Yesterday, in Negri Sembilan, Liong Sik said: "Although (DAP Secretary-General Lim) Kit Siang says the Barisan Alternative manifesto does not touch on the struggle for an Islamic state, the actions of PAS through (deputy president Abdul) Hadi (Awang) shows otherwise."
Liong Sik said PAS not only refuses to drop its call for an Islamic state from its party constitution but it even wants to restrict the propagation of religions other than Islam.
Let me tell Liong Sik that the DAP would pull out of the Barisan Alternative if MCA can make a convincing case that DAPís co-operation with PAS to restore justice and democracy would lead to the establishment of an Islamic State. At present, what Liong Sik and the MCA leadership are doing are merely telling lies and falsehoods about the DAP leaders.
DAP has made it very clear that the coming-together of DAP, PAS, KeADILan and PRM is not to establish an Islamic state, but to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, and the DAP has made it very clear to PAS leaders that the DAP opposition to an Islamic State in Malaysia is constant and consistent.
This is why the DAP has no hesitation, whether publicly or privately, in being frank with PAS leaders that DAP opposes Hadiís bill to restrict the propagation of religions other than Islam, and would vote against the Bill in Parliament.
DAP is very different from MCA. DAP has established that it is a party of principles and that DAP leaders have the courage of their convictions even if means detention under the Internal Security Act, imprisonment from selective prosecution and justice, and even disqualification as Member of Parliament as in the case of Lim Guan Eng.
MCA is the opposite. It is a party bereft of principles whose leaders have never distinguished themselves as leaders of principle.
For instance, Liong Sik and the MCA leadership are making so much noise about Hadiís bill to restrict the propagation of religions other than Islam because it was submitted by PAS, but if such a bill had been submitted by UMNO, MCA would not dare to oppose and would even vote in support!
Such a MCA attitude is not a stand of principle - but sheer political opportunism!
This same political opportunism is to be seen in the reaction of MCA leaders to the statutory declaration of former Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid alleging that Anwar Ibrahim had amassed a fortune of more than RM3 billion in over 20 "Master Accounts" while in government.
MCA leaders are going round the country in righteous indignation demanding the fullest investigation into Muradís allegations against Anwar Ibrahim - but they sank into silence when Anwar made very explosive allegations of corruption and abuses of power against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the first Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, the Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz, the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah and the former Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik.
DAP has called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct public investigations into all the allegations of corruption, improprieties and abuses of power which had been made public, whether against Mahathir, Daim, Rafidah, Mohtar Abdullah, Gani Patail, Rahim Tamby Cik or against Anwar to get to the bottom of the truth.
Are Liong Sik and the MCA leadership capable of taking such a fair and even-handed approach to deal with the burning issues in the country in the interests of justice and fair play?
This shows the clear difference between the DAP and MCA!
DAP will make an important statement on DAP and the Barisan Alternative at the DAP English forum "Towards A Just Malaysia" at the Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 1 November 1999, from 7.30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Speakers at the forum are Dr. Jomo KS, who was entrusted by the Barisan Alternative to draft the Barisan Alternative Budget 2000; Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Parti Keadilan Malaysia Deputy President; Lim Guan Eng DAP Deputy Secretary General, Karpal Singh DAP Deputy National Chairman and MP for Jelutong and Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General.