Ahad, 25 Oktober 2009


Islam is not merely a religion. It embraces the whole life, emcompassing a legal, social and moral order. Islam as practiced in Malaysia is not necessarily the same as that in the Arabic culture of west Asia. The religion has accommodated in digenous and preIslamic traditionas. It now enjoys royal patronage and constitutional status as the official religion of the country. The Rulers of the various states, while the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (supreme Ruler of the Federation) is the guardian for those states without a Ruler, namely, Malacca, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan.
In Che Omar Bin Che Soh V. Public Prosecutor (1988) 2 M. L. J 55, the supreme court considered the meaning of “Islam” or “Islamic religion’’ in Article 3 of the Federal Constitution. In a single opinion of five judges delivered by Salleh Abas L. P., their Lordships noted that although Islam was a complete way of life covering all fields of human activities, this was not the meaning intended in the constitution. British rule had introduced a dichotomy into the Malay state, confining Islamic law to operation as a personal law of marriage, divorce and inheritance for Muslims and secularizing public law.
From the early days of independence, the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, during a debate in the Federal Legislative council, sought to convey the message that Malaya was not an Islamic state. He stated :
“I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic state as it is generally understood, we merely provide that Islam shall be the official religion of the state”. (1 May 1958, official religion Report of Legislative Council Debates).

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