LETTER | Reference is made to Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa’s recent statement that the Umno-Pas cooperation charter will be based on the constitution of Medina which was drawn up in the year 662 AD, that is in the seventh century.
The charter of Medina is a historical document and a source of reference. It cannot be a constitution for Malaysia as Malaysia has already a written Constitution which was formulated after thorough discussions by the people of Malaysia.
The historical documents preceding the drafting of the constitution are amongst others, the Reid Commission report, the Alliance memorandum, the British White Paper 1957, the Cobbold Commission Report etc.
It appears that the use of the words “Constitution of Medina” is an innocent external packaging to hide the real intent to move Malaysia towards a theocratic state.
Our country Malaysia has a written constitution. Article 4(1) declares it to be “the supreme law of the Federation and any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with this constitution shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.”
When a country has a written constitution then all laws including Islamic law will be subject to it: “Implicit in the concept of a constitution is that of a higher law that has superiority over the institutions it creates. The constitution takes precedence over all other laws.
"Supreme law" - the implication of these words is that the norms of the constitution have higher legal validity than any other rule in society whether federal or state, enacted by Parliament or the states, of primary or secondary status, of peace-time or emergency status and of secular or theocratic nature.” Per Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi at page 63 of his book Document of Destiny.
Thus, all laws must be tested against the constitution for their validity.
Theocratic Islamic state - (i) “Islam is the religion of the federation and syariah law is applied to all Muslims in areas designated by the constitution in schedule 9, List I and II” - page 110, Document of Destiny.
“‘Theocracy’ literally means rule by god. In political science, the term has come to mean either one of two things. First, the temporal rule is subjected to the final direction of the theological head because the spiritual power is deemed to be higher than the temporal and the temporal is to be judged by the spiritual. Iran has such a constitutional rule. Second, the law of god is the supreme law of the land. The divine law is expounded and administered by pious men as god’s agents on earth [...]” - page 127, Document of Destiny.
PAS is in unrelenting pursuit of a theocratic Islamic state. It appears that the use of the “Constitution of Medina” is meant to pacify Malaysians into believing that it is an innocent charter of cooperation. But the exterior labelling appears to be a deception to hide the agenda of turning Malaysia into a theocratic Islamic state. If we examine the PAS statements and actions in the past their such intent is laid bare for all to see, as follows:
(a) PAS consistent claim is that syariah law is divine law.
(b) The Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (II) Bill 1993 (as amended in 2015) has not been repealed until today. It provides for hudud offences including amputation of limbs and stoning to death.
(c) Haji Hadi Awang when opening 62nd PAS muktamar announced an Islamic government for Malaysia.
(d) Abdul Hadi Bin Awang had introduced a bill in Parliament in 2016 seeking to amend Act 355 which at present imposes a limit on punishments.
(e) Abdul Hadi Awang in his message published in Harakah Daily on Dec 9, 2017, stated that PAS's struggle is to uphold rule by Islam, not for Islam to be ruled over.
(f) Hadi Awang as the menteri besar of Terengganu stated on July 7, 2002, that “when the time comes, hudud will be extended to non-Muslims.
In conclusion, Malaysians are reminded that our beloved king the Yang Di- Pertuan Agong has called for a peaceful and united Malaysia. The Yang Di- Pertuan Agong also reminded Muslims to respect other religions and races and that there was no such thing as suppressing other religions or races.
Therefore, it is a clarion call to all Malaysians to heed our beloved Yang Di-Pertuan Agong’s call for unity and harmony. Let us all unite as one for the greater good and solidarity of the country guided by the federal constitution and the rule of law.
The writer is a lawyer involved in interfaith work.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.