Cabinet Minister Bernard Dompok said that the federal constitution does not specify that the prime minister’s post must be assumed by a person of a certain religion.
He said that anyone who satisfies Article 43 of the federal constitution can become the prime minister.
“As for the question of a Christian prime minister, what is wrong with that? Although I do not see this happening in Malaysia.
“The (federal) constitution does not stipulate the religious affiliation of the prime minister, the only qualification being his ability to command the confidence of the majority of the members of Parliament.
“If an Iban, a Bidayuh, a Kadazandusun, Murut, Kelabit, a Chinese or Indian Malaysian can satisfy the provision of Article 43 of the constitution, he can be the prime minister of the country,” he said in a statement today.
Dompok, who is plantations industries and commodities minister, was responding to a front page report by Utusan Malaysia alleging a conspiracy to install a Christian prime minister.
Utusan is ‘height of irresponsibility’
He said that the Utusan report promotes an “unhealthy trend” where news reports are published without verifying th facts.
“(Nor do the reports) take into account (of) its effect on the peace and harmony (of the) country.
“How can a national newspaper not only print but sensationalise something written by a blogger. It is the height of irresponsibility,” he said.
Dompok, who is also a Christian, said the church in Malaysia has been responsible at all times.
“I have been present in some of their prayer sessions over the years and they have prayed for the nation, its leaders in government and the people of Malaysia.
“Indeed yearly on Malaysia Day, prayers are offered in the churches for the wellbeing of the nation and its leaders,” he said.
All Malaysians accepts Islam’s position
Dompok adds that “all Malaysians” accept Islam’s position in the country because it is enshrined in the federal constitution.
“All the non-muslims want is a reciprocal acceptance of their constitutional rights as citizens of this country and the freedom to practice their religion in peace.
“As the prime minister says, we need to move from mere tolerance to acceptance,” he said.
According to the Utusan report, there was a conspiracy to make Christianity the religion of the federation and install a Christian premier.
The plot was reportedly discussed during a DAP function in Penang recently.
Both church leaders and DAP have denied the alleged conspiracy as claimed by Utusan, but the daily insisted in an editorial today that there were certain quarters out to anger the Muslim majority.