March 31, 2015 by Suara Kebenaran
The raid on PKR’s headquarters is unconstitutional and a gross abuse of power by the police, Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali said today. He said protests such as KitaLawan were allowed under the Constitution and preventing lawmakers from performing their duties was against the law.
As not only the Menteri Besar and a State Assemblyman, but also as one of the 222 Members of Parliament, Azmin should be more careful when he issues a statement. When he uses words such as unconstitutional, gross abuse of power, allowed under the Constitution, performing their duties, against the law, and so on, he needs to be more specific.
Azmin has to point out which Article in the Constitution he is referring to.
I, too, can make statements such as any opposition to Islamic laws goes against the Constitution which states that Islam is the religion of the Federation. Hence those who oppose Hudud are breaking the law and are illegally preventing Muslims from doing their duty.
What difference is my statement compared to Azmin’s statement?
I have said this so many times before and I am going to say it again. Malaysia’s Federal Constitution is ambiguous at times and even somewhat contradictory in certain sub-Articles. This is the case of one hand giving and the other hand taking it away again.
Then, of course, we have State Constitutions, which applies as long as the Articles in that State Constitution do not contradict the Federal Constitution. Further to that we have state laws that run parallel to federal laws, again, as long as these state laws do not contradict federal laws.
Even in the United States they have state laws separate to federal laws. Take gay marriages as one example. Some states legalise it and some do not. The legality of gay marriages depends on the state you are in. The same goes with divorce. In some states it is easy to divorce and in others it is not. And in some states if you divorce you can go bankrupt.
There have been cases where people have gone to the US Supreme Court to challenge state laws. And sometimes they win and sometimes they don’t. Hence the issue of the Constitution and laws is a very complex matter. Hence, also, to summarise it in a very simple manner the way Azmin has done is very misleading.
Even a simple thing like whether Malaysia is or is not a Secular State has attracted debate and controversy. Some are fond of quoting the First Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman who once said he will defend Malaysia’s secular Constitution. So, if Tunku Rahman said that then this is proof that Malaysia is a Secular State.
Tunku Rahman also said that water and oil do not mix. This means you can drink if at the same time you pray. So as long as you pray then there is no problem if you drink. This was the opinion of Tunku Rahman.
This matter, of course, relates to Islam. However, which verse of the Qur’an was the Tunku quoting? He does not say. That is merely his opinion, which is not in the Qur’an. How many Muslims would agree with this?
Hence just because Tunku Rahman said so does not make it correct and the same goes with the issue of whether Malaysia is a Secular State like what Tunku Rahman said.
People also like to quote Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said that the Constitution is silent on the gender, race and religion of the Prime Minister. This means an Indian Hindu woman can also become the Prime Minister of Malaysia. And if you read the Constitution this, of course, is correct.
What Dr Mahathir failed to state was that by convention and tradition that may not be possible. For that matter the Constitution is also silent about whether you must be straight or whether a gay person can become Prime Minister. The Constitution does not address the sexual orientation of the Prime Minister.
No doubt the law states that sodomy is a crime. You can get arrested and jailed for sodomy. But you cannot get arrested and jailed for being gay. Hence what is to stop someone who is gay from becoming the Prime Minister?
Sodomy has nothing to do with being gay. You can be straight and still get arrested for anal sex with your own wife. So the crime is for the act of sodomy and not for being attracted to someone of your own sex. And this means gays can become the Prime Minister of Malaysia as long as they do not get caught for sodomy.
But let us be realistic here. Even though the Constitution is silent on whether only straight people can become Prime Minister, by convention and tradition it would be impossible in the year 2015 for gays to be accepted as Prime Minister. Even in more advanced and progressive countries like the US or the UK they are not ready for such things.
State laws of those states with Sultans stipulate that only Muslim-Malays can become Menteri Besar. It does not stipulate whether that person must be male or female. But how do you determine whether that person is really a Muslim? The yardstick, of course, would be that that person was born of Muslim parents.
That is well and fine. If your parents are Muslim then you are Muslim and, therefore, you can become the Menteri Besar.
But how do you know whether that person is a Muslim, other than by birth? What if that person is a closet Atheist, like some people are closet gays? Do you know whether that person really believes in God or is he pretending to believe in God because it would be suicidal to declare you are an atheist?
No potential Menteri Besar has ever been given a lie detector test before his appointment as Menteri Besar was confirmed. Hence only he and God know whether he is a theist or atheist. We just have to take his birth certificate as the evidence.
Okay, enough digressing. If you want to quote the Constitution, law, and so on, be more specific. Which Article in the Constitution are you referring to? And what does the sub-Article say. For example, the Constitution says you have the right of assembly, however…you have the right to propagate your religion, however…you have the right of association, however…etc.
It is like in the US. You have the right to bear arms, however…you may not shoot your wife in the head because she overcooked your steak. So your rights are not absolute. They are conditional.