With reference to an article in The Straits Times, Singapore, on 29 December 2018 entitled “Malay group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) wants Malaysia declared an 'Islamic state'”, we in G25 are of the view that Sabahans will not accept Malaysia being an Islamic state and we are quite sure Sarawakians will feel the same way. They have said the two states will leave the Federation if Malaysia becomes an Islamic state and Negara Tanah Melayu.
An Islamic state means an autocracy where religion dictates the laws of the country with the council of ulama having the final authority on any legislation that the elected parliament or the cabinet wishes to introduce. The ulama council can also veto those it feels are not Islamic enough to be in the government.
ISMA should make it clear whether such a system of governing will make Malaysia a progressive country with a strong economy to raise standards of living and give confidence on the future of the country
Our view in G25 is that what ISMA is advocating will lead the country to become a failed state with poverty and misery for the masses.
ISMA may well get the one million signatures but mainstream Malaysia, which represents the majority, will not subscribe to its Islamic agenda.
Malaysians of all races know that the country has a better chance to develop into a united and successful nation under the democratic constitution that we have now than under a divisive constitution based on religion. Our people know that the reason why several Muslim countries became failed states is because they have allowed the autocratic nature of religion to manipulate politics and interfere in personal lives. All of them have a bad economy because nothing works in their system of government.
Malaysia has done well under the constitution which the leaders of our independence, representing the three major races, created with the concurrence of the Malay Rulers, to be the foundation of our new nation. The 1957 Merdeka constitution is democratic in character, with all the provisions of a modern country. Its basic character has not changed despite the formation of Malaysia in 1963 and various amendments to a few articles.
Malaysians are determined that the constitution must remain as our founding fathers intended it to be. The people will support amendments that are aimed at correcting the past mistakes to make us a better democracy. We will not support amendments that will change us from a democracy to an authoritarian regime or to a theocracy.