Malaysia, which adheres to the concept of wasatiyyah (moderation), is seen as a unique and progressive Islamic state that it is acknowledged by many other Muslim countries, says Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.
He said Malaysia was also considered unique by many world leaders for the freedom of religion practised in the country, despite Islam being the official religion of the federation.
He said it because of this unique factor that attracted other countries to emulate Malaysia or make it a model Muslim country, as well as the reason for Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud to establish the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) in Malaysia.
"I had also asked King Salman's religious adviser why Malaysia was chosen as the location for the KSCIP and he said, our country is the true face of Islam, balanced, moderate and recognises co-existence. All these features are not found in our country (Saudi Arabia), but they are in yours," said Asyraf.
He said this at a forum “Mendaulatkan Institusi Raja Dalam Perspektif Agama” held in conjunction with the 2017 National Student Leadership Conference (Pemanas) in Kuala Lumpur today, which is one of the programmes leading up to the 2017 Umno general assembly next week.
Meanwhile, Asyraf Wajdi said that Umno, as the lead party in Barisan Nasional, had always been fighting for Islam as well as empowering the religious institutions.
"For example, this year alone, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia received an additional allocation of almost RM1 billion, as we spend RM558 million of the RM994 million allocated only to pay allowances to imams.
"In addition, RM1.3 billion is allocated annually for the Islamic education division under the Ministry of Education, besides various other provisions," he said.