Ban on G25 Book on “Islam in a Constitutional Democracy” marks Najib’s break with five previous Prime Ministers and the rising influence of PAS President on government policy

I am very disappointed that the Cabinet had again proved to be an utterly incompetent and useless outfit, incapable of addressing the great issues of the nation.

I had suggested that the Cabinet meeting last Friday should speak up for a moderate Malaysia for a change, suspend the Home Minister’s ban on G25 book on “Breaking the Silence –Voices of Moderation: Islam in a Constitutional Democracy” and form a high-level committee to hold public hearings whether the book should be banned.

But the Cabinet, the latest personification of the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not, and mouths that speak not, completely ignored the issue and there was no statement post-Cabinet on the corrective measures on the shocking, ridiculous and illogical ban on the G25 book.

The ban on G25 Book on “Islam in a Constitutional Democracy” in fact marks Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s break with five previous Prime Ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Husein, Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tun Abdullah – on the basic cornerstone of the nation as enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution and reiterated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the rising influence of PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on government policy, with regard to Islamic matters.

Tun Abdullah had in fact written a foreword for the G25 book, where he endorsed the G25’s call on the current Prime Minister to “exercise his leadership and to demonstrate the political will to establish an inclusive consultative committee to find solutions to the intractable problems that had been allowed to fester for far too long”.

But Tun Abdullah’s hopes that the G25 book “would further encourage an informed and rational dialogue on the ways Islam is used as a source of public law and policy in multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia, yet within the letter and spirit of the Federal Constitution and the spirit of Rukun Negara” have proved futile, as the whole book had been banned without spelling out the reasons for the illogical and ridiculous ban.

The ban on the G25 book is doubly illogical and ridiculous when it is the current Prime Minister himself who launched the international initiative of a Global Movement of Moderates!

What is the stand of the GMM on the ban of the G25 book?

Was the GMM consulted before the G25 book was banned, does the GMM agree with the ban, or will the G25 lead a national campaign on behalf of moderates to demand the ridiculous and illogical ban to be lifted?

This book produced by G25 represents the concerns of former high-ranking Malay/Muslim civil servants, civic leaders and politicians who want a rational dialogue on the position of Islam in a constitutional democracy as they are deeply disturbed over developments regarding race relations, Islam and extremist behaviour in Malaysia.

Have the lurch towards intolerance, extremism and bigotry in Malaysia reached such serious straits that contributors to the G25 book, which include prominent Malay-Muslim former senior civil servants, professionals and civil society leaders like Dr. Asiah Abu Samah, Dr. Asma Abdullah, Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff bin Mohd Kassim, Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi, Dr. Syed Farid Alatas, Dr. Azmi Sharom, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Dr. Maszlee Malik, Zainah Anwar, Aston Paiva, Fawza Sabila Faudzi, Firdaus Husni, Mohamad Afif bin Daud, Dr. Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, Dr. Mohamad Nawab Osman, Nizam Bashir, Ranita Hussein, Rosli Dahlan, Shazal Yusuf Zain are viewed with suspicion by the religious bureaucracy in Putrajaya?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah