Home News Featured News Netizens back claims Malaysia a secular state, not an Islamic state

Netizens back claims Malaysia a secular state, not an Islamic state

A tweet elicits an outpouring of support for Malaysia to remain a secular state, even as fears of it becoming an Islamic state increase.




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In a Twitter post of April 21, a Malaysian asked whether Malaysia is a secular or an Islamic state. Of the 194 retweets and 306 comments, the response is overwhelmingly in favour of Malaysia remaining a secular state with a knack of sarcasm about the tweet.

One ISMA Hulu Langat going by the handle @ismadhl on Twitter asks: “As a Muslim, do we agree that Malaysia is a secular state? Secular from ideology, which separates religion from the affairs of life. Or we love Malaysia to go forward as an Islamic state. Allahuakbar!”

The salvo of replies saying Malaysia is a secular state, with some going a step further in clearly stating that it should not become an Islamic state, is contrary to recent trends in the country.

Recent electoral victories by the Umno-PAS-BN alliance following the nationalist party Umno’s alliance with the Islamist PAS sent fears of a heightening of already tense racial ties in the country.

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Some responses were laconic, with a simple “Secular” punctuated with “sayang”, “my darling” or “secular period”.

A few pointed out that Malaysia is a secular state and Islam is the official religion of the country and that it should remain unchanged.

Others urged @ismadhl to go back to the constitution that guarantees the right of all Malaysians.

Prominent opposition lawyer Latheefa Koya @LatheefaKoya says: “Astaghfirullah! why @Ismadhl ISMA Hulu Langat does not read the federal constitution in the beginning. Looks like you’re forced to move to Saudi Arabia. Anta (You) are not aware this is a secular state!! Ask other Isma-Isma to prepare to move to Saudi Arabia! MasyaAllah!’

Historic quotes from Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, are given as an example why Malaysia should remain secular.

One such quote, roughly translated from Malay to English, reads: “I would like to state clearly that this country is not an Islamic state as it is commonly understood; the fact is that Islam is only the official religion of the nation.”

The Tunku’s quote is in Malay in the picture above.

@Ismadhl’s tweet posted the question with a series of pictures showing an Indian Malaysian woman saying Malaysia is a secular state, not an Islamic state.

Some Twitter users mocked the user for even posting the tweet and asking the question./TISG

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