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Zulkifli moves to amend Federal Constitution

(Zulkifli image source:; al-Quran pic by Crystalina / Flickr)

PETALING JAYA, 23 March 2009: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Member of Parliament (MP) Zulkifli Noordin has tried to move four motions in Parliament to amend the Federal Constitution regarding the status of Islam.

The first motion is to amend Article 3(1) to: “Islam is the religion of the Federation, including in terms of laws and legislation.”

The second motion proposes to amend Article 4(1) to: “This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and, except for Islamic laws and legislation, any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”

The third motion proposes to amend Article 11(1) to: “Every person has the right to profess and practise his religion, including changing his religion except for those adhering to Islam who must be subject to Islamic laws and legislation.

To define those who adhere to Islam, the question of conversion to or apostasy from Islam must be determined by the syariah courts, which have absolute authority over the matter.”

The fourth motion is to amend the Ninth Schedule, List 2(1) to expand the powers of the syariah courts to try, judge and sentence non-conforming Muslims in accordance to Islamic laws and legislation.

In this motion, Zulkifli also asks for the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to be amended accordingly.

Zulkifli is also trying to move 16 other motions, some of which involve elevating the status of Islam, but these do not entail constitutional amendments.

These motions were published in the Dewan Rakyat’s Order Paper, dated 16 March 2009.

The Nut Graph made several efforts to contact Zulkifli for more details about the motions but was unsuccessful.

Personal, not party views

However, PKR vice-president R Sivarasa dismissed concerns about the controversial MP’s motions, and told The Nut Graph: “These are Zulkifli’s personal views — the party doesn’t endorse those views.”

Sivarasa added that Zulkifli’s motions would most likely not even come up for discussion.

As of 16 March, Zulkifli’s motions were listed at the bottom of 65 motions being moved in Parliament.

“This is what I experienced myself when I tried several times to move a private member’s bill for freedom of information legislation last year,” Sivarasa said.

Sivarasa said that parliamentary systems in other democratic countries allow for a certain number of days during which opposition-sponsored bills, private members’ bills, or other motions can be discussed.

He said the Malaysian Parliament’s Standing Order 15(1) for the Dewan Rakyat, however, states that government business has precedence over private members’ business.

Zulkifli was a prominent participant in the 300-strong demonstration against the Bar Council forum Conversion to Islam: Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution, Subashini and Shamala Revisited on 9 Aug 2008, together with others from PKR, PAS, Umno and various Muslim non-governmental organisations.

He was given a show cause letter by his party on 7 Sept 2008, but publicly refused to apologise for his actions. After delaying action on Zulkifli for months, PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali said on 5 March 2009 that the matter had been “settled internally” some time in 2008.

Syed Husin declined, however, to elaborate on how the matter was settled.

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6 Responses to “Zulkifli moves to amend Federal Constitution”

  1. I wonder, does Zulkifli refusing to apologise in public mean that he has already apologised in private?

    Unless PKR can pull off some PR miracle and demonstrate how the presence of Islamist and multicultural elements in the same party makes that party stronger, the public perception of a schism will grow, undermining public confidence in party representatives.

    It appears that Zulkifli is untouchable, perhaps his actions are designed to provoke a response than to be moved through Parliament. Sivarasa doesn’t address the motions themselves, but the likelihood they will be addressed. This seems like a passive-aggressive way to withdraw support. If he no longer represents the party, is Zulkifli, then, a free agent?


  2. Tommy says:

    If DSAI does not get him out of PKR, I guess I can’t support PR anymore with this kind of fanatics around. You can say goodbye to my vote next time around. I mean it!

    And with this kind of issue, it is easy to convince others, too. Either bye bye Zul or we say bye bye to PKR.

    By the way, what was the action taken. Why settled internally? Where’s PKR’s transparency?

  3. tengku mohd faizal says:

    Probably this Zulkifli joined the wrong party and I don’t think DSAI bothers about him as well. Since Zulkifli is from Kedah, he can claim that his actions represent his constituency in Kedah, which is administered by PAS. That’s the more likely logic that “this matter had been settled internally”. I guess PKR needs PAS badly.

  4. Bob K says:

    I guess its better to throw one’s support behind BN’s institutional fanaticism rather than risk an individual anomaly within PR, eh?

  5. wira says:

    I am sure by the next general election, PKR will and must drop this person for re-election in Bandar Baru Kulim.

  6. Abdul Rahman Khoo Abdullah says:

    Apa salahnya umat Islam ingin memartabatkan ugama mereka sendiri selaras dengan kehendak Perlembagaan Malaysia? Adakah pelaksanaan undang-undang Islam secara keseluruhan terhadap penganut agama mereka sendiri akan merendahkan martabat saudara yang bukan beragama Islam?

    Sudah semestinya tidak. Ini adalah kerana agama Islam tidak akan mengganggu agama-agama yang lain, penganut Islam hanya pohon hak untuk mengamalkan ajaran mereka sahaja.

    Agama Islam Agama Persekutuan. Kami tidak ganggu dan kacau hak-hak saudara lain dalam menguruskan hal-ehwal agama saudara. Kami ingin memartabatkan agama kami selaras dengan kehendak Perlembagaan Malaysia. Seperti mana ucapan DSAI kita akan menjaga semua hak kaum masing-masing selaras dengan kehendak Perlembagaan Malaysia.

    Ini adalah bersesuaian dengan kehendak Perlembagaan Malaysia iaitu mengiktiraf Islam sebagai Agama Persekutuan.

    Buat Tshiung Han See, Tommy, Tengku Mohd Faizal, Bob K and Wira…..

    Adakah saudara takut dengan pelaksanaan undang-undang Islam terhadap penganut Islam? Adakah anda faham apa yang dikatakan oleh Islam? Jika ya, pernahkah anda mendengar amanat di bawah:

    “Ku tinggalkan untuk kamu dua perkara (pusaka), taklah kamu akan tersesat selamanya, selama kamu masih berpegang kepada keduanya, yaitu Kitabullah dan Sunnah Rasulnya.”

    Adakah anda faham apa yang disampaikan oleh amanat di atas? Dan adakah anda sebagai seorang Islam tahu siapa yang menyampaikannya?

    Kita umat Islam di Malaysia, jauh sekali berfikiran untuk meregangkan hubungan etnik di antara kaum, umat Islam di negara ini ingin memartabatkan Perlembagaan Malaysia, selaras dengan Perkara 3 Agama Islam Agama Persekutuan. Maka, tidak perlulah saudara sekalian risau dengan usaha untuk memartabatkan Perlembagaan Malaysia. Semua kaum dan agama terjamin hak-hak mereka selagi mereka sama-sama menjaga keselamatan negara dan faham dengan Perlembagaan Malaysia.

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