Comparative on Right to Religion
on Cambodia and Malaysia
Name: TES Loudeth
ID : 0576
Prof : Stan
Date : September 3, 2007
Submit to Prof. Stan Staryging
As we have known that Cambodian is the Buddhism, according to the Constitution people have the right to belief whatever religion people believe. In this essay we will take a look on Cambodia and Malaysia country. We will tell you and let you compare by your own self about how different Cambodia and Malaysia in the way they practice in Human Right. Cambodia is a small country in Southeast Asia and Malaysia also. However Cambodia is just a poor development country but how they practice their religion is in peacefully, it’s contrast to Malaysia that is kind of more developed than Cambodia but it’s seems different how they practice their Human Rights. This is could be because Cambodia put Buddhism is a national religion even in national motto, which is the religion that teaching people in a peaceful, no violation way. But Malaysia has put Muslim religion as Federal religion to be official, which is the religion that easy to entry but it is difficult to get out.
That is why Malaysian has a problem on religion like the Lina Joy’s case who has wanted to change her religion from Muslim to Christian follower her boyfriend. She were file complaints three times: 1)- Her application for name change was rejected by National Registration Department (NRD) without any reason being given on 11 August, 1997. 2)- She made a second application for name change but this time to Lina Joy on 15 March, 1999. 3)- On 25 October, 1999 she was asked to applied for a new replacement of identity card.
So this case got it own popular mean and every body start to question whether this is the right decision for Malaysian?.
Comparative on Right to Religion
on Cambodia and Malaysia
Cambodia and Malaysia’s are located in Southeast Asia countries. However these two countries are in the same area of the world, they may have the same common sense about culture (Not very much but at least a little bit). The way they treat people or the way they practice something are almost the same, for example religion. Common religions those countries in Southeast Asia are Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian.
About 90% people are Buddhism because they think that Buddhism teaches people to avoid domestic violence, do not look down the poor people and should live depend on their self without interfered any body.
Cambodia constitution in art 43 stated: “Khmer citizens of either sex shall have the right to freedom of belief. Freedom of religious belief and worship shall be guaranteed by the State on the condition that such freedom does not affect other religious beliefs or violate public order and security.” This is mean that people from everywhere in Cambodia has their own right and decision to choose whether which religion that fit them most, and they has free right to change their religion without any problem or punishment. This article also stated that Buddhism is a national religion. Also in the national’s motto stated started with the word
“Nation, Religion and King” this is to show that in the society the people should think about those these things.
However that Buddhism religion always go first, but people who are the followers of other religion still didn’t have any action to against Buddhist people or Buddhist people rarely having problem with the other follower religion even the discriminations.
At the same time Art 31 of Cambodia also stated Cambodia constitutional recognize and follow the Universal of Declaration Human Right of United Nation and all the covenants that related to all Human Rights. In UDHR and ICCPR in the same art stated that “Everyone (shall) has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right (shall) includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” Cambodia does respect human right. In constitution of Cambodia they stated everything that people have to follow and respect human right and nobody can against it. For example, every Buddhism holidays like Meak Bochea, Visak Bochea, all people have set it in the calendar to be a public holiday, this mean that they recognize the religion as the National religion.
But we have a real different case in Svay Rieng that happened last year, people who are Buddhism got angry with the Christian people because there has no raining for them to grow the rice and they were convince their religion to people, so they were hit the church. After the church were destroyed the rain coming. So in this case it can make people more proud with their Buddhism. And they think that because of the church it does not rain.
People in that case, they didn’t really actually follow the real Buddhism. Buddhism never taught people that when there was no rain for growing rice, this is because of somebody else. The way they practice Buddhism is mixed with Hinduism. So it’s different and people don’t understand it. This case is rarely happen. Not many cases like this happen very often.
As for Malaysia country, most of the people 60% of Malaysia’s 26 million people are Malay Muslims and only Muslim Religion is the religion of Federation. There are only 44% of Malaysia who are Buddhist , but they set many places for all everyone to learn about Buddhist religion and make it easy for anyone who want to study about it can find any information that they want easily because there are 350 Buddhist Organization throughout the country .
In Malaysia, there are 4 major religions. There Muslim, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christian. Malaysians are defining as a Muslim people. Muslim religion is a federal religion according to art 3 of Malaysia Constitution.
This is because Muslim is the federal religion that’s why seems that they give the priority to Muslim religion. For example, Lina Joy’s case is the popular case about a woman who wanted to change her name and her religion from Muslim to Christian . In 1997, she filed a complaint to change her name but it was rejected by NRD without any reason. In 1999, she filed complaint again for name change. Finally she got her name changed but she can’t get her Religion change. In 2001, High court of Malaysia ruled that if Muslim people wanted to changer her religion, then the Syariah Court is the one who decide that.
Malaysia is not respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Malaysia is one of the UN members, so Malaysia must has to follow the Human Rights. In constitution of Malaysia did state that “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.” The decision violates the International law and disobedience the Universal Human Right to religious freedom. International law and the Malaysian Constitution guarantee the right to choose your own religious beliefs and change those beliefs according to your conscience. After the decision, Malaysia makes it clear that people who born to be Muslim is exception. They allow other people who weren’t born in Muslim to practice and believe whatever religion they want, ut they didn’t allow all the Muslim people to change their belief to another religion.
The fundamental rights are never absolute. They have to be balanced against others’ rights and subject to a few compelling limitations. For example, one can not claim the right of free speech to smear other person’s good reputation or to shout “Fire” in a crowded cinema. But Lina Joy has married a Christian guy, she absolutely want to convert her religion like her husband. She just doesn’t want to be Muslim. Because her kids must be designated as a Muslim or the kids must be taken away from them because they can’t be raised in Muslim.
But in my opinion, the majority on the Malaysian court was too quick to rely on such a rationalization. They didn't ask themselves what other rights were being balanced against, for example; they should also have looked harder at the practicalities of sending Lina Joy to the Syariah courts. Would she get a fair hearing? Should she have a sensible chance of success it?
The court ruled that the decision that whether someone is a Muslim or not is the jurisdiction of Syariah courts, not the secular courts. But it’s the role of secular courts to enforce the constitution. So, in the problem of freedom of religion, who is responsible to enforce that?
Without freedom of give up the religion then it would be no freedom in religion. This may be seen to some Malaysia people that “No duress” but it actually means no freedom to change religion. You can't make anyone stay on something they have other ideas on even if they were born into it. You just can't do such a thing. Religion has and will always be between you and whatever form of God you worship. To force someone to believe one religion when they already have something to believe in is like mental rape.
Just because you’re born into that religion, it doesn’t mean that you’re very into it. Lina Joy wanted to change her religion may be she thinks it’s fun and it’s more trustful, so we just can’t force her to believe in anything.
So after we have researched this topic we can see that even in the constitution stated that we should respect human rights but in the real practice it may not a 100% perfect like in the book like in Cambodia. But in Malaysia government should provide the justice to their people even they are not Muslim religion or they will have a problem like in Thailand, fighting between Muslim and Buddhism because of the religion discriminating.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Comparative on Right to Religion