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Can Malaysia afford to allow religion to encroach more on politics?

If we continue to surrender to the political ambitions of those who manipulate religion, then our constitutional democracy could be under severe threat

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The world knows Malaysia as a parliamentary democracy backed by a constitutional monarchy. 

However, with political forces riding on religious sentiments in recent decades, the nation has reached a critical crossroads.  

Today, we are experiencing acute ‘sensitivity’ over religion. 

Almost everything, including socioeconomic policies and day-to-day governance, has become a cause for inflammatory debate and religious considerations. This is resulting in mounting fears of extremism.

Together with Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy, a moderate approach to Islam was originally supposed to underpin the national identity.

However, some politicians have chosen to hijack religion to serve their own political ends, disregarding the advice of the rulers. 

And so, today our government has reached a critical stage: unscrupulous politicians are having a greater sway on religious education and indoctrination. 

We have reached a stage where almost every issue to do with religion has become so sensitive. If we are not careful, this tendency could soon threaten national peace and security. 

Lest we forget, the various religions in this nation have coexisted for centuries and yet, Islam has flourished.

In the immediate post-independence era, Islam thrived, without threatening the way the minorities practised their faiths.

But the crossroads we have reached today is different. Unlike before when politics and conservative religious ideology were kept largely separate, recent times have witnessed politics, government and religion being reintegrated. Policies are being considered and shaped based on religious needs and sensitivities. 

Can Malaysia continue to go down this treacherous path? The future is in the hands of the wise!

If we continue to surrender to the political ambitions of those who manipulate religion, then our constitutional democracy could be under severe threat before long. 

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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