Speech (2) by Lim Kit Siang at the first Public Ceramah / Consultation
with DAP MPs, Excos, State Assemblymen at Chin Woo Hall, Ipoh on
Saturday, 12th April 2008 at 9 pm:
MCA and Gerakan leaders should stop applying double standards on the
Islamic State issue and should ask Abdullah and Najib to withdraw their
declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic state
In the past few days, MCA and Gerakan leaders have suddenly found
their voice and become quite articulate, as if to prove to Malaysians
that after the March 8 “political tsunamii” they have learnt their
lesson and are breaking away from their past culture of silence and
subservience in the Barisan Nasional.
But this is not really the case, as they continue as captive as before
March 8 to UMNO political hegemony.
MCA and Gerakan leaders, including the MCA President, Datuk Ong Ka Ting,
seems to be competing among themselves to lash out at the DAP for
misleading the Chinese in Malaysia in the last general election over
PAS’ Islamic state agenda.
MCA and Gerakan leaders should stop applying double standards on the
Islamic State issue. When on Sept. 29, 2001, the then Prime Minister,
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad declared that Malaysia was an Islamic
state, unilaterally, arbitrarily and unconstitutionally abrogating the
cardinal nation-building principle in the Constitution and Merdeka
“social contract” that Malaysia is a multi-religious and secular state
with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State, there was
not only no objection from MCA and Gerakan leaders – they gave immediate
Similarly last year, when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak trampled on the
Malaysian Constitution and the 1957 “social contract” and declared
Malaysia as an Islamic state, there was not a whimper of opposition or
protest from Ong Ka Ting and the other MCA, Gerakan and Barisan Nasional
Cabinet Ministers and leaders.
It is the height of irresponsibility and hypocrisy for MCA and Gerakan
leaders to demand that the DAP must come out openly about our stand on
Malaysia as an Islamic state, when it is the MCA and Gerakan which
should stop its hypocritical, opportunistic and unprincipled stand on
the Islamic state.
DAP’s stand of Malaysia as a secular state and opposition to Malaysia
becoming an Islamic state, violating the secular basis and commitment of
the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and “social contract”, is so crystal clear
and unmistakable that only the most ignorant or unprincipled can
It is not the DAP which must come out clearly on its stand on Malaysia
as an Islamic state – as it is the MCA and Gerakan which had betrayed
their party founding principles on Malaysia as a secular state and not
an Islamic state.
For a start, MCA and Gerakan leaders should stop applying double
standards on the Islamic State issue and they should ask Abdullah and
Najib to withdraw their declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic state
and return to the founding principles of the 1957 Merdeka Constitution
and “social contract” on the secular basis and character of Malaysia,
which was not questioned even by Barisan Nasional leaders until
Mahathir’s “929 Declaration” on Sept. 29, 2001.
Recently, the statement by some PAS leaders on Islamic state have
created “waves” in the country as well as among the three political
parties, DAP, PAS and PKR.
DAP leaders had said throughout the recent general election campaign
that DAP and PAS had no links or relationship as the DAP had always
remain steadfast in our commitment to preserve the secular basis of
Malaysia as agreed by the forefathers of the major communities on the
attainment of independence and nationhood half a century ago and our
rejection of Malaysia as an Islamic state.
The results of the March 8, 2008 general election, which came like a
political tsunami, ending the Barisan Nasional’s unbroken two-thirds
parliamentary majority and brought down the Barisan Nasional in five
states, sent out a clear verdict – that the majority of Malaysians want
far-reaching changes in the country and the people want DAP, PAS and PKR
to co-operate to effect these changes.
This message is most clear in Perak and Selangor where without the
co-operation of the three parties to form a coalition government, power
would have to be returned to the Barisan Nasional.
This message has been vindicated just now when I asked the thousand
people gathered at this DAP Public Ceramah/Consultation here tonight
whether they support the formation of a DAP-PKR-PAS coalition government
in Perak to effect the changes Malaysians of all races and religions
desire, and there was a unanimous show of hands in support.
There was another massive show of hands of support to demonstrate that
the changes that voters want in the March 8 political tsunami is for
accountability, integrity, justice, democracy and good governance and
not for Islamic state or hudud laws – as the majority not only of
non-Malays but also of Malays are clearly not in support of Malaysia
becoming an Islamic state.
The co-operation of DAP, PAS and PKR in the proposed Pakatan Rakyat is
clear and specific on the common goals of accountability, integrity,
justice, democracy and good governance and not for an Islamic state or
There is a great difference between the DAP’s relationship with PAS and
PKR on the one hand and the MCA and Gerakan with UMNO in Barisan
Nasional on the other.
DAP’s relationship with PAS and PKR is one of equals while MCA and
Gerakan’s role in BN is a subservient one totally subject to UMNO’s
In Pakatan Rakyat, DAP makes it clear that our stand on Malaysia as a
secular state and our objection to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state
is a fundamental principle which is not open to compromise – while MCA
and Gerakan had compromised away this principle in the Barisan Nasional
by accepting the public declarations of Mahathir, Abdullah and Najib of
Malaysia as an Islamic state.
DAP, PKR and PAS are working on a common statement of principles as the
basis for co-operation of the three political parties in Pakatan Rakyat
at state and national levels so that there could be no mistake or
misunderstanding on the basis of co-operation of the three political
parties – and that such a co-operation has nothing thing to do with the
issue of Islamic state or hudud laws.
In 2001, an earlier attempt to create an opposition front comprising
four political parties, DAP, PKR, PAS and Parti Rakyat in the form of an
Alternative Front failed because of the breach of the common programme
“Towards A Just Malaysia” when PAS unilaterally went ahead to push its
programme of an Islamic state.
If the proposed Pakatan Rakyat is to survive and succeed in fulfilling
the trust and hopes of the people as expressed in the March 8 “political
tsunami”, then it must not repeat the mistakes of the Alternative Front,
and must fully commit the constituent parties to the principles of
justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, and not allow it to be
used as an excuse to pursue separate agendas such as an Islamic state or
Kit Siang, MP for Ipoh Timor & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman