PENANG: There has been enough explanation about Malaysia being an Islamic country and non-Muslims are not worried that they will lose the right to choose their own religion, said Acting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
It does not bring any loss to the non-Muslims and they are free to practise their own faith without any pressure or objection from any quarters, he said after delivering a talk at a seminar on Malaysia Being an Islamic Country at Dewan Sri Pinang here yesterday.
About 1,000 civil servants from the northern region, including non-Muslims, attended the half-day event organised by the Islamic Development Department, Intan and the Penang state government.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad told a Gerakan assembly on Sept 11, 2001, that Malaysia was an Islamic country but this had not gone down well with PAS which insisted it was secular.
Abdullah said the rights of non-Muslims are enshrined and protected in the constitution and they lived peacefully and harmoniously with Muslims.
On liquor and gambling, he said: If the people realise that these things do not bring any good to them, the people by their own choice will reject them. At such time, the sale of liquor and gambling activities will no longer be accepted.
In his speech, Abdullah said the statement by Dr Mahathir about Malaysia being an Islamic country was made in recognition of all the efforts to comply with the teachings of Islam.
About 90% of the country's efforts are consistent with Islamic teachings and this has also contributed to the progress of the Malays, he said.
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