Gerakan must bear full responsibility for creating a political scenario where UMNO’s paramount concern in the next five years is to compete with PAS to win back the Malay heartland with a spiral of Islamisation policies threatening Malaysia’s democratic secular state

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang,  Saturday): I am very angry with the continued personal attacks against me by the Gerakan Secretary-General and MP for Bukit Bendera, Chia Kwang Chye after Monday’s general election.

I had accepted the verdict of the voters of Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency and Kebun Bunga state assembly seat when I was defeated on Nov. 20 after the Barisan Nasional had waged the dirtiest general election in the nation’s history, with a relentless campaign of fear and falsehoods.

I had conducted a clean and honest campaign, never making any personal attack against Chia Kwang Chye, although the Gerakan campaign in Bukit Bendera and Kebun Bunga was typically the dirtiest in the nation’s history.

Even on polling day, at the Ping Hua Chinese primary school polling station, Gerakan canvassers could openly within my hearing distance, and in the presence of the Barisan Nasional Kebun Bunga candidate, Gerakan State Secretary and MPPP President, Dr. Teng Hock Nan, unashamedly urge voters to vote for Barisan Nasional or there would be no temples in the state.

During the campaign period, Barisan Nasional campaigners confused, misled and scared voters into believing that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS and an Islamic state, and people would not be able to eat pork, take alcohol  or go to temples.

I find it outrageous that after winning Bukit Bendera with such a dirty campaign of lies and fear, Chia Kwang Chye should continue with his personal attacks and campaign of falsehoods against me.

Yesterday, he attacked my appointment as DAP National Chairman as "pouring old wine in new bottle", saying that wine normally improved with age but in my case "the wine had been exposed to an adverse environment and had deteriorated to a bitter and sour taste".  He again resurrected the general election falsehood that I had not made clear the DAP stand on PAS’ intention to create an Islamic State.

As Gerakan, together with MCA, had been very successful with its  Islamic State "trump card" to generate fear among the voters as to create the greatest shift of Chinese voters against the DAP in the 33-year history of the party, Gerakan must bear full responsibility for creating a political scenario where UMNO’s paramount concern in the next five years is to compete with PAS to win back the Malay heartland with a spiral of Islamisation policies threatening Malaysia’s democratic secular state.

I would advise Chia Kwang Chye that his biggest duty in Parliament is how to stop UMNO from embarking on a spiral of Islamisation policies in order to compete with PAS in the next five years.

Already, signs of such an UMNO trend to compete with PAS for the Malay heartland by resorting to policies of Islamisation and Malayisation, which will be detrimental to Vision 2020, the concept of Bangsa Malaysia and the idea of  Malaysia as a multi-racial, democratic and secular Malaysia, can be discerned.

At the seminar on "The criteria for a country based on Islamic principles" yesterday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar is quoted by Berita Harian as saying "Kerajaan dan UMNO tidak pernah menolak pembentukan negara Islam atau hudud, sebaliknya menerima konsep itu secara menyeluruh dan adil kepada semua pihak".

At the same seminar, former UMNO MP and currently Malaysia’s special envoy to the United Nations, Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad said that UMNO would have to work hard to ensure that policies were appealling to the growing number of Islamic-inclined and better-educated bumiputra professionals who "helped to power Islamic resurgence via PAS".

Is Chia in agreement with Hamid Albar and Abdullah Ahmad or would he dare to stand up in Parliament to express his disagreement and even opposition?

In Selangor, the new Barisan Nasional State Government is the first to begin a policy of intolerance by announcing that assemblymen newly elected in the state would be barred from the swearing-in ceremony for new assembly members at the Selangor State Assembly on Monday if they do not observe the dress code with the songkok.

Again, is Chia in agreement with  the Selangor State Government warning assemblymen without songkok would be barred from the assembly building on Monday?

What is Chia Kwang Thye and Gerakan doing to check these retrogressive developments, so soon after Monday’s polling or are Dr. Goh Cheng Teik,
Lim Chien Aun and Lim Boo Chang right when they lamented at the "extreme poor quality" of the Gerakan national and state leadership as the prime  reason for their mass resignations?

A strong DAP presence in Parliament, with 25 to 30 MPs, would have been an effective check against UMNO’s Islamisation and Malayisation policies, for with a strong and balanced Barisan Alternative parliamentary representation, UMNO and Barisan Nasional would have to respond to the political challenge of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Opposition Front, rather than at present, merely worried as to how to respond to the political challenge from PAS!

But Gerakan and MCA’s Islamic State "trump card" had destroyed the check-and-balance that could only be provided by a strong DAP in Parliament to preserve Malaysia’s democratic secular status.

Instead of following in the foot-steps of the Gerakan President, Datuk Seri Dr.Lim Keng Yaik, wallowing in the politics of diatribe, hatred and falsehoods, let Chia and all the Gerakan MPs and Assemblymen explain to the people of Penang and Malaysia how they could prevent UMNO from embarking on Islamisation and Malayisation policies as its response to the PAS challenge in the next five years.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman