PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia is neither an Islamic state nor a secular state, it's just an ordinary state that recognises Islam as the official religion of the country. So says former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"We have declared ourself as an Islamic state before, but that does not mean that we have to do all kinds of other things to make it Islamic.
"There are so many Islamic states that don't even declare they are Islamic and they don't practise many of the things that are supposed to be associated with Islamic states," he told The Star after delivering an executive talk at the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry headquarters here yesterday.
However, Dr Mahathir was quick to add that this did not mean Malaysia could be considered a secular state, as it was not mentioned in the Federal Constitution.
"We never said this is a secular state either. We are just an ordinary state that recognises Islam as the official religion of the country, and we practise things that are not against the religion of Islam," he said.