Tawfik Ismail–On JAKIM and Matters of Religion

January 9, 2016

Tawfik Ismail–On JAKIM and Matters of Religion

by Daniel Albakri



G25 member and former UMNO MP Tawfik Ismail (pic) says he stands firmly by his conviction that matters of religion are solely the purview of the rulers, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, even as he is being investigated for sedition.

Tawfik, who is the son of Malaysia’s Second Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, said he told this to the Police as well as his views on the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) when questioned for about an hour at the Shah Alam Police station on Friday.

“I wasn’t inconsistent in my views. I wasn’t talking about anything more than following the constitutional boundaries that delineate roles in the country.The issue is that the power of religion should remain in hands of the rulers. That is their role in the constitution,” he said.

Tawfik said he told the Police his statements on abolishing JAKIM, which were what got him into trouble, were in response to a question posed to him in an interview last year on what he felt was different now in the Government.

“The question arose: what do I feel is the difference between today and when Tunku and Tun Abdul Razak were at the helm of the country.I said that the biggest difference was that JAKIM, under the Prime Minister’s office, is now usurping the role of the Sultans and the state religious authorities,” he said.


He reiterated his opinion that the roles held by JAKIM could be taken over from existing ministries. “Their responsibilities can be borne by the Health and Trade ministries. You don’t need another department to enforce it at the expense of the Government,” he said. However, he added that did not hold anything against the Police for conducting the sedition probe on him.“I believe the Police have a duty to investigate any matter that has been raised as a concern to the public. They are right to do that,” he said.Tawfik added that his views were his own and did not represent those of G25.

9 thoughts on “Tawfik Ismail–On JAKIM and Matters of Religion

  1. I have two points to make.

    Point One: Why are we going overboard about Islam. We preach one thing and do another. The sheer hypocrisy of this is just mind boggling to me. We as Muslims do not have the right to privacy. It is more difficult to be a Muslim, although Islam is a religion based on conscience, not one that is distorted by injunctions of JAKIM which are essentially politically motivated.

    Point 2: Haven’t we have anything better to do with rm1 billion than to fund a religious bureaucracy which makes Muslims in Malaysia into a bunch of bigots. I agree with Tawfik that JAKIM should be disbanded. It is time we make sure that ” matters of religion are solely the purview of the Rulers, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution”.–Din Merican

  2. Jakim was founded by no less Tunku who fought until his dying breath for a secular state. That it now is basically unconstitutional from the founder’s intent begs the questions not only why the Malays have done it but more important where is it going?

    This question of why the Malays completely moved away from the original intent, idea or interpretation of the facts, some the facts itself, is not confined to just Jakim. In fact it’s role of Islam itself, the secularity of this country and of course “special rights” and “social contract” and a few others.

    The why is obvious – ketuanan but the where it is going is the heated argument. The thing is nothing, that is build on twisted facts – lies basically nd away from noble original intent, ever end well. Policies, Grand ideas, lasting ideas must be based on truth and original intent. Each time ideas are twisted, it always disastrous in the end.

  3. With increased pressure on Muslims in this country on religion, a negative picture is being painted on the life of Muslims unlike in India and other countries like Indonesia, a country of world’s populous Muslims.

    In India, a Hindu can marry a Muslim without changing their religious beliefs. Children born to them can name whatever name either party agrees to name the child. They are living in a much happier world within their communities. This is a real practice of religious freedom. It is not for the man on earth to decide, like Hadi to say what will happen after death if one goes to ‘hell’ or ‘heaven’.

    Children born under this integrated religious marriages in India are much better off and they chose their future thereafter without much fuss. Since my youthful days, I wished that this would happen one day but instead it is becoming too extreme to ever think of becoming a Muslim.

    Of recent, I came to meet certain person of Muslim religion who was preparing to migrate to other countries because of the extremism practiced here. The youth was converted at the age of 2 and to-date he has not practiced the Islamic religious beliefs but instead he has been following the Chines traditions and culture although he carries Muslim name in his ID but he preferred to be called by Chinese name. He expressed his fear of these religious extremists spying on Muslims in the country.

    He is seriously preparing papers for migration to get out of this country to live in a place where he could get religious freedom to think freely. Our country would have been much better if there was no force on religion and would have ended all the enmity among the people of various religions.

    So it my opinion that Din’s points raised are very apt to accommodate under this multi religious concept and the billion ringgit allotment be it used in a better way for our country’s educational need.

  4. Dunia Barat , mereka berpusu-pusu memelok Ugama Islam, kerana telah YAKIN (convinced ) tentang perkara2 yang TERSIRAT , dan ramai tidak yakin jika hanya tertaklok kepada yang TERSURAT….

    Malang nya, kebanyakan dunia Islam tertinggal dalam Khayalan…..

  5. Your life is not made by the years that have passed nor is it made by your contemplation of your future. On this day your life is still like a ball of dough. It is up to you what you want to make out out of it based on the constitution and the laws of the land.

  6. The Federal Constitution is decreeded to rule supreme but instead Federal Cabinet ( under Umno Baru )has abusively taken over its role.

  7. Some crocodiles issued their bad comments to another crcrodiles … But, they forget that as a crcrodiles they still like to eat “Bangkai Busuk” for their lunch ……

  8. Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak’s recent statement on the danger of politicised Islam being a time bom is highly relevant. The Council of Malay Rulers, charged with the administration of Islam, must take serious note of this warning and act to prevent it. — Kassim Ahmad

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