The newly launched Shariah index to measure Muslim-majority Malaysia’s compliance with Islamic teachings must not infringe on the rights of minorities given that it covers many areas of public life, and neither should it result in Islamisation of the country, leaders from MCA and PKR said.
Muslim non-governmental organisation Sisters in Islam (SIS) also said it was understandable if non-Muslims were concerned about the index as it covered a wide scope, reports The Malaysian Insider, a Malaysian-cetric news portal.
Another report noted that Malaysia’s success in preventing the spread of Christianisation, queer activities, apostasy, and deviant teachings are among some of the measures used to determine the country’s adherence to Shariah requirements, according to a survey distributed to the public.
The confidential survey, which contributed towards developing the newly-launched Malaysian Shariah Index, also measures Putrajaya’s success in spreading Islamic values and cultures among Malaysians, either through the arts scene, mass media or schools, according to the Malay Mail Online.
It also asked whether Putrajaya has effectively prevented the spread of apostasy and deviant teachings, the report added.
Reporting on its launch, The Star report entitled Malaysia launches first ever syariah index on 11 Feb 2015 had this to say:
Malaysia has introduced the first ever syariah index in the world which will serve as a benchmark to determine if the country is fulfilling the objectives of Islamic principles.
The Malaysian Syariah Index, launched yesterday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, will gauge objectively and scientifically, Malaysia’s commitment in achieving the five aspects of the Maqasid Syariah (objective of Islamic principles).
The aspects are protection of the religion, protection of life, protection of the mind, protection of the race and protection of property.
The benchmarking will cover eight main areas – judicial, economy, education, infrastructure and environment, health, culture, politics and social.
The inaugural index which is expected to be released next year will be on policies, initiatives and programme achievements throughout this year.
The index was launched in conjunction with the Premier Assembly of Ulama-Umara 2015 in Putrajaya on the same day. Najib’s speech, in Malay, at the launch is available here. – ASIA SAMACHAR (15 Feb 2015)
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. Go to www.asiasamachar.com]