Was Malaysia a police state in Oct 1987?

Opinion  |  Terence Netto
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Definitions, like ideas, have consequences. Muddled definitions, like murky ideas, would in time eventuate in grotesque realities.

Accurate definitions and clear ideas are vital for the health of a polity. If you think you can slip-slide around these things because they won't substantively matter, think again.

In the current debate in Indonesia over a decree banning radical organisations – defined as those contravening the state ideology of Pancasila – there have been calls for the “dissolving” of religions that contradict the national ideology's first plank: belief in God.

Indonesia is a secular country that recognises six religions, the adherents of which the state guarantees freedom of worship. The six are Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Catholicism and Protestantism.

A lawyer of Islamist persuasion and polemical intent has called for the “dissolving” of non-Muslim religions because they recognise more than one God, or do not have a concept of God...

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