Is MCA president Liong Tiong Lai prepared to declare that MCA will not return to BN Cabinet unless Najib gives assurance that the secular Malaysian Constitution will be upheld including no hudud laws and the retraction of Mahathir’s “929” declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic State?

I am quite amused by the ferocious statement by the MCA deputy secretary-general Datuk Wee Jeck Seng demanding that DAP “kick out” Lim Guan Eng and myself “for agreeing with hudud” and as “payback” for going back on our promises.

Amused because I could still remember vividly that Jeck Seng was initially dropped as a candidate for Tanjong Piai parliamentary seat in Johore in the 13th General Elections last year, and overnight the MCA and Barisan Nasional flags and symbols not only disappeared from Pontian area, DAP received feelers that he was prepared to contest on a DAP ticket in Tanjong Piai as he did not fancy contesting in the Johor State Assembly constituency of Pekan Nenas to which he was assigned.

DAP would have no truck with such a political opportunist but Jeck Seng got back the Tanjong Piai parliamentary seat after his supporters kicked up quite a furore against the decision of the then MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek.

With such an “outstanding” political background, whatever Jeck Seng says needed to taken with more than a pinch of salt and no one is surprised that his statement yesterday was built on a great lie – that DAP leaders have agreed to the implementation of hudud.

Sin Chew Daily had reported in a box in the past few days what it described as the three-point agreement of the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council on hudud on Sept. 28, 2011, which is not a very correct version or translation (particularly Point 1) of the PR Leadership Joint Statement signed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on behalf of PKR, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on behalf of PAS and myself on behalf of DAP, as the relevant two paragraphs were as follows:

“Mesyuarat juga memperakui kewujudan Enakmen Jenayah Syariah II Kelantan 1993 dan enakmen Jenayah Syariah Terengganu 2003 yakni sebelum wujudnya muafakat Pakatan Rakyat. Keadilan dan PAS menghormati perbezaan pendirian oleh DAP dalam perkara ini.

“Mesyuarat sekali lagi mempertegaskan bahawa muafakat dan objektif utama politik parti-parti komponen PR dalam Pilihanraya Umum (PRU) ke-13 ini adalah untuk membina kembali asas-asas kenegaraan yang telah dirosakkan oleh Umno-BN, dengan berpandukan prinsip Keadilan Sejagat (UniversalJustice), Pentadbiran yang Baik (Good Governance), Kebertanggungjawaban (Accountability), Ketelusan (Transparency), Kompetensi (Competency) bagi mencapai Kemaslahatan Umum (Public Good) untuk semua rakyat.”

It is therefore completely incorrect, misleading and irresponsible for the MCA and BN leadership to allege that the DAP and the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council had agreed to the implementation of hudud in Kelantan – what more the wild and reckless allegations that DAP leaders had “tricked and misled” non-Muslims to support PAS by “white-washing PAS to non-Muslims just to win votes”.

DAP stand on hudud had always been constant and consistent, that it is unconstitutional and not suitable for a plural nation like Malaysia.

DAP leaders have never shied away anywhere from admitting DAP’s differences with PAS on the questions of Islamic state and hudud, and even PAS leaders have publicly admitted that a vote for PAS in the 13 General Elections was not a vote for hudud, but a vote for the Pakatan Rakyat’s common programme of upholding justice, ensuring democracy, restoring the independence and professionalism of important national institutions destroyed by UMNO/Barisan Nasional and promoting national unity among Malaysians regardless of race, religion, class or territory.

It is the MCA and its leadership which must prove that they are principled and have not betrayed the founding MCA principles.

Recently, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib said that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud. Is this the stand of the present MCA and current MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai?

What Najib said is clearly against the stand taken by the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia, founding Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, second Prime Minister Tun Razak and the third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn and all the previous MCA Presidents before Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik!

Is Liong Tiong Lai prepared to declare that MCA will not return to the Barisan Nasional Cabinet unless Najib gives assurance that the secular Malaysian Constitution will be upheld including no hudud laws and the retraction of the fourth Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s arbitrary and unconstitutional “929” declaration in 2001 (Sept. 29) that Malaysia is an Islamic State?

Or is Liow and the present MCA leadership more interested in getting back the perks of office as Ministers and Deputy Ministers even though the BN Prime Minister and Cabinet had undergone another sea-change in policy from the founding Constitutional principle of a secular Malaysia of no hudud laws to one which does not reject hudud laws?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah