Published: Friday October 26, 2012 MYT 3:04:00 PM
Updated: Friday October 26, 2012 MYT 3:12:08 PM
Karpal: King can invoke powers for Federal Court to decide on secular state issue
By ANDREA FILMER
GEORGE TOWN: DAP chairman and senior lawyer Karpal Singh has called upon the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to assemble a full Federal Court bench of 12 judges to state its opinion on whether Malaysia is an Islamic state.
He said in light of the impact of the issue to the country, the King could invoke his powers under Article 130 of the Federal Constitution to refer the Federal Court for an advisory opinion.
"This will settle the issue once and for all. It will be final. There is no appeal. Article 130 provides for an advisory opinion and the King is the one who puts it in motion.
"It has never been done before but I think the time has come in which he should do so," Karpal Singh said in a press conference at the Bandar Baru Air Itam market here Friday.
He said the issue of whether Malaysia was a secular or Islamic state was a constitutional issue of importance to the people.
"This (full bench assembly) will set straight the Government's position and so many others who think we are an Islamic state. It is a constitutional issue," Karpal Singh said, quoting the 1988 Supreme Court case of Che Omar Che Soh vs Public Prosecutor in which then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas stated in the decision that the law in the country was secular.
It was reported that on Monday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz told Parliament that Malaysia had never been declared a secular nation despite having secular laws.