A thought about Article 11(2) of the Federal Constitution

Article 11(2) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia provides that ‘[n]o person shall be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specifically allocated in whole or in part for the purpose of religion other than his own.’

Now that the Malaysian government has embarked on branding (I use this word to emphasize the lack of bona fides, which is of course a wholly personal though much shared opinion, and which I do not intend to elaborate here so as to distract from the thrust of this piece) itself as an Islamic country and thus purporting to introduce Islamic principles and concepts into the administration of government and civil service, namely Islamic Hadhari, can someone who does not profess (this is the word used in Article 11(1) of the Federal Constitution) the religion of Islam refuse to pay income tax on the grounds that the taxes paid will be allocated either in whole or in part for the purpose of religion other than his own. After all, the concept of Islam Hadhari makes no pretense that it is inspired from and purports to adhere closely to Islam (say what happened to that whole policy and does the present Prime Minister even remember it?).

I am tempted to think that Article 11(2) was introduced to ensure that this country remains secular in government, both spirit and shape. But that’s just me.

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Fahri Azzat practices the dark arts of the law. Although he enjoys writing and reading, he doesn't enjoy writing his own little biographies of himself. Like this one. He wished somebody else would do it for him. He has little taste in writing about himself in third person. He feels weird doing it. But the part he finds most tedious is having to pad up the lack of his accomplishments, or share some interesting facts about his rather uneventful life, as if there were some who found that oh-so-interesting; as if he were some famous person, like Michael Jackson. When he writes these biographies, the thought, 'Wei, Jangan Perasaan- ah!' lights up in his head. So he usually just lists what he got involved with, positions he held and blah, blah. But this time. Right here. Right this very moment. Uhuh. This one. This one right here. He's finally telling it like it is.

Posted on 3 May 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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