The overall score of Malaysia’s first ever Syariah Index for 2015 is 75.42 percent.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the score was based on the government’s performance and commitment towards the Islamic agenda in eight major areas which were evaluated and assessed through a comprehensive and scientific research.
The eight areas are education, legal, politics, health, economy, culture, social and infrastructure and environment.
“The index, the first of its kind in the world, is based on the findings of a six-month research conducted nationwide, involving 133 researchers in various disciplines,” he said when tabling the Malaysian Syariah Index Report at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre today.
The index evaluated and assessed the government’s seriousness in achieving the five aspects of the ‘Maqasid Syariah’ or syariah requirements, namely the protection of the religion, protection of life, protection of the mind, protection of the race and protection of property, in those eight areas.
Najib said based on the findings in the policymaker, implementer and public categories, the score of syariah index for education was 82.5 percent, which proved that all efforts done for educational development were accepted positively by the people.
The legal aspect scored 87.19 percent, thanks to the efforts taken by ulama and umara (religious scholars and leaders) who had strived to uphold the principles of syariah ever since the pre-Independence era, he said.
On the score of 65.27 percent in economy, the prime minister said despite the fact that the foundation of Malaysia’s economy was quite conventional, the government had always tried to adapt the syariah principles in its system; so much so that most of the country’s economic policies had been in accordance with the Maqasid Syariah.
In politics, the research concluded that the score is 79.19 percent, he said.
“This index is sufficient for us to undertake self-reflection on our performance to do more political transformation in the country,” he said.
Priority in providing basic necessities
For the score of 73.92 percent in health, Najib said the government had put as priority the value of Maqasid Syariah in providing basic necessities for the people, including by opening the 1Malaysia Clinic that charges only RM1 to each patient seeking medical attention.
He said the research also showed that Malaysia had scored 68.52 percent in social area, which mainly contributed by the conducive political environment.
“The social index development is vital as a benchmark to the Islamic teachings planned and practiced all this years and the government will also study all the recommendations for improvement,” he said.
In the aspect of culture, Malaysia scored 66.47 percent in the syariah index and it showed that there were still room for improvement to ensure that all cultural policies would be in line with the objectives of syariah.
On infrastructure and environment which scored 62.31 percent, Najib said the government acknowledged the need to study each weaknesses to ensure that the people could enjoy living in peace and harmony.