KOTA KINABALU (8 October 2001): Former' Chief Ministcr Datuk Yong
Teck Lee Sunday said he has accepted Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad's explanation that
Malaysia today is an Islamic country.
Met at the 3rd BIMP-EAGA Exhibition and Road Show
2001 at Palm Square here, Sunday, he said that most peopIe had accepted the fact that Malaysia is an Islamic country.
"Malaysia has always been an Islamic country, considering that Islam is the official religion although its constitutions caters for Malaysians of all races and religious beliefs.
"No changes have been made to the constitution or the
way how the country was run and managed over the last 40
over years," he said, adding that Malaysia is also a member
of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).
Yong pointed out that the term "negara Islam" in
Bahasa Melayu is translated literary as "Islamic country"
in English, as with similar terms in English, Indian and
other languages spoken in the country.
He nevertheless described an "Islamic state" theocratic
state within the Malaysian context, where the government
is administrated by a "majlis ulama" (clerical council) and
others, that defers from today's Malaysian constitution.
Yong, who is also Gaya MP, Likas Assemblyman and
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President, pointed out that
the Prime Minister during a recent Barisan Nasional
supreme council meeting in Kuala Lumpur had explained
that Malaysia is not an Islamic state as perceived in some
Asked to comment on a recent remark by PAS president
Datuk Fadzil Noor that Malaysia was not "negara Islam"
Yong said: "The Prime Minister has asked PAS to explain on their
(PAS) definition about an Islamic state , so I think we have
to wait for that.
"We are equally interested to know from PAS what they
meant by Islamic state, whether it differs from the Umno
On the challenge by Fadzil Noor that the Prime Minister
PM should declare Malaysia as "negara Islam" in
Parliament, Yong recalled that the Prime Minister had
already stated that "PAS will oppose whatever we say in
Parliament just because their ideology differs from Umno
or the Barisan Nasional".
He believed that PAS would raise the issue in the next
Parliament sitting demanding the country's status as an
Islamic country or Islamic state.