Kit Siang should stop fanning religious conflicts

Raja Sara Petra

“Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, alleged that the freedom of religion in the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom to worship, does not include the freedom to not believe,” reported Malay Mail Online on Thursday last week. “This means we cannot incite someone to leave a religion or promote not having a religion. We cannot order or promote a belief of not having a religion, that is against the Federal Constitution,” said Asyraf.

If this is so, and I am not saying that this is what is stated in the Federal Constitution, this will only mean one thing. And that one thing is Malaysia is NOT a secular country because in a secular country the state does not decide whether you must believe in God or must have a religion. Two days later Lim Kit Siang said, “In the Cobbold Commission Report 1963, the Malayan representatives made the commitment that the Malaysian Constitution in effect would be secular, and it is most shocking that the Federal Government is openly funding activities of organisations which attack the secular principle in the Malaysian Constitution.”

So we have one government spokesperson saying Malaysia is not secular and one opposition spokesperson saying Malaysia is secular. Such talk is what causes religious conflicts as developments in many other countries have proven. Kit Siang accuses the government of playing religious politics but the truth is Kit Siang is also doing to same. Why must Kit Siang keep harping on the Secular-State-versus-Islamic-State issue knowing that such arguments are dangerous and may eventually lead to violence?


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