Freedom of religion enshrined in federal constitution, says Buddhist group

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PETALING JAYA: Freedom of religion is guaranteed by Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, says the Malaysian Buddhist Consultative Council (MBCC).

“It is the fundamental freedom of every Malaysian citizen, which clearly shows that the right of the individual to profess and practice their religion is safeguarded,” they said in a press release Thursday, September 9.

They were expressing concern after Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuki Shaary said that four new Syariah laws were being drafted by the government, including a Control and restrictions on the development of non-Muslim religions.

The MBCC said this has created a sense of unease and even apprehension, as it could lead to the deterioration of the rights of non-Muslims to freedom of religion as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“This ironically contradicts YAB Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s concept of Keluarga Malaysia which he propagated in his inaugural speech upon taking office,” they said.

They noted, however, that the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, said that no proposal to enact a law to restrict or control the development of non-Muslim religions had been presented to the Cabinet. .

The MBCC said an individual’s right to profess and practice his or her religion is further strengthened by Section 4 of the Federal Constitution which clearly states that federal law can only “control or restrain the propagation of any doctrine or religious belief among persons professing the religion of Islam”. “

They added that even if all the states reached a consensus, no law should be proposed to restrict or control the development of non-Muslim religions, as this was in accordance with List II of the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution where the jurisdiction of state governments were limited only to Islamic law and the personal and family law of persons professing the religion of Islam but not the non-Muslim religion.

“It must be emphasized that the right to freedom of religion is so fundamental and that no law inconsistent with such a provision may be passed even when a state of emergency is declared (Article 150 (6A)),” they said.

They also called on the prime minister to clarify the contradictions of his cabinet members and end the confusion, unease and worries that run counter to his Keluarga Malaysia that he envisioned for Malaysia.

“May the Prime Minister’s wisdom shine through his leadership to ensure that the concept of Keluarga Malaysia is fully implemented at all levels.

“May his administration be exemplary in its commitment to uphold the fundamental rights of every citizen provided for in the Federal Constitution,” they said.

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