Intellectual property laws and Islam in Malaysia
This study is undertaken on the premise that Islam and Islamic law is to be taken into serious consideration in any future legislative reform of laws in Malaysia. Islam being the religion of the country and the strong religious sentiment of the Muslims (who form the majority in Malaysia) cannot be overlooked or dismissed lightly by the legislators in Malaysia. Reformation of intellectual property laws is timely, as we are now approaching to the dateline set by GATF-Trips agreement which aim is to improve our standard of intellectual property protection. This study seeks to analyze and evaluate the current legislation pertaining to intellectual property in Malaysia in terms of the philosophy and rules governing the existence, ownership and exercise of these rights and their consistency and inconsistency with Islam and Islamic law. The main objective of this study is to prove that a coherent and logical conceptual framework of ownership of intellectual property can be derived from an Islamic perspective which not only offers the basis of rights but also defines the scope of these rights. From the point of ownership of rights, support can be obtained from the normative framework of property rights within the traditional classification of 'mal' (property) and 'haqq al-milkiyyah' (ownership rights) under Islamic law. From the point of exercise of rights, the exact scope can be defined from the analysis of fundamental concepts which have been developed by Muslim jurists. It has been established that Islam and Islamic law offers a sound and systematic paradigm, which in deeper analysis, can satisfy both our current obligations under international treatises, as well as our responsibility to practise our religion to the fullest.