New Straits Times
27 May 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Any move to abolish the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) should be referred to the Yang diPertuan Agong as he is the nation’s head of Islam.
Malaysian Syariah Lawyers Association (PGSM) president Musa Awang said Article 3 of the Federal Constitution stated that Islam was a federal religion and the establishment of Jakim had never restricted the right of non-Muslims to practise their religion peacefully.
“Article 3(1) clarifies the position of the rulers as religious leaders in the state, while Article 3 (2) outlines the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the head of Islam for Melaka, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak.
“Article 3(5) states that for the Federal Territories, Parliament may make laws on Islamic affairs and establish a council to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“Therefore, any move to abolish Jakim should be approved and referred to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V first,” he said yesterday.
It was reported recently that there were calls to abolish Jakim.
Certain quarters had demanded that operations to curb khalwat among Muslims be stopped as they were said to be contrary to human rights.
Musa said any move to obstruct or abolish Jakim should be opposed by Muslims.
He said Jakim, established in 1997 when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the fourth prime minister, was part of a move to implement Islamic values.
“PGSM seeks to recall Dr Mahathir’s statement on Feb 6 that it defends the establishment of Jakim under its rule by saying it aims to bring the government closer to Islamic teachings.
“Dr Mahathir explained that Jakim’s establishment was in line with the goal to ensure that what we do in the administration does not conflict with Islam.”
He said the action of the federal or state government to allocate any expenditure for Islam was valid according to Article 12 (2) of the Federal Constitution.