Is Malaysia a theocracy or a secular state? Matthias Chang replies
The dichotomy is false.
For centuries, take UK as an example, which has a state system of Absolute Monarch, but answerable to Rome even at the time of the Holy Roman Empire. All the Christian Kingdoms fell within the wider jurisdiction of the Holy Roman Empire (Emperor) even during the split. When the centre moved to Constantinople from Rome, now Istanbul.
When Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn and defied Rome and the Pope, the KING became the head of the Church, giving rise the the Anglican Church. It was still a system of Absolute Monarch.
Then Cromwell established Parliament, and thereafter the King was re-integrated into the system, the Monarch was no longer Absolute but a Constitutional Monarch, though the King remains the head of the Anglican Church and Christianity was the RELIGION OF UK, as well as countries of Europe.
No historian has ever referred to those states as Theocratic States (no such reference as “theological states” — a misnomer) where the theocracy (the religious hierarchy) was in control of the government.
And until Common Law was in place, Ecclesiastical laws (religious laws) were supreme in UK and Europe.
Yet, these countries in Europe were never referred to as Theocractic States.
There were various system of representative governments – from parliament’s to State Assemblies etc.
If anyone dare under utter the phrase that Saudi Arabia is a theocracy, they will be beheaded as even though ISLAM is the one and only religion and no other religion is allowed and the religious hierarchy is very powerful under the sway of WAHHABISM (a British invention till today).
Is Iran different??? It’s a hybrid theocractic state because the State Power (with a president as head of state and a hybrid representative government) under absolute control of the Ayatollahs etc. Even candidates vying for election must first be approved by a Council controlled by religious leaders. Ayatollah Khamanei is NOT THE HEAD OF STATE.
So, Muslims must ask, which country in the world is a pure Islamic Theocratic State??? None. Zilch!
Theology is the mere study and exposition of a religion, as those who specialises in such studies are called “theologians”.
Theologians by themselves do not constitute a theocracy.
There is a powerful Anglican Church hierarchy in UK, and UK is referred to as a Christian country. Its religious affairs is administered by the Archbishop of Canterbury but answerable to the Monarch, presently the Queen of ENGLAND as HEAD of the Anglican Church and not the Pope, which UK BEFORE Henry VIII used to do.
It was this historical distortion that, firstly Malaya and now Malaysia inherited, making the Sultan the Head of Islam in their respective States, and the Agong at the Federal level. Which Muslim in Malaysia dare say that it is against Islam as such, when the Prophet and after his demise, has not stated or conferred upon a king as Head of Islam? Never.
In the Middle East, the creation of the British bastards, even ISLAM was distorted in that aspect. Yet, none of the ARAB countries are referred to as a Theocratic State, when all elements of Islam are present. ABSOLUTE MONARCH is the ultimate power.
So, MUSLIMS IN MALAYSIA can argue till the cows come home, whether Malaysia is a secular or a theocratic state. It’s a false distinction.
It is secular only because the religious hierarchy is not the governmental power but an appendage of governmental power for political objectives as the hierarchy is part of the “civil service” paid from the coffers of the state. But, ISLAM is the official religion. That in itself does not make a country theocractic! Ask the Saudis.
There are no two systems in Malaysia as such because it is only PERSONAL LAWS (as defined in the CONSTITUTION) that applies to Muslims. Even criminal laws as provided by the Penal Code applies to all Malaysians save certain aspects of the Sharia.
Even, in Saudis Arabia where Sharia law rules absolutely supreme, it is NOT A THEOCRATIC STATE, BUT AN ABSOLUTE MONARCH STATE.
So, you are positing a controversy that has no historical basis as there were no nation states (as defined by international laws) before and after the BRITS that were theocratic states. None.
During the British rule obviously, there were none. After liberation why called it “independence”), Malaya and then Malaysia was never a theocratic state.
The distinction is not religious laws (as in the case of Saudi Arabia etc) or secular Laws – Common Laws or Civil Laws (if under French or Germanic colonialism).
Who bloody runs the government is the distinction. Elected officials or the religious hierarchy (the Muftis, ulamas, imams etc).
If it is the latter then and then only it becomes a theocratic state, a State run by religious leaders (not necessary theologians, as a non Muslim can be a theologian of Islam or a non Christian can be a theologian of Christianity – the mere study of a religion is theology – Islamic theology, Christian theology, Hindu theology etc.
The China’s policy of One Country, two system is not comparable because from a geopolitical framework, HongKong was shown to be a complete failure in terms of development. It stagnated when compared to Mainland because the bastard Brits was using HongKong and as before, the global centre for money laundering and drug distribution to the West, with criminal HSBC and Chartered Banks as the main conduit.
Now, the BRITS and US are told to piss off and can no longer use HongKong for that nefarious purpose.
Hong Kong is no longer relevant as it has been exposed for what it has been doing.
Was never a democracy under the BRITS one man/ governor rule and Hongkees were essentially British arselickers.
In Malaysia, there was never a two system rule. It is still a British neo-colonial appendage. Otherwise how do we explain that the filthy rich ruling class and compradors sent their children to UK to be brainwashed and come back as Anglophiles???
The entire Muddle (not middle) East and all the wars of Muslim killing Muslims for whitemen agendas was and still is a British construct with USA as the bouncer/ bully boys.
If truth be told. It is there that we have two systems, the British /USA still controlling with Arab royals as stooges because each of those countries were created by the Brits with Islam as the PERCEIVED local system but all else from the entrenched military state (all armaments sold by the West at inflated prices) to the Monarch are all Brits controlled. Sad but true.