Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed today that Malaysia does not accept a form of secularism that completely separates religion from the state.
Anwar emphasized the importance of properly understanding the term “secular” within society.
“Why should we embrace laïcité when religious values hold significance?” Anwar questioned.
“While the state may have its secular aspects, religious values should be integrated into the system… that is our stance as Malaysia.”
Declaring Malaysia as a secular state raises concerns about the status of Islam as the religion of the federation and the reconciliation between the Islamic department and the sultan’s role as the head of religion in the state,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Anwar made these remarks during a question-and-answer session at the International Malaysia Law Conference 2023.
Anwar stressed the need for the masses to fully comprehend and learn the term “secular” to bridge the gap between the discourse of the urban or elite segments and the sentiments of the general public.
“The general Muslim population perceives secularism as being anti-religious. Hence, when I state that we are not secular, I am referring to this context,” explained Anwar.