Article 11(2) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia provides that ‘[n]o person shall be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specifically allocated in whole or in part for the purpose of religion other than his own.’
Now that the Malaysian government has embarked on branding (I use this word to emphasize the lack of bona fides, which is of course a wholly personal though much shared opinion, and which I do not intend to elaborate here so as to distract from the thrust of this piece) itself as an Islamic country and thus purporting to introduce Islamic principles and concepts into the administration of government and civil service, namely Islamic Hadhari, can someone who does not profess (this is the word used in Article 11(1) of the Federal Constitution) the religion of Islam refuse to pay income tax on the grounds that the taxes paid will be allocated either in whole or in part for the purpose of religion other than his own. After all, the concept of Islam Hadhari makes no pretense that it is inspired from and purports to adhere closely to Islam (say what happened to that whole policy and does the present Prime Minister even remember it?).
I am tempted to think that Article 11(2) was introduced to ensure that this country remains secular in government, both spirit and shape. But that’s just me.