Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Pakatan Rakyat Tenang by-election ceramah at Labis Tengah on Monday, 24th January 2011 at 8 pm:
Chua Soi Lek should have the courage to tell Umno not to misread Chinese votes for PR candidate Normala as votes for Islamic State when they are in support of PR demand for change, democracy, justice and progress
MCA leaders led by its President Datuk Chua Soi Lek have made PAS and the Islamic State as their main weapons in the MCA “scare-and-fear” campaign strategy in the Tenang by-election to frighten the Chinese voters from voting for the Pakatan Rakyat Tenang candidate, Normala Sudirman.
Their first line of attack is that a vote for Normala is a vote for an Islamic State alleging that DAP has betrayed our principles and supported PAS’ Islamic State agenda.
This is a downright lie, as the DAP’s stand on this issue has remained constant and unchanged since the party’s establishment in 1966 – DAP upholds the 1957 Merdeka Constitution which provides that Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic State. The Constitution clearly stipulates that Malaysia is a democratic and secular nation.
After the 308 political tsunami of the 2008 general elections, DAP, PAS and PKR formed the Pakatan Rakyat to spearhead far-reaching political, economic, educational and nation-building changes; end corruption and gross abuses of power; restore national and international confidence in the independence, integrity and professionalism of key national institutions including the judiciary, the civil service, the police, the anti-corruption commission and the election commission; and rebuild our international competitiveness so that Malaysia can take her rightful place in the global economy.
In forming Pakatan Rakyat, DAP, PAS and PKR leaders agreed that Pakatan Rakyat will be guided by what have been agreed upon by the three component parties, which are being spelt out in common PR policy platforms, excluding agendas of individual parties which have not received support from all the three parties.
The Pakatan Rakyat leadership council have also repeatedly affirmed that there must be consensus from DAP, PAS and PKR for any addition or change to the PR common policy framework.
The position of DAP and PR on the Islamic State issue is crystal clear – DAP stands clearly on the constitutional position firstly, that Islam is the official religion with freedom of religion enshrined in the Constitution and secondly, that Malaysia is a secular and not an Islamic state.
This exposes the blatant MCA lie that DAP supports PAS’ Islamic state agenda and that a vote for the PAS/PR candidate Normala can be construed as DAP’s support for PAS’ Islamic State agenda.
The second line of the MCA “scare and fear” attack on the Islamic State issue in Tenang is to warn that the Chinese voters would be sending a dangerous message to UMNO if they vote in support for the PAS candidate as it would be interpreted as support for PAS’ Islamic State agenda.
Chua had asked:
"How will Umno see the Chinese community if you can accept an Islamic state which is more extreme and conservative?
“Would Umno become more Islamic to ensure the Malays support and win back the Chinese votes? This is definite."
Chua cannot be more wrong.
MCA leaders like Chua Soi Lek should stop playing irresponsible “political games” in the Tenang by-election.
In fact, they should have the courage to tell Umno not to misread Chinese votes for PR candidate Normala as votes for Islamic State when they are in support of PR demand for change, democracy, justice and progress.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had praised Chua and MCA’s “scare and fear” tactics to play up the Islamic State issue in the Tenang by-election.
Why should Chua and MCA leaders fall into Umno’s trap to scare and frighten the Chinese voters in Tenang over the Islamic State issue, when it is not the issue in the by-election, just to vote for the UMNO candidate?
Barisan Nasional’s election tactics in Tenang – Umno telling Malay voters that PAS has become a stooge of DAP while MCA tells the Chinese voters that DAP has become a puppet of PAS - is completely unethical and against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia slogan, seeking to “divide-and-rule” rather than to unite the diverse races, religions, languages and cultures in one harmonious “unity in diversity”!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor