Published in Malay Mail Online
There was a time when it was hard to imagine Malaysia as anything even resembling an Islamic state.
Our administration was sufficiently secular, and Article 3 of the Federal Constitution that states Islam as religion of the federation meant the recital of prayers before official events.
Shariah courts were somewhere people went to get divorced, and religious authorities were people who officiated at weddings.
There was a lull where even Islamist party PAS pledged to work towards a “benevolent state” to ensure the welfare and interests of all citizens, regardless of religion.
Not anymore. Things seem to have escalated quickly after the 13th general elections after Malay-Muslim-majority PAS and Umno struggled to stay relevant in an increasingly colour-blind political scene.