of the Merdeka social contract leading to the attainment of national independence 50 years ago.

In Peninsular Malaysia, which Minister or Deputy Minister and from which political party, whether MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP or even Umno, is courageous and honest enough to step forward to speak the truth — that Malaysia was never conceived to be an Islamic state but as a secular state with Islam as the official religion.

If the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein could commit themselves to a Malaya and later Malaysia which is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state, why have the current generation of Umno leaders deviated from this fundamental nation-building principle?

I have sent out invitations to all Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Members of Parliament inviting them to a Parliamentary Roundtable on Friday 10th August 2007 in Parliament at 10 am to reaffirm the Merdeka social contract and the Malaysia Agreement on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka anniversary the fundamental nation-building principle that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state.

Let us put aside our political and other differences and come together next Friday simply as Malaysians to reaffirm what the forefathers of the major communities had agreed in the Merdeka social contract and the Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia shall be a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state.

  1. #1 by Ah Hong on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:15 pm

    Dare to speak the truth. We are secular state.

  2. #2 by sotong on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:22 pm

    We must give our total support to those who seek the truth!

    Don’t expect any leader/s, past or present, from UMNO/PAS to confirm the country is secular with Islam as an official religion, not an Islamic state!

  3. #3 by awesome on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:25 pm

    Yes so happy indeed that Bernard speaks the truth. Hopefully more would join him and ease the anger of the grassroots.

    Malaysia is not an Islamic state because Islam is not the religion of all her citizens and we must be sensitive to that.

  4. #4 by sotong on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:35 pm

    BN leaders owed the local people and international community an apology for causing such an embarassing situation damaging to national interests.

  5. #5 by zioburosky13 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:41 pm

    Now let’s see if there’s other non-islamic mp stand up and say the samething.

  6. #6 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:52 pm

    Would be great if a Muslim MP dare to stand up and say Malaysia is a secular state. Guess this is too much to hope for…..

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 3:54 pm

    Hope his cabinet colleagues won’t come out with another “cheap shot” that Tan Sri Bernard Dompok’s view of this country not being an Islamic state is another influence by YB LKS as they said of him in relation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity (PSCI)’s scope of duties and powers! Fact is Bernard evinces not only a religious man (he’s a Christian) but a man of conscience to whom conscience to speak and act out what is true and necessary even in public domain and how he would have to account to the Maker in the hereafter is more important than blandishment of power and wealth that his ministerial position (decided by the powers-to-be) confers in the present. His resignation from PSCI was regretted by even Transparency International Malaysia. Wouldn’t it be great if the other non muslim ministers could emulate Bernard’s integrity? The last time the 9 non muslim ministers – Bernard excepted – stood down and withdrew the memorandum signed by them relating to amendment of article 121(1)A of the Constitution which they ought not to submit to the PM in the first place if they were so quickly prepared to withdraw it under pressure – the pressure of losing the benefits of ministerial positions, which apparently unlike Bernard are more important. Chong Kah Kiat from Sabah resigned as the Sabah deputy chief minister in protest over the stoppage of Mazhu statue in Kudat without any justification. Which BN minsiter next dares to speak the truth? – YB Kit. So far none. Semenjung ministers have lots to learn from their Sabahan counterparts when it comes to putting conscience before positions.

  8. #8 by madmix on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 4:03 pm

    Bernard is a staunch Christian; he will not stand for the c**p stirring and I am sure he is prepared to be kicked out of the cabinet for his believes. Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaysia with the understanding that they are joining a secular federation, not an Islamic one and we in S/S feel cheated when UMNO declares an Islamic state.

  9. #9 by grace on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 4:18 pm

    Aiya, maybe Ong Ka Ting(Stink) will say next and Samy Velloooo will follow.
    Oop! Fat hopes la! Those two will first calculate how much they will loose. Oh! Tak boleh la! Losses too much to bear:- no official car, overseas travel kena guna duit sendiri, no mileage claim, no servant allowance and finally the big one – no director posts upon retirement. Look at Ling and the rest. Directorship here and there!
    Hoi, tak boleh la!!! Too much to loose!!!

  10. #10 by Jong on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 4:22 pm

    At long last, one minister bucked up courage to stand up and speak his mind! Good for you Bernard, better late than never.

    Any more ‘jantans’ in BN? None from MCA, MIC, PPP and Gerakan? Still jaga-ing your periok nasi? Shame on you!

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 4:31 pm

    The Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah said that there should be “a place under the Malaysian sun for all” …..We are a multi racial, multi cultural and multi religious society. So it behooves our leaders to exercise a modicum of sensitivity when they are chest thumping and making emotional and parochial appeals to their constitutency – don’t make the rest feel estranged and alienated to the extent that even a minister within the power circle fees compelled to say in the public domain, “I think my colleagues in the government will forgive me for saying that I will not agree that we are an Islamic state….” Aren’t we not Malaysians first before being Muslims, Buddhists, Christians or atheists?

  12. #12 by ihavesomethingtosay on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 4:43 pm

  13. #13 by KL Dude on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 4:51 pm

    He set a good example in voicing out this matter bravely without being intimidated by his colleagues, like the rest.

    Just afraid that his so called colleagues now would try to reprimand him or try to make life difficult for him as they may claim that he is against and not in line with the party’s manifesto of being united and not supporting whatever that is being said or declared by the party’s leadership.

  14. #14 by chaiong on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 4:56 pm

    Bernard, I salute you ! You dare to stand up and voice your own opinion in BN. You got balls! But I am worry that your big BOSS will strip your pants and whip you, unless you are prepared to sack yourself from BN and join any opposition party. You already made the first move, any others to follow him?

  15. #15 by Libra2 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 5:05 pm

    He said: “I think my colleagues in the government will forgive me for saying that I will not agree that we are an Islamic state.”

    But why apologise? In fact it is those colleagues of yours who should apologise for saying that this is an Islamic state.

  16. #16 by Rocky on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 5:23 pm

    Kudos to Bernard. Did Sabah and Sarawak were told that they were joining an Islamic state?

    Bernard will be send to the cleaners soon and I hope Sabahans will support him and kick UMNO out of Sabah.

  17. #17 by AhPek on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 5:36 pm

    I go to bed tonight a little happier knowing that Najib’s declaration has not gone totally unchallenged in the BN government.Syabas to you,YB Bernard Dompak for standing up for MALAYSIA. Although he is the lone voice nevertheless there is a flicker of hope that Malaysians are beginning to get angrier being bombarded by all kinds of thrash over the 50 years period.In fact I’m fast beginning to think we’ve already gotten into shit street without a shovel. As for these 2 jokers OKT and Semi Value, don’t even harbour a thought they’ll come out to cntradict Najib as Grace rightfully say they have too much to lose—they have sold their souls long ago.That’s why Malaysia is so screwed up today.

  18. #18 by eDee on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 5:52 pm

    Thanks Bernard for the gentle reminder, and thank all parties who help to reaffirm this fundamental principle : Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state.

  19. #19 by democrate on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 6:38 pm

    He is a perfect Malaysian speaking on behalf of the Malaysians
    Realworld did you hear that? OKT, K TSU K ,SAMY, the balless leaders should follow the style of Bernard instead of hiding under the sarong !

  20. #20 by johnnypok on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 6:52 pm

    Bernard deserves the highest respect for taking the lead to correct a wrong, and to free the minds of people from being haunted by political ‘ghosts’. I hope MCA will take the Q to help echo the voice of truth.

  21. #21 by boh-liao on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 6:58 pm

    He should have said: “I think my colleagues in the government will AGREE with me for saying that I will not agree that we are an Islamic state.”

  22. #22 by MY VIEW on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 7:22 pm

    What is wrong with Malaysians. They dare not speak the truth? What is wrong with the truth? Is it a crime to speak the truth? Even in the courts, we have to speak the truth, the whole truth nothing but the truth. As a dentist, I would pull out your tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but your tooth.

  23. #23 by Bobster on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 7:24 pm

    Salute you Tan Sri Bernard Dompok. I as a citizen of this country I dare to say there a very few Tan Sri/Datuk/Datuk Sri/Tun left in this country whom can earn the respect and honour from the average Malaysians. You have proven to us over and over again you are a man of principle, a man who dare to stand on your lonely and narrow path while the rest of the world fanning race and religious fire of own personal gain and glory. Yes, you will receive the punishment from the team. End of the day, it is God that you are answerable to, not man. May God be your Strength and your Wisdom for now and forever.

    Hope DAP, PKR and the rest of the team can emulate Tan Sri Bernard Dompok personality for the good of this country. Stop following UMNO foot steps into destruction, fanning race and religious issues in their website and ceramahs, brainwashing the people asking them to raise up against their own Bangsa Malaysia while the leaders themselves quietly robbing away the wealth of the country and people. End of the day it is we Bangsa Malaysia that suffer not the leaders!

  24. #24 by k1980 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 7:36 pm

    I sincerely doubt if umno is going to allow Tan Sri Bernard Dompok to stand as a candidate in the coming GE. However, he has proved himself to be of a much higher breed and quality than the scum we find in the mca, mic, gerakan, ppp ect

  25. #25 by Bobster on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 7:36 pm

    Come on Fellow Malaysians,

    Stop Chinese vs Malays vs Indians vs Ibans vs Singhs vs ,,,,

    Stop Muslims vs Christians vs Buddists vs Hindus vs ,,,,

    Dont your guys realise you have taken the poison pills given by the UMNO leaders so that Malaysians fighting against Malaysians??!! Flesh fighting against own blood?!!

    Enough Is Enough we have Enough nonsenses from the GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA particularly BN/UMNO!!!

  26. #26 by cabby mabok on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 7:41 pm

    Secular state or Islamic state, is simple to solve. Just send a team down and interview LKY if he join an Islamic state or a Secular state in 1963, he has the truth. How would anak Razak knows? he was still sucking milk under his mummy armpit then.

    If anak Razak want to live in an Islamic state then he is welcome to migrate to Arab, bring along all the UMNO members if he want to and be a Taliban.

  27. #27 by johnnypok on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 8:08 pm

    This is only the beginning of a long journey to freedom. There are a lot of obstacles along the way, including highway bandits, dangerous rivers to cross, and the possibility of being cut-short and returning back to face even more tough time ahead. This is a struggle, a fate that no one forsaw 50 years ago. And now, a hero by the name of Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, has taken a small step forward, which is a giant step for the liberation of a large section of people whose voice has been suppressed for the past 50 years until now. Let us all pray for the realisation of real peace and harmony. Long life, Tan Sri.

  28. #28 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 8:29 pm

    All this rhetoric about Malaysia being an Islamic or a secular state is meant to distract us from the real issues.

    I feel Kit and those like him are being drawn into a never ending academic debate at the expense of issues which affect everyday Malaysians going about their everyday lives – like inflation and the Price Consumer Index, financial mismanagement and the widening budget deficit, free trade, the wrong fiscal and monetary policies etc.

  29. #29 by manutd79 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 8:46 pm

    While I do agree it’s important to make a stance on the Islamic issue, I don’t think we should harp on it too much, to the extent that it alienates DAP from certain group of rakyats where DAP has yet to make inroads. For DAP to be successful, it needs the support of this group of people, otherwise DAP will forever has a race label on it. Try to focus more on things that can benefit all rakyat regardless of race of religion – things like education, health care and most importantly the economy…

  30. #30 by manutd79 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 8:47 pm

    Amendments to my previous post… Islamic State

    While I do agree it’s important to make a stance on the Islamic State issue, I don’t think we should harp on it too much, to the extent that it alienates DAP from certain group of rakyats where DAP has yet to make inroads. For DAP to be successful, it needs the support of this group of people, otherwise DAP will forever has a race label on it. Try to focus more on things that can benefit all rakyat regardless of race of religion – things like education, health care and most importantly the economy…

  31. #31 by shortie kiasu on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 8:51 pm

    Why are the so-called Non Malay “senior” politicians from BN components kept their deafening silence on the issues?

    When faced with the real tests all of them just keep mum to protect their “ass”?

    It is really a shame on them, that is all that needs to be said!!

  32. #32 by izrafeil on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:10 pm

    Pure Islamic States = Pakistan, Afghanistan, SUDAN, Moro Islands… do we want to be like them? SKODENG Squads, Moral Police, Honour Killings….. Separate Queues in Supermarkets,… No WOMEN Politicans… WOmen relegated to MASAK MASAK ONLY?!

  33. #33 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:20 pm

    That’s right! No one and that includes UMNO politicians. If Malaysia is an Islamic state many of these UMNO politicians would have to have their hands cut off (not to mention other bits of their anatomy) and stoned to death.

    Believe me they don’t want that.

  34. #34 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:27 pm

    Is the government forcing the infidels to cover their heads, grow facial hair and not eat pork, have the men circumcised and put their women under threat of FGM or female genital mutilation? NO!!!

    Is the government about to do away with civil law and have it replaced by syariah law? NO!!!

    Is the UMNO run government about to make Muslims out of the infidels? NO!!! Certainly not.

    So?? I think it is time we realize that we are playing the UMNO game – a game in which the only victor would be UMNO.

  35. #35 by lakshy on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:39 pm

    Hey guys, How about voting for Nazrin as PM?

  36. #36 by johnnypok on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:41 pm

    Islamic state means absolutely no alcohol, no gambling, no prostitution, no 4D, no Toto, no Genting casino, no church, no tua pek kong temples, etc.
    Perhaps we should just carry on with our daily lives and ignor the argument over a non-issue, so long as we can still buy empat ekor and toto, and freely consume our favorite alcoholic drinks, and have a good time at Bukit Bintang massage parlours, and play slot-machines.

  37. #37 by mendela on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:47 pm

    Where is Lim Keng Yak?
    Why he is not making a noise about it?
    He is probably one of the most outspoken Chinese ministers we ever have.
    Why don’t he wack Najis for the last time?

  38. #38 by muscaa on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:55 pm

    Surprised to see Samy Vellu keeps extra quiet for this issue.

    But he ‘shouted’ in parliament before:

  39. #39 by hkgan on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 9:57 pm

    We can make a difference. We are not an islamic state. Change

  40. #40 by alphoti on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 10:21 pm

    My Salute to you, YB Bernard. Thank you.

    I always envy Sabahan. They can change state government when they are dissatisfied (though it may not be possible now due to several ‘artificial factors’ put in by UMO). Their DCM resigned on his personal principle. And now YB Bernard’s stand. Hope Malaysian (Non-muslim or Muslim) will always stand behind him as he might be in ‘grave danger’ as a Minister.

    I am from neighbouring Sarawak. Nothing to be proud of in terms of politics. Hope for leaders from SUP & other non-muslim parties to speak out? Hai….ya. Susahloh.

  41. #41 by negarawan on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 11:02 pm

    YB Bernard Dompok, my hats off to you! Hopefully you will do more

  42. #42 by chao ka zheng on Thursday, 2 August 2007 - 11:57 pm

    Only two options for BN Ministers:-
    i. Walkout from this office, or
    ii. Shit down and keep quiet

  43. #43 by takazawa on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 12:10 am

    Hats off to Tan Sri Bernard Dompok for his guts and gumption to stand firm on what he strongly believes in, [deleted] I wasn’t so surprised that this would come out from Tan Sri because he’s a staunch Catholic. I remember that not too long ago, Pope Benedict antagonized Muslims globally by his remark that “Islam is a religion that preaches violence and hatred” (which he was misquoted and misunderstood This is a clear portrayal of the aberration in Christian – Muslim relations globally.

    By the way, my father just returned from Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, and Oman, where the bedrock of Islam is. He told me that in Iran and Saudi, which have the strictest Islamic law in the world, everybody has to stop doing whatever s/he is doing (with the exception of emergency) during prayer times and pay homage to Prophet Mohammad. Even the shops which sell Roti Naan, Tosai, Chapati, Kebab, and all would not layan customers during prayer times. It simply means that everyone has to take a routine pause from work 5 times a day. Failure to do so would result in severe punishment by the Hudud and Syariah laws. If this basic law needs to be adhered to, then it is needless to mention about the other peripheral laws (theft, adultery, rape, incest and etc) under which all the UMNOputras would be killed first if they were implemented in Malaysia. If you want to have a taste of what a true Islamic State is like, then go to Saudi Arabia and Iran.

  44. #44 by chai on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 1:21 am

    first i want to thanks YB bernard dompok coz he dare to talk out that malaysia is not an islamic state. we are waiting for who is the next minister to declare like this!!!!

    but anyway i think we must thanks alot to DAP coz DAP oppose this issue from started to now also. THANKS ALOT

  45. #45 by pulau_sibu on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 4:42 am

    I guess it will be Robert Lau – another Catholic minister.

    For some reasons, the Buddism and Hindi ministers all prefer to keep quiet.

  46. #46 by sotong on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 7:44 am

    There are signs that the country is heading to become an Islamic state – separate laws, religious institutions with more power and authority, strong acceptance of Middle East culture and Arabic language in government administration and daily life and etc..

    Many Malays are not happy with the current situation and development significantly destroying their unique culture and traditions and the bumi Non Malays, including Orang Asli will be the greatest loser.

    Any political party fighting for a secular state with Islam as an official religion based on the Constitution and total protection and promotion of Malays/bumi unique culture and traditions for the benefit of generations to come will do very well in the next election, if not the next.

    Go for it, Mr. Lim – whatever the outcome, the country and her ordinary people will be the ultimate beneficiary – if not in the near future, may be in 5 years time!!!

  47. #47 by greatstuff on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 8:25 am

    This is the last chance to save the country from sliding irreteivably back to the dinosaur era. If Malaysia is declared an Islamic State, it will be the beginning of the end for the potential the country has to move forward and embrace the wide world in a manner never before achieved. The Merdeka Social Contract and Malaysia Agreement must be reaffirmed-Malaysia is a Secular nation and common sense must prevail, it’s our last chance!

  48. #48 by Jeffrey on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 9:41 am

    “Knowing that the spirit on the formation of Malaysia, as far as I come from, (where secular governance) is one of the central points, therefore I cannot subscribe to what has been claimed,” said the former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

    His statement is correct. The Cobbold Mission’s report by which Malaysia was conceived contemplated Malaysia a secular & constitutional form of government and had it been otherwise Sabah & Sarawak wouldn’t have joined. Earlier on, Malaya’s independence was based on Reid Commission which also contemplated a secular & constitutional form of government with Islam being official religion. Though an official religion, Lord President Salleh Abbas in the 1988 Federal Court decision of Che Omar Che Soh had ruled that we were a secular, which has since not been contradicted by any subsequent judicial pronouncement.

    The most relevant fact that in 1957 (Merdeka) and 1963 (formation of Malaysia), no Islamic state could possibly have been contemplated because at that time the concept of an “Islamic State”, as it is understood today, was non-existent and had not even entered popular lexicon. It was the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1978 and 1979 led by exiled religious leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini followed closely by the Talibans in Afghanistan that created “the Islamic State” on the back of political Islam.

    The influence of political Islam spread to Muslim States (in the sense of Muslim majority) world-wide including South East Asia and Malaysia which PAS capitalised. Knowing fully well that the cultural identity of its Malay/Muslim constituency is inextricably tied to religion, Dr Mahathir brought ABIM’s Anwar on board and embarked on an extensive Islamisation programme since the 1980s which saw the diversion of public funds to and construction of more mosques, encouragement of religious education, establishment of Islamic institutions like Islamic banking, bonds etc. No doubt those who attended Muslim religious schools (madarassas) or universities came back with appropriate zeal to spread its influence here. They are now everywhere – in the civil service and influence all aspects of government policies and their implementation. We have also seen the formation of many Islamic lobby groups and NGOs whose capacity to articulate their agendas, mobilize demonstration and exert influence on the government is very strong and exceeding that of even the other NGOs and civil and human rights societies.
    So much so that today the overzealous could raid pubs and haul up muslim entertainers for improper dressing, snoop at lovers in parks, hotels and private apartments for Khalwat with impunity without government daring to intercede and even the judiciary stays clear of intervening or making any explicit statement that may otherwise be perceived and interpreted as inconsistent with the primacy of Islam even in cases of manifest injustice and oppression as in the cases of Ms Lina Joy, Revathi Masoosai, Moorthy and couple other conversion cases.

    Like it or not, this is the situation the Mahathir administration bequeathed to his anointed successor who is now facing a very difficult task of balancing the religious aspirations of his own constituency (whose opinion is galvanized by the powerful muslim lobbies and NGOs) as against the legitimate anxieties – and rights – of other significant minority communities both in Semenanjung and East Malaysia and yet maintain unity and harmony.

    I say legitimate anxieties – and rights – of minority non muslim communities because it is a historical and legal fact that although our constitution is “hybrid” (in the sense that it stipulates under article 3 that Islam is the official religion and its 9th schedule carves out wide areas by which Islamic laws may be and are promulgated), the principal premise upon which the country and its social contract were founded is secular which serves best a multi racial and multi religious citizenry and accepted by all for nation building. This being the premises, it is not right to change the ground rules midway in the game : the non malay muslims will legitimately feel short changed and betrayed.

    One cannot insist on adherence to the social contract in terms of Malay privileges and yet renege on the same social contract in terms of ours being a secular state in the manner expressed above. That will be selective adherence depending on expedience than principle, and hence opportunistic and unfair. But being fair in terms of offering all Malaysians a level playing field has never been the ruling party’s defining trait – to politically survive and maintain power to infinity is.

    I agree that our press should be more responsible and not just report verbatim Najib’s statement that would be debated out of context exacerbating racial and religious fault lines. It is not as if it was earth shaking or as if Najib had purposely made such a statement to articulate, as a matter of official government policy, a paradigm shift to an Islamic state in the sense that the devout and fundamentalists could straightway press for implementation of an Islamic theocracy.

    The statement was reported out of context. Najib made it when opening an international conference on “The Role of Islamic States in a Globalized World”, for crying out loud, and it would be a joke if he had said we were a secular state to an Islamic conference: better we did not host such a conference. What was said and reported cannot be unsaid and we should understand that the gag order was made subsequently for damage control in that context.

    In this connection there is some sense in what some posters said here to taper off discussing this sensitive issue (after the point that we’re secular had been made) considering further debate on this brings nobody any good, not even the minorities.

    The ruling party has always leveraged on religion to legitimize its political capital and credentials. There is therefore no way top leaders of the government will affirm this is a secular nation because PAS would be the first to point out that if they are leaders of a secular nation then all claims of the ruling party being Islamic are hollow. [Don’t forget the bigger picture that the Western-Islamic conflict in the Middle East (flash point, Iraq) has further politicized Muslim movements worldwide and in Malaysia. They view themselves as counter-forces to cultural domination by the west of which secularism and human rights are Western imperialising concepts].

    Meanwhile what is Malaysia? Defined historically and legally we are a constitutionally a hybrid with both secular and Islamic features of which the former was paramount in light of the multi racial/religious populace.

    In terms of existing realities, we are an Islamic state if that term is used synonymously with an Islamic nation in the sense that Islam is given paramount importance in terms of formulation and implementation of government policies and a beneficiary of State’s public resources. No secular state would do what the UMNO government does for the Official religion.

    If what a country is described or labeled as depends on the definition of whosoever who has political muscle to interpret and enforce such definition, then we are no more a state with dominant secular features but one with dominant Islamic features, making us an Islamic state in that sense but not in the classic sense that we’re an Islamic theocracy.

    Not yet anyway as the ruling party only mobilises religion to legitimise political agendas based a lot on non-religious interests (eg economic development, the bread and butter of populace and also politicians by their OSA contracts), which is subtly and importantly different from PAS, on the other hand, that is pursuing religious interests as an end by itself. Admittedly, the gap between the two however gets increasingly narrower all the time, we go down the slippery slope, as UMNO appeases those who have theocratic ambitions to articulate and implement their agendas with relative freedom.

    Which means that if the Opposition led by PAS comes to power, the Islamic theocratic state will be established. This is not BN’s propaganda. It is real. It is PAS manifesto that it has to fulfill for its constituency voting it to power.

    Where to draw a line is the problem as one recalls the theocratic model has not been a shining success in the Middle East with large swathes of it in economic backwaters. No economic development means less contracts and less commissions.

  49. #49 by raverus on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 9:48 am


  50. #50 by democrate on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 9:55 am

    ‘What is wrong with Malaysians. They dare not speak the truth? What is wrong with the truth? Is it a crime to speak the truth? Even in the courts, we have to speak the truth, the whole truth nothing but the truth. As a dentist, I would pull out your tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but your tooth.’
    My view;
    you r right, even the PM likes the truth, but he has been hiding and avoiding the truth so BN will never tell us the truth!!

  51. #51 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 10:00 am

    YB Bernard, thank you for your honesty and integrity. It’s never too late. Any more Ministers want to join the queue? Ong Ka Ting, Toh Kin Woon, Lim Keng Yaik, Koh Tsu Koon, Samy Vellu, Chan Kong Choy, Pairin Kitingan, Ku Li …..


    Experience the liberating force of the truth; the truth will set you free. The next best alternative is to burn in your chest, fester in your conscience and rot in hell!

  52. #52 by sotong on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 11:38 am

    Any political party that threaten the secular state with Islam as an official religion must be totally rejected by the people – Muslims and Non Muslims alike.

    Like communists, the country has no place for religious militants, extremists and fundamentalists.

  53. #53 by melurian on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 1:07 pm

    I like this minister – his quotes and actions are remarkable – should learn to use them in daily. I really recommend that these should go down to history text books.

    Comparing with his predecessor Rais, this Nazri sure will do our parliament proud with his antics. Please don’t sack this guy.

  54. #54 by sotong on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 2:27 pm

    Misleading and manipulating the ordinary people for political survival and narrow and short term gains had done enormous damage to the country.

    The absolute truth will free the country and enable her people to move forward and survive and compete in a globalised world.

  55. #55 by sotong on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 2:44 pm

    It is utmost important the people find a prompt, fair and proper closure to this important matter so they could move on with their lives.

    It is grossly confusing and unhealthy living in an environment not knowing what the country is and where you stand as Muslim and Non Muslim.

    The people got the politicians to thank for the unnecessary mess they created!

  56. #56 by observer on Friday, 3 August 2007 - 10:39 pm

    In my opinion uncle Kit you had more options to promote democracy in our bolehland.(With the advances of IT)Firstly create another blog using Youtube format .. start by Local Authority showing all those clogged longang ( drains ) etc .. this will bring the real picture to the ignore facts , voter will be remind of the weaknesses and excesses of the present elected gov’n. Secondly keep on reminding voters on the folly of voting BN.. like raised Toll here and there and cannot protest, Islamic State, Samy Veloo Mathathir failed projects etc.. just for thought .. hope the suggestions will be useful.

  57. #57 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 4 August 2007 - 4:47 am

    Somebody suggests one way to remind Malaysians that Malaysia is not an Islamic state is to drop the crescent from the flag.

    Somebody in another blog asks if there are plans to change the flag if PKR/DAP wins?

    I think that’s ridiculous.

  58. #58 by shaolin on Monday, 6 August 2007 - 10:37 pm

    Long Live Bernard Dompok who dares to voice the TRUTH,
    Najib who likes Talibans so much, MUST stay in Middle East!!

    What Must we do to Sami Vellu, Wong Ka Ting and Lim Kan Eat?
    Throw them into the political river and let drown!!

    We need a peaceful Malaysia for All Races to live,
    As this country belongs to All And NOT to 1 Single Race;

    The 1 Race CANNOT Dictate All Other Races,
    To fondle the country into ISLAMIC STATE!!!

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