Constitutional Law Freedom of Religion

Topics: Islam, Sharia, United States Constitution Pages: 13 (4923 words) Published: December 14, 2012
Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and to propagate it but state law and, in respect of the Federal Territories, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religion among Muslims. Discuss with law and cases to what extent freedom of religion is guarantee in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, Federal Constitution is the highest law of the land and its proven clearly in the Article 4(1) of the Federal Constitution which stated that any law which is inconsistent with the constitution shall be void. In the Federal Constitution it covers almost all aspect needed not only for the citizens themselves but also the government and the Yang di Pertua Negara. One of the important parts of the Federal Constitution is the fundamental rights of the citizens. Fundamental rights is legally defined as a basic or foundational right, derived from natural law where it is a right deemed by the Supreme Court to receive the highest level of Constitutional protection against government interference. Article 5 until Article 13 of the Federal Constitution stated on the provisions which involve the matter of fundamental rights. Article 5 ( Right to Life and Liberty), Article 6( No slavery), Article 7 ( No Retrospective Criminal Laws or increase in Punishment and No Repetition of Criminal Trials), Article 8 (Equity) , Article 9 ( Freedom of Movement and Prohibition of Banishment), Article 10 ( freedom of speech, association and to assemble), Article 11 (freedom of religion) , Article 12 ( right of education ) and lastly Article 13 ( Right to Property). The relevant Article of this issue of right to profess any religion in Malaysia has been clearly stated in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution. Article 11 (1) Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it. Article 11 (2) goes a bit deeper of this freedom religion regarding taxation for religion purposes. In this article, no person shall be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specially allocated in whole or in part for the purposes of a religion other than his own.

In Article 11 (3) every religious group has the right whether (a) to manage its own religious affairs ;
(b) to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes; and (c) to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with law. Article 11 (4) provided that State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam. Article 11 (5) mentioned that this Article does not authorize any act contrary to any general law relating to public order, public health or morality.

Malaysia is a country that consists of various types of community which is also known as multi-racial community. In Malaysia, we have Malays, Indians, Chinese and also the bumiputeras. These ethnics or races of people in Malaysia have different beliefs and religion which they are professing. That is why there is the presence of Article 11(1) in the Federal Constitution which took into account on the rights of all the races in Malaysia. The presence of this Article is to ensure that there is freedom or right for them to freely profess their religion or beliefs. In this Article, every citizen in Malaysia can practice and profess their own religion. That is why there are many religions in Malaysia such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. Besides religion, we also have various types of festivals depending on the religion of the people. For example, for the Muslims, they celebrate Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and Hari Raya Aidil Adha as it is part of the practice of the religion. Meanwhile, the Hindus they celebrate Deepavali while the Buddhist they celebrate Cap Goh Meh. However, the Christian they celebrate Christmas Day. Different types of...
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