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YOURSAY | Deputy minister’s shocking lack of legal knowledge

YOURSAY | ‘We pay you to defend the Constitution, not your religion.’

Respect state laws - deputy minister on unilateral conversion

Hello Brader: Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary is yet another clear example of an absolute lack of understanding and comprehension of fundamental issues that even a school kid can grasp.

How can a federal government function in practice when a state is at liberty to pass laws that contradict federal laws, and then require the enforcement of those very contradictory laws on citizens all over the country, beyond the bounds and the jurisdiction of the recalcitrant state?

Can one state out of many in a federal government promulgate a contradictory law, and then call on the federal government and all other states to have the contradictory law enforced?

Surely one has the right to expect a federal minister to be more thoughtful but then these people are like submarines, rarely seen on the surface of the water but move stealthily beneath undermining the very things they swore an oath to uphold.

Surely this posturing cannot be the acceptable stance consistent with the very oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the country.

This is akin to when an army is on the march, the one foot soldier marching out of step is convinced that it is all the others who are marching out of step.

So much discernment of the uninformed! Simply put: “This is my position, you comply, the national laws notwithstanding. Sorry, you have no option because it is my call.”

Constitutional Supremacy: How were such uneducated persons appointed as deputy ministers? They are turning the Constitution upside down.

Article 4 of the Federal Constitution says that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

Article 75 says: “If any state law is inconsistent with a federal law, the federal law shall prevail and the state law shall, to the extent of inconsistency, be void.”

The Federal Court when interpreting Article 12(4) of the Constitution has ruled that the consent of both parents must be obtained to convert a minor to another religion. Thus, the Perlis law allowing one parent to convert a minor will be void.

Therefore, we appeal to the PM to sack Marzuk with immediate effect.

My Brother Did It: “Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary has urged all parties to respect the relevant state laws on the matter of religious conversion.”

Hello, if you don’t understand how the legal system works, please resign and sell kerepek instead. Federal law supersedes state laws.

It was already ruled in the Federal Court that both parents must consent to a minor’s change in religion, so any state law which allows one parent to convert the religion of minors is invalid.

If you can’t understand this simple legal fact, then how on earth were you made deputy minister?

Your boss, the PM, must be covering his face in shame. Aduh.

OCT: If this deputy minister cannot do this one crucial and non-negotiable task, he shouldn't be a deputy minister as his loyalty and trust are questionable. He should resign and join the state legislative division to take care of Islamic affairs.

Respect cannot be asked but earned. Don't ask for respect when it goes against the Constitution just because it is related to religion. It belittles Islam.

The government pays you to defend the Constitution but not your religion, especially when the religious way of doing things is wrong.

The Constitution is a well-written document by highly learned people for all the rakyat, and it doesn't favour any religion or race. Next time, think before you speak.

Noor M: Since he is from a party that rides on religion, perhaps I need to put it in a language that he can understand.

There is only one Quran, but there are four mazhab where there should only be one. And then we also have the Shia and the Sunni, we even have Ahmadiah and Muhamadiah.

Even in Malaysia, we have different implementations of Islam in different states. So how could we say that the Quran is the one absolute, irrefutable text? We are not questioning the Quran, but the sultans and muftis are fallible humans.

Meanwhile, all the states and federal territories must prescribe to the one absolute text, the Federal Constitution. Not only are non-Muslims bound by the Constitution, Muslims are as well. Even though Islamic laws do not apply to non-Muslims, the Federal Constitution applies to all, including Muslims.

Do not belittle and degrade Islam for the sake of worldly politics. Do what is just and right and return the underaged children to their parents. Religious bodies should not interfere.

Even better, perhaps the religious bodies could meet politicians and ministers every week to lecture them about corruption, justice, dishonesty, trust, responsibility and many more.

IndigoKite6964: Here is where there seems to be a surreptitious move to undermine federal laws by enacting religious laws at the state level that run contrary to the Constitution and the decisions of the Federal Court.

Nonetheless, states that allow children to be converted with the consent of one parent, by law, have run afoul of the Federal Constitution in accordance with the landmark judgment by the Federal Court in Indira Gandhi's case.

It seems incredible that ministers don't understand that the Federal Court has the power to decide on the interpretation of the Constitution and that all laws, even religious ones, must be in harmony with the Constitution.

This was what was ruled unanimously by the Federal Court in the case brought to them by Sisters in Islam yesterday. Perhaps Marzuk does not read the news.

If there were to be a review of the religious state laws in every state, I have a feeling that there are many that will run afoul of the Constitution.

It also seems incredible that there are so many commenters in this article that understand this and that this deputy minister doesn't.

What can you expect from a politician from PAS? He got his post via the backdoor and he thinks we are an Islamic state. That is why we need to vote them out.

FairMalaysian: There must be a mandatory requirement that elected representatives ought to be schooled on the differences between state and federal laws.

This deputy minister displays his ignorance and is using it to flame interreligious discord.

Of course, state laws must be respected only to the extent that it is not in conflict with federal laws and when in conflict, federal laws supersede the authority of state laws.

Mat Tayar: Marzuk, are you still being the proverbial ‘katak di bawah tempurung’? Do you truly not understand the law or are you just feigning ignorance?

The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land. There, understand? What a fool of a deputy minister from PAS.

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