WE SUPPORT FEDERAL CONSTITUTION / SAFEGUARDING LEGITIMATE INTERESTS
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) fully support the call by the Rulers to uphold the Federal Constitution as reported in the Straits Times of 31/10/2010.
The MCCBCHST supports the provisions in the Federal Constitution touching on the position of the Malay Rulers, Islam being the religion of the Federation and the special position of the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak whilst recalling that those provisions balance those special positions with safeguards to protect the “legitimate interests” of the other communities in Malaysia, including their right to profess and practice their religion freely.
The LEGITIMATE INTERESTS of the Non-Malays would include, amongst others:
(a) Sub-section (9) of Article 153 says that business or trade cannot be solely reserved for Malays.
(b) Article 3 (1) provides for the religion of the Federation to be Islam. It further provides “but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”. Thus other communities too have legitimate interests here, to practise their religion freely.
(c) Article 152 (1) provides for the national language to be the Malay language. But the Article goes on to protect the legitimate interests of the other communities, when it provides “no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using (otherwise than for official purposes), or from teaching or learning any other language.”
(d) Article 8 (1) provides for equality before the law of All persons except as expressly authorised by the constitution.
The members of the MCCBCHST are also loyal subjects of the Rulers and would wish to Appeal to their Highnesses to also protect the legitimate interests of all communities.
All the people of Malaysia should unite and uphold the Federal Constitution which embodies the Social contract to bring about social Justice and unity in the Country.
On behalf of our members, MCCBCHST affirms our firm commitment of loyalty to our Rulers and our allegiance to the Federal Constitution.
Rev. Dr. Thomas Philips
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