Malaysia: Inter-faith group wants end to race, religion in politics

PETALING JAYA: The country’s main inter-religious body has called for an end to the use of race and religion in politics. Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said this in response to comments attributed to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang on Malay-Muslims forming the core of the cabinet.


“The race and religion card has been overplayed. This must end immediately. “The energy of all Malaysians especially politicians should be channelled towards further developing a society filled with mutual understanding and respect,” MCCBCHST said.

The council was referring to comments attributed to Hadi, as published in the Islamist party organ, Harakah Daily, recently.

Some media had reported Hadi as saying that the “Malaysian government must be led by a Muslim and Malay Bumiputra, and that the head of government and his cabinet members must profess the religion of Islam and must be from the most influential race.”

However, on Tuesday, PAS information chief Nasarudin Hasan told FMT that Hadi had been misquoted and that what he had meant was that “Malay Muslims need to be the core of the country’s political system and administrative structure based on Islamic Jurisprudence”.

MCCBCHST said Hadi’s comments, as explained by Nasarudin, was also wrong as it went against the Federal Constitution.

“The call by Hadi for only Malay Muslims to be the core of the country’s political system and administrative structure based on Islamic Jurisprudence, is contrary to the Federal Constitution.

“The Federal Constitution was enacted to protect and provide for all Malaysians. The constitution does not impose any requirement of race or religion for the appointment of members of the executive branch of the government,” the council said.

It added that the Supreme Law of the Federation as declared by Article 4 is the Federal Constitution and that the norms of the constitution has higher legal validity than any other rules or laws enacted by Parliament or States, be it of a Primary or Secondary status, of peace time or during emergency and of secular or theocratic nature.

Calling secularism the corner stone to harmonious living for all Malaysians, the council also reminded Hadi and PAS of the sacrifices by people of all races and religions for the country.

With the multi-racial and multi-religious composition of the country’s population, the council said there was no place for political rhetoric that could tear the fabric of Malaysian society.

“The various religions in our country promote a common ethos of peace, harmony and mutual respect.


 Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism Christianity Hinduism Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST)

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