Secularism or theocracy - a study of the Malaysian constitution / Dr Shad Saleem Faruqr

Faruqr, Shad Saleem (2004) Secularism or theocracy - a study of the Malaysian constitution / Dr Shad Saleem Faruqr. UiTM Law Review, 2. pp. 146-183. ISSN 1511-9068


During the last year or so an engaging debate has been raging about whether Malaysia is an Islamic or secular state. The non-Muslims of the country are adamant in their assertion that Malaysia's Constitution is and was, from the beginning, meant to provide a secular foundation. The opposition Muslim party, Partai Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) agrees with them that the Constitution is secular. But it says this in an accusatory tone and has made it clear that once in power it will amend the basic law to convert Malaysia into an Islamic state. The ruling Muslim party, United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), dismisses this proposal on the ground that Malaysia is already an Islamic state and, therefore, no constitutional amendments are needed. It rests its case on the fact that Muslims constitute the majority of the population. The constitutional monarchs at the federal and state levels are Muslims. The political executive, the civil service, the police, the army, the judiciary and the legislatures, while multi-racial, are under the control of Muslims. The federal and state Constitutions are replete with Islamic features. Islamic practices are gaining ground. Islamic economic and religious institutions thrive with state support.


Item Type: Article
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Faruqr, Shad Saleem
Subjects: K Law > K Law in general. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence > Comparative law. International uniform Law > Constitutional law
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam > Faculty of Law
Journal or Publication Title: UiTM Law Review
ISSN: 1511-9068
Volume: 2
Page Range: pp. 146-183
Keywords: Malaysia's Constitution, Islamic features, Islamic practices, secularism
Date: 2004
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