HarmonyMalaysia

Many Faiths, One Nation: our vision for Malaysia

MCCBCHST: Bersih has constitutional right to assemble peacefully

Press Statement – 25 April 2012

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) supports Bersih’s right to assemble peacefully at Dataran Merdeka on 28/4/2012. It is their Constitutional right to Assemble Peacefully which is guaranteed in our Federal Constitution by Article 10(1)(b) which provided “all citizens have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms”.

Bersih’s demands for clean and fair elections should be supported by all including their call for electoral reform which is also in accord with Universal religious values. All religions support amongst others, principles of Justice, fairplay, transparency and that no undue advantage is enjoyed by any party to the exclusion of the other.

Any argument that such assembly may cause traffic jams and inconvenience the public is not a legitimate reason, for people are prepared to put up with some inconvenience to allow for the exercise of fundamental rights by others.

The MCCBCHST therefore calls upon the authorities to allow Bersih’s sit-in rally to proceed as planned. The police have the duty and the capacity to ensure that the Assembly proceeds peacefully without disturbance from any quarter. We appeal to all parties to conduct themselves with decorum and honour.   

 

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

April 25, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment

MCCBCHST: WE SUPPORT CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION REGARDING ISLAM

Media Statement – 6th April 2012

We support the Regent of Perak Raja Dr. Nazri Shah’s call (STAR 4/4/2012) for parties not to manipulate issues. We on our part re-iterate that MCCBCHST has never questioned the Position of Islam as the religion of the Federation as provided in Article 3 of the Federal Constitution. Article 3 also grants protection to other religions when it further states that “other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”.

We further support the Regent’s call that “the etiquette of respecting and non-interfering in the affairs of other religions be adhered to”. Thus, every religious group should respect each other’s religion and work within the boundary of the constitution.

The Non-Muslim are in no position to be of any threat to Muslims. We quote ZAID IBRAHIM (Malaysia Today: 29/4/2011: http://www.ziaduntukkrakyat.com);

“…. the Malays are in complete political control. More than two-thirds of the cabinet is Malay. More than two thirds of Parliamentarians are Malay or Bumiputra. The Sultans are Malay. All except one of the Menteri Besars and Chief Ministers are Malay Bumiputra. Eighty-five percent of civil service is Malay, including the diplomatic corps and the educational and judicial services. The Armed forces and Police are composed primarily of Malays. Rela Members are Mostly Malay….”

We are saddened that Non-Muslims have been warned as rasing racial issues, when in fact the statement should be addressed to all. Raja Petra (Malaysia Today 3/4/12) lays the blame for racial issues with other quarters.

The MCCBCHST does not encourage and has never played up racial issues. What it has done is that when Non-Muslim rights are affected, it points out the constitutional provisions relating to the matter.

What is the boundary of Article 3? Does it override the Federal Constitution. The answer lies in Article 4 which declares “This constitution is the supreme law of the land”.

Professor Dr. Shad Foruqi (STAR 3/5/2007) at page N51 stated:

“However though Islam is the religion of the Federation, Malaysia is not an Islamic state. The Syariah is not the basic law of the land. The constitution is supreme……….. Further, Article 3 (on Islam) does not extinguish any thing else in the constitution …… Nor can Article 3 be relied on to trump any other constitutional provision…..”

We feel that what is at stake is the interpretation of the constitutional provisions. Thus, some rational debate must be allowed within the perimeters of the Law. A healthy debate gives us room to develop a stronger Malaysia based on our Federal Constitution.

Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS – President
Sardar Jagir Singh – Deputy President
Venerable Sing Kan – Vice President
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips – Vice President
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW,AMK,BKM,PJK – Vice President
Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena – Hon. Secretary General

April 6, 2012 Posted by | Public Statements | Leave a comment