Unfortunately – part of what Malaysia is coming to:
Two years in prison for having abandoned Islam and joined an “illegal” sect. That was the sentence handed down to Kamariah Ali by the Islamic High Court in the Malaysian state of Terengganu, a sentence effective as of today.
57 year-old Kamariah was arrested in July 2005 along with another 58 companions for belonging to a small sect known as the “Sky Kingdom”. Born in the mid ‘80’s, the community grew outside state control until 1998, when its followers set up a Disneyland style games park – with buildings in the form of umbrellas, colourful boats, Greek and roman columns – at the centre of which they placed a gigantic teapot and equally massive blue vase. By this means they began proselytising among villagers and foreigners. Followers of the “sect” worshipped the teapot, which symbolised the pouring out of peace and blessings of the Sky on humanity
In August of 2005, Islamic fundamentalists destroyed their deity and the structures where they gathered.
The Federal Constitution guarantees the right to change religions an art. 3 declares that Islam is the nation’s official religion. Ethnic Malay citizens, the majority of the population, are however strictly tied to the definition “people who profess Islam”. Those who negates this loose their civil rights, and their conversion is not recognised by Muslim Religious Councils.
Unfortunately, the Islamic popoulation of Malaysia is becoming more militant. Imposing controls on foreign priests (Hindus), and generally looking to make the country more intolerant.