A Utar professor say the clause 'Islam as a official religion' was added later to pacify a radical faction with Umno.
KLANG: The recognition of Islam as the official religion in the Federal Constitution was a political move as the Reid Commission has never intended to do so, said Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) professor Chin Chong Foh.
Speaking to some 500 people at a debate themed “Hudud law: Divert attention or potential threat” in Wisma Teng Chin, here last night, Chin said the 5-member Reid Commission formed in 1956 was not in favour of recognising Islam as the official religion in a multiracial country.
To prove his case, he produced a Sin Chew Daily report dated Feb 21, 1957, in which the commission said that Islam was not stipulated as the official religion and Malay privileges would be reviewed after 15 years.
“The reason why it was added in later was that there was ethnic tension; some radical Malays within Umno had asked for the new country not to grant citizenship to the non-Malays.
“So in order to compromise, MCA agreed with Umno to put Islam as the official religion in return for citizenship for non-Malays,” he said.
The debate was organised by Radio Bangsar Utama, where DAP’s Hew Kuan Yew took on MCA Youth publicity chief Kow Cheong Wei.
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