There is freedom of religion in Malaysia


Hence how can Nurul Izzah be wrong for saying that there is freedom of religion in Malaysia? The fact that so many Malays have left Islam and the government does nothing about it means that there is freedom of religion in Malaysia, even for Muslims.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Improper to use freedom of expression to confuse people, says Mashitah

(Bernama) – It is improper for an individual to use the freedom of expression as a reason to state an opinion which can confuse the people, especially Muslims, in the country, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said that though the government believed in the principle of freedom of expression to state an opinion, matters related to religious issues were most sensitive to Muslims.

“In the effort to exercise control over sensitive issues among Muslims, action can be taken under Section 298A of the Penal Code which relates to causing disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion,” she said when replying to a question from Amran Ab Ghani (PKR-Tanah Merah) on the measures taken by the government to control the issuing of ‘fatwa’ (rulings) by unauthorised individuals.

Mashitah said the legal proceedings under the provision were handled by the civil courts and a convicted individual could be sentenced to jail for between two and five years.

Replying to a supplementary question, from Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN-Sri Gading), Mashitah said that though there were no legal provisions to act against Muslims who propose that Muslims should be free to choose their religion, action could be taken against them for insulting Islam or causing it to be despised.

Mohamed Aziz has asked what action could be taken against PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar for having said last Saturday that Malay Muslims should be free to choose their religion.

Mashitah said enactments in certain states provided for a fine of up to RM3,000 or a jail sentence of up to two years, or both, for those convicted of insulting Islam or causing it to be despised orally or in writing.


Jais should probe Nurul Izzah’s statement: Khalid

(Bernama) — The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) needs to carry out an investigation regarding Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar’s statement on freedom of religion, said Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Abdul Khalid, who is also the state executive councillor in charge of Islamic affairs, this was necessary to prevent Muslims from becoming confused and ensure that there was no negative impact to the ummah (faithful) in the wake of the controversy surrounding the issue.

“I support an investigation into the matter and the actions taken by Jais on it as it is a positive thing, no Muslim wants another to leave the religion (Islam),” he told reporters here today.

However, he added that Nurul Izzah, the MP for Lembah Pantai, should be given the opportunity to come forward to clear the air over the matter as there were many versions on the issue in media reports.

He was commenting on a report in a news portal which had reported Nurul Izzah as saying at a forum held in Subang Jaya on Saturday that each citizen of the country had the right to profess the religion of his or her choice and that this included the Malays, all of whom are Muslims.


Siti Kasim, a member of the Bar Council human rights committee — and the person who asked Nurul Izzah Anwar that most controversial question regarding freedom of religion — said she is disappointed that Nurul has “retracted” her remark.

“I believe Nurul was just trying to impress the people, she didn’t think of the consequences,” she told FMT. Siti said Nurul should have stood firm on her remark that freedom of religion was a right for all including the Malay-Muslim.


I would have to agree with Siti. Whether what Nurul Izzah said was politically correct or politically incorrect, she has already said it so she should stick to her guns. She should challenge her critics to explain what it is she said that was wrong. If they think that what she said was wrong then they have to come out to explain what is wrong with her statement.

Nurul Izzah is now blaming Utusan Malaysia for this whole thing. Is she saying that she did not say what they said she said and that Utusan lied? Or is she saying she only meant that freedom of religion is for non-Muslims and Muslims do not have freedom of religion?

I personally know a number of ex-Muslim Malays who have left Islam to become Christians. And according to the Perak Mufti, about 500,000 Malays want to leave Islam.

I doubt someone of a Mufti’s status would lie. Hence it must be true that 500,000 Malays want to leave Islam. But why did the Mufti say ‘want to leave’, as if they have not quite left yet? Islam is about akidah or faith. And if you no longer have faith in Islam then you no longer have any akidah. And if you no longer have any akidah then you are automatically no longer a Muslim.

In short, you do not have to ‘leave’ Islam. By your very lack of faith you have been ‘kicked out’ of Islam, so to speak. Hence, it is not that 500,000 Malays ‘want to leave’ Islam but 500,000 Malays ‘have already left’ Islam because they no longer have any akidah.

The absence of akidah means you are not a Muslim, plain and simple. Is this too difficult to understand?

Now, how does the Mufti know that 500,000 Malays want to leave Islam? He can only know because the government has checked and they know the numbers because they know whom these people are.

There are two ways to leave Islam. One would be to no longer have any akidah. Another would be to go to the National Registration Department (NRD) and inform them that you have left Islam and you want the ‘Islam’ on your identity card removed.

Now, whether the NRD does or does not remove the ‘Islam’ on your ID does not matter. ‘Legally’, you may still be a Muslim if they do not amend/update your ID. Technically, you are no longer a Muslim.

Hence Islam is not about the word ‘Islam’ on a piece of plastic. Islam is about what is in your heart. And if you heart is no longer a Muslim then you are no longer a Muslim, never mind what that piece of plastic says.

Some people dispute the Perak Mufti’s figure of 500,000. They say that figure is too high and that it is actually much lower than that. Okay, so it may not be 500,000. It may be only 100,000 or 50,000 or just 10,000. Whatever the figure may be, the government does not deny the fact that some Muslims want to or have already left Islam. And I personally know some of these people.

I also know many Muslims who still regard themselves as Muslims but reject the Hadith. The government calls these people ‘anti-Hadith’. However, these people say they are not anti-Hadith but pro-Qur’an — or as what some would call ‘Qur’an alone’ Muslims.

Trust me, there are many such Muslims, even amongst the Malays or Malaysians.

Now, according to the Malaysian government’s interpretation of Islam, you must accept the Qur’an, the Hadith and the Sunnah to quality as Muslim, all three. If you reject even one of the three then you are no longer a Muslim. In other words, tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of Muslims are no longer Muslims because they refuse to accept the Hadith and/or the Sunnah.

Hence, according to the Malaysian government, these people have ‘left’ Islam. In fact, they would be considered heretics or even apostates, and heresy as well as apostasy attracts the death sentence in all three Abrahamic faiths (although those in the west no longer follow this rule — as they no longer follow the rule on homosexuality, gay marriages, etc.).

The bottom line is, by act of rejection of certain doctrines of Islam or by total rejection of Islam, many Malays have already ‘left’ Islam (or have been ‘kicked out’ of Islam). That is the reality.

And has the Malaysian government arrested these people or punished these people in any way? The answer is, of course, ‘no’. And since the government has not taken action against so many Malays who by act of omission or act of rejection have left or have been kicked out of Islam, would that not mean there is freedom of religion in Malaysia, even freedom for Muslims to leave Islam?

Hence how can Nurul Izzah be wrong for saying that there is freedom of religion in Malaysia? The fact that so many Malays have left Islam and the government does nothing about it means that there is freedom of religion in Malaysia, even for Muslims.

And that is why Nurul Izzah should not act like she has done something wrong. Instead of sounding very defensive and apologetic she should go on the attack. She should challenge the government to prove her wrong. She should challenge the government to state that there is no freedom of religion in Malaysia and any Malay who leaves Islam will be arrested and will be put to death.

Nurul Izzah is probably afraid that she will lose Malay support if the Malays believe that she supports apostasy. Hence she is doing some damage control. It looks like the government has her on the run and she is falling right into it.

The video recording of that forum is now on Youtube and what Nurul Izzah really said is there for all and sundry to see. It is too late to try to explain what she really meant or accuse Utusan Malaysia of distorting or twisting what she said. Maybe she meant something else and they interpreted it as something else. But so what?

Nurul Izzah should not play this ‘I have been misquoted’ game that most politicians play. Instead, she should say, “Yes, I said that there is freedom of religion and prove that I am wrong.” Challenge all those people who whacked you and make them state that there is no freedom of religion in Malaysia.

Then, once they do that, challenge them to explain, if there is no freedom of religion in Malaysia, why has the government done nothing about all those many Malays who have left Islam?

The best form of defense is an offense. Nurul Izzah should go on the offensive rather than appear defensive. They are trying to bring her down, that’s for sure. If she has to go down then go down fighting. She should stand by what she said and make the government explain what it is she said that is wrong.

I doubt anyone will dare say that there is no freedom of religion in Malaysia and any Malay who leaves Islam must be put to death. If they dare say this they would have said it a long time ago. I would play poker and see what hand they have. I bet you their cards are, as the Chinese would say, chekai.

Come on Nurul, fight back, don’t back down. And cancel your meeting with JAIS tomorrow. Tell them to go to hell. Why do you need to explain yourself unless you have done something wrong?

Who the fuck are Nurul Izzah’s advisers anyway?