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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do you think Malaysia should be a secular or an Islamic state? Why?

(The Nut Graph conducted an MP Watch program and threw 6 questions at us and wanted to know “What will Malaysian MPs stand for.
As this particular question ie on Secular or Islamic State has always been nagging us (PAS particuarly), I wanted it be made known to all and sundry, this is what I stand for. The rest of my response on ISA, FOIA, the Parliament etc could be perused

Let me begin by asserting that I’m an Islamist democrat. Like a social democrat in the DAP, who believes and advances social democracy in its political advocacy, I believe in advocating Islam as a social and political order within the ambit of parliamentary democracy; besides being a religious conviction per se.
In a multi-party a la-Westminster parliamentary democracy, all contending parties have their right to advocate, compete and seek for electoral mandate in an electoral process that should provide for a free and fair political contestation on a more or less level playing field.
Viewed from this perspective, I must emphatically say that I’m least bothered whether Malaysia should be or is a secular or an Islamic state. I’m least concerned as to whether you call this country secular or Islamic. What matters to me is the provision of equal opportunities.
[This includes] free and fair elections where every contesting party or coalition is accessible to the electorate. That is critical and vital for a democrat rather than [to] be engaged in the endless and worthless polemic of whether this country is secular or Islamic.
If the entire electorate decides democratically that the country is secular, Islamic or otherwise, so be it. The ability to accept the majority’s decision, based on a functional democracy, is a democrat’s defining criterion. (while minorities’ rights defended and upheld).
As an Islamist democrat, I stand to defend others their right to advocate (their) political convictions and I expect to be accorded the same right. As democrats, we are expected to accept the outcome of the political contestation and not take extra-parliamentary actions to subvert and undermine the state and its institutions. ( I’m not here to force Islam on anyone, not on Muslims, much less on non-Muslims. We are here to advocate Islam to all within a parliamentary democracy and upholding the “Rule Of Law” in a supposedly ‘vibrant’ democratic process). 
Being part of the Pakatan Rakyat, PAS and other component parties are (now) striving to achieve a truly democratic and functional democratic state, wherein rule of law and the federal constitution are upheld, and an open, transparent and accountable government is put in place.
This is more important, and a critical prerequisite in establishing a strong foundation for nation rebuilding, and securing a level playing field for everyone and every contending political party.


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