KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's moderate or wasatiyyah approach to governance has allowed it to counter Western perceptions of Muslim nations as backward, autocratic and undemocratic.
The prime minister's religious adviser, Datuk Seri Dr Abdullah Md Zin, said yesterday wasatiyyah has led Malaysia to become a democratic and modern industrial nation with a strong middle class.
"It is a balanced and moderate approach reflected in the Constitution, where the freedom of worship for non-Muslims is preserved while recognising Islam's official status," he said in his paper, "The Wasatiyyah approach to Islamic leadership" presented at the international fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) seminar on "Loyalty to the leader" here. The three-day seminar was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Friday.
Abdullah said wasatiyyah, as stressed by Najib, was now a guiding principle behind the 1Malaysia concept and the Global Movement of Moderates.