DAP requests clarification over secular state issue

  • Nation
  • Monday, 16 Jun 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP has called on the King to refer to the Federal Court to clear the air "once and for all" about whether Malaysia is a secular state or not.

Gobind Singh Deo (DAP - Puchong) said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can invoke Article 130 of the Federal Constitution to refer to the Federal Court for its opinion on the matter.

"This is a matter of public importance. There is a need for clarity as it involves the Federal Constitution.

"As an MP, I call upon the King to invoke Article 130," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Under Article 130 of Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may refer to the Federal Court for its opinion any question as to the effect of any provision and the Court shall pronounce in open court its opinion on any question so referred to it.

Gobind was referring to a statement made by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom that Malaysia was not a secular state.

The minister had said Article 3 of the Federal Constitution clearly stated that Islam is the religion of the Federation; however, others are free to profess their religion of choice.

Gobind said his late father and former DAP national chairman, Karpal Singh, had made a similar call in 2012.

"Karpal had asked for a full bench of 12 judges to determine the issue," he said.

Gobind also pointed out that the Supreme Court had made a judgment in 1988 which stated that the law in this country was secular.

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