Liong Sik is trying to make the next election the "dirtiest" in history with his outrageous allegation that a vote for DAP is actually a vote for PAS

Media  Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang,  Thursday): MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik is trying to make the next general election the "dirtiest" in the nationís history with his outrageous allegation yesterday that a vote for DAP is actually a vote for PAS.

Liong Sik continue with his campaign of lies and falsehoods when the Star reported  him as saying in Seremban that "Lim Kit Siang wanted to give the impression that he was influential in forcing PAS to drop the setting up of an Islamic state from the opposition front manifesto.  However, Hadi, Nik Aziz and PAS president Datuk Fadzil Nor continued to tell people that the struggle was still enshrined in their party constitution".

Now, Liong Sikís outrageous line has been taken up by UMNO leaders, with the Perak Mentri Besar  Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib telling the Chinese voters that if they vote for DAP it also meant that they were voting for PAS.

However, in Malay areas, Ramli Ngah and other UMNO leaders are saying  that a vote for PAS is a vote for DAP.

It is most shameful that after 42 years of nationhood and ten general elections, Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders could openly resort to such irresponsible and outrageous allegations to make the Nov. 29, 1999 general election the "dirtiest" in the nationís history.

In the past few months, Liong Sik had been virtually accusing me of having betrayed the DAP principle that Malaysia should be a secular democratic state and having  become an agent or tool of PAS.

The  MCA had been spreading lies against the DAP on our  co-operation with PAS in the Barisan Alternative on the common platform to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and on the DAPís stand on Islamic State.

Liong Sik and MCA leaders had jumped on Hadiís private memberís bill entitled "Control and Restriction of Propaganda of Non-Muslim Religions (Federal Territories) 1999" in Parliament to attack my political integrity and the DAPís principles and consistency.

Liong Sik had even accused me of  privately agreeing to Hadiís bill while hiding the "betrayal" from the DAP National Chairman, Dr Chen Man Hin.

In actual fact, Liong Sik and MCA are not really opposed to Hadiís bill to restrict the propagation of non-Muslim religions, but only that such a bill had been  moved by Hadi.

MCA will support Hadiís bill to restrict the propagation of non-Muslim religions if had been  moved by UMNO.

I am not defaming Liong Sik or MCA by telling lies and untruths, but stating a historical fact - for MCA Assemblymen had voted in full support of exactly a similar enactment to control and restrict the propagation of religions other than Islam in states like Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johore and Perak in the 1980s, with the DAP Assemblymen being the sole opposition voting against these enactments.

This is the difference between the DAP and MCA.  DAP takes a stand on principle, whether on the freedom of religion or a secular democratic state, and we will defend these principles and oppose any proposal or bill which contravenes them, whether they are made by UMNO or PAS.  This is why DAP had made it very clear that if Hadiís private memberís bill had come up for debate in Parliament, DAP MPs would have  voted against it.  This applies to the last Parliament and also to the new Parliament to be elected on Nov. 29.

The MCA however does not take any stand on principle but is guided by sheer political opportunism.  It will oppose any measure put forth by PAS and support any measure presented by UMNO.

Thus MCA strongly opposes the "Control and Restriction of Propaganda of Non-Muslim Religions" private memberís bill when it was  proposed by Hadi but would have given the same bill  full support if it had been  moved by UMNO - as happened in various state assemblies in the eighties!

What is even more shocking  is that the MCA leadership has no sense of shame at such political opportunism and could launch a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the DAP for allegedly behaving like the MCA in being completely without political principles.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong