Liong Sikís daily diet of lies against DAP cannot hide the fact that it is the MCA and not DAP which had failed to uphold freedom of religion in Malaysia

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Yesterday, MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik said he wanted me to explain to Chinese Malaysians how I   could allow PAS deputy president Abdul Hadi Awang to propose a restriction on the propogation of religions other than Islam.

Liong Sik said I  should have known of Hadi's attempt to table a bill in the Dewan Rakyat on the matter as the DAP and PAS were both members of the Alternative Front.

He said: "I believe he had agreed (to the proposal) although DAP chairman Dr Chen Man Hin did not agree...this means Kit Siang did not tell the truth to Dr Chen on the matter."

Firstly, let me state that I had no prior notice that Hadi, the MP for Marang, has submitted a private member's bill entitled "Control and Restriction of Propaganda of Non-Muslim Religions (Federal Territories) 1999".

If I had known beforehand that Hadi would be submitting such a bill, I would have told the PAS Deputy President  of the DAPís strong objection and opposition as I fully agree with the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism that such a move is "unacceptable, undemocratic and unconstitutional".

I fully endorse the response of the council president A. Vaithilingam on  Hadiís bill when he said: "It is definitely against the Federal Constitution.  The Constitution allows freedom of worship."

Vaithilingam said there should be "no further restrictions on non-Muslims" as there were sufficient laws to prevent non-Muslims from propagating their religions among Muslims.

Liong Sik has the right to demand an explanation from me, but he has no right to make insinuations that I had given approval to Hadi to submit such a bill or that I had not told the truth to Dr. Chen on the matter.

Recently, Liong Sik has been churning out  lie after lie against me.  Two days ago, for instance, Liong Sik told the following lie:

"He (Kit Siang) has been telling the Chinese that he could convert PAS and the party (PAS) was not going to set up an Islamic state.   And then PAS leaders such as Hadi said that they would not change their objective of setting up an Islamic state."

Two months earlier, he told the following lie:

"DAP claims it opposes an Islamic state but (DAP secretary-general) Lim Kit Siang quietly met (PAS President Datuk) Fadzil Noor to support the formation of an Islamic state. They are playing with fire and it will eventually burn down their own house."

Both these lies,  which contradict each other,   were reported in the press.  The truth is  I had never at any time told the Chinese or Malaysians that I could convert PAS to abandon its objective of an Islamic State. I had also never "quietly met" Fadzil Noor to support the formation of an Islamic state.

The culture of lies in the  MCA leadership in the run-up to the next  general election has become so rampant that  even the Wanita MCA has not been spared. This was why three days ago, the Wanita MCA Deputy Chairperson and MCA MP for Klang, Dr. Tan Yee Kew, alleged that I had scolded her for "praying to God and also praying to Devil", and launched into a tirade against me for not respecting religion.

In actual fact, I had never used the term against her. In all my ceramahs including those held in Klang, I had never even mentioned her once!

If MCA leaders are honourable men and women, then Liong Sik and Yee Kew should publicly and unreservedly apologise for the lies they have been telling about me.  But this is probably asking too much from the MCA leadership which is suffering from a serious affliction of the lies "virus".

Liong Sik should realise that his  daily diet of lies against DAP cannot hide the fact that it is the MCA and not DAP which had failed to uphold freedom of religion in Malaysia.

Malaysians still remember how the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen led by the then MCA Youth leader, Datuk Yap Pian Hon, voted in full support for the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment in the Selangor State Executive Council, the Selangor Barisan Nasional pre-council meeting and the Selangor State Assembly on July 19, 1989 although it violated the constitutional and fundamental rights of non-Muslim parents to unfettered control, custody and guardianship of their children below 18 years and their freedom of religion.

Only the DAPís four Selangor Assembly representatives at the time voted against the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment.

This was not the only instance where the DAP elected representatives were the only ones who dared to stand up to oppose enactments which violate  the constitutional and fundamental rights of non-Muslims to freedom of religion when at every time it was the MCA elected representatives who would invariably support such laws!

If Hadiís private memberís bill had come up for a vote in Parliament, DAP MPs will vote against it.  Dare  Liong Sik declare that the MCA would definitely vote against such a bill if it had been proposed by UMNO?


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