The Reid Commission states unequivocally that Malaya is a secular state:
Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957
(London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office)
Colonial No. 330
State Religion169. We have considered the question whether there should be any statement in the Constitution to the effect that Islam should be the State religion. There was universal agreement that if any such provision were inserted it must be made clear that it would not in any way affect the civil rights of non-Muslims. In the memorandum submitted by the Alliance it was stated – “the religion of Malaysia shall be Islam. The observance of this principle shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practicing their own religions and shall not imply that the State is not a secular State.”There is nothing in the draft Constitution to affect the continuance of the present position in the States with regard to recognition of Islam or to prevent the recognition of Islam in the Federation by legislation or otherwise in any respect which does not prejudice the civil rights of individual non-Muslims. The majority of us think that it is best to leave the matter on this basis, looking to the fact that Counsel for the Rulers said to us – “It is Their Highnesses’ considered view that it would not be desirable to insert some declaration such as has been suggested that the Muslim Faith or Islamic Faith be the established religion of the Federation. Their Highnesses are not in favour of such a declaration being inserted and that is a matter of specific instruction in which I myself have played very little part.” Mr. Justice Abdul Hamid is of opinion that a declaration should be inserted in the Constitution as suggested by the Alliance and his views are set out in his note appended to this Report.
We should not miss the fact that the Sultans rejected the idea of Islam as the established religion of the Federation, presumably, this would undermine their position and power as head of Islam in their respective States!
Please visit my new post to read the official historical documents that decisively show Malaya/Malaysia is a secular state.