G25: Malaysia will fail if it follows Isma’s Islamic state model

Isma members show the 'C' handsign in support of the Malaysia Negara Islam campaign. ― Picture via Twitter/Malaysia Negara Islam
Isma members show the 'C' handsign in support of the Malaysia Negara Islam campaign. ― Picture via Twitter/Malaysia Negara Islam

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 ― Pro-moderation group G25 today raised alarm over right-wing Muslim group Isma’s campaign for Malaysia to be declared an Islamic state.

In a statement today, the progressive group comprising retired senior government officials said that Isma’s campaign will ultimately cause Malaysia to become a failed impoverished state.

“Our view in G25 is that what Isma is advocating will lead the country to become a failed state with poverty and misery for the masses.

“Isma should make it clear whether such a system of governing will make Malaysia a progressive country with a strong economy to raise standards of living and give confidence on the future of the country,” the statement read.

G25 also said it was confident that the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak would not accept such a far-right ideology.

Last month, Isma launched a campaign for Malaysia to be recognised as an Islamic state, citing among others the position of Islam in the Federal Constitution and influence of the religion here.

It also employed the hand sign of the letter “C” to symbolise the crescent moon, one of Islam’s symbols.

The five-month campaign called “Malaysia Negara Islam” (Malay for “Malaysia an Islamic State”) aims to gather one million signatures to support its claim, which will then be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

A thread on Isma’s Twitter account listed eight items on its agenda, most notably the rejection of Malaysia as a secular country, and to stress that Malaysia is “Tanah Melayu”, or “land of the Malays” with the Malays its native citizens.

In addition, it called for stronger role for Islamic jurisprudence in the national justice system. Currently, Shariah jurisprudence is under state jurisdiction instead of federal.

G25 pointed out that an Islamic state ultimately means an autocratic system where religion dictates the laws of the country, with religious teachers having the final authority on any legislation which the Parliament or Cabinet wishes to introduce.

G25 added that Islamic preachers can also veto laws which they felt were not Islamic enough.

“Isma may well get the one million signatures but mainstream Malaysia, which represents the majority, will not subscribe to its Islamic agenda,” said G25.

“Malaysians of all races know that the country has a better chance to develop into a united and successful nation under the democratic constitution that we have now than under a divisive constitution based on religion.

“Malaysia has done well under the constitution which the leaders of our independence, representing the three major races, created with the concurrence of the Malay Rulers, to be the foundation of our new nation.”

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