Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 5th August 2010:
Who decided on the Cabinet gag order yesterday on any public discussion of "Allah" controversy?
Who decided on the Cabinet gag order on any public discussion of the "Allah" controversy announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin after the Cabinet meeting yesterday?
Was it with the full support of the four MCA Ministers and all other non-Muslim Cabinet Ministers - or did they express and register their protest and objection?
Malaysians had been told that the Cabinet operates on the principle of consensus - which means that if there is one Minister objecting, a decision on a new policy or measure would not be taken by the Cabinet.
If so, if the four MCA Ministers had spoken out against the gag order and asked the Cabinet to consider resolving the long-protracted "Allah" controversy by deciding that the Home Ministry should withdraw its appeal against the Lau Bee Lan judgment in the Kuala Lumpur High Court in January this year which allowed the Catholic Church to use the word "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its publication, Herald, the Cabinet would not have imposed a gag order as announced by Muhyiddin yesterday.
The UMNO stand on the "Allah" controversy is untenable and exposes the mockery of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 1Malaysia slogan and policy.
Even Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had criticized the Umno leadership for failing to provide leadership in the "Allah" controversy, asking why Umno is "digging itself into an intolerant hardline position that has no parallel that I know of in the Muslim world" when PAS is holding onto the "more plural and moderate position".
It is all the more pertinent that the four MCA Ministers declare whether they had acted yesterday to oppose the Cabinet gag as the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek had publicly said yesterday that the MCA Ministers had been instructed to speak up on the resolution of the "Allah" controversy.
As Najib was absent in yesterday's Cabinet meeting, would the MCA Ministers re-open the subject at next week's Cabinet meeting when the Prime Minister returns from his overseas leave?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor