Mass media which black out reports about breakthrough agreement reached between DAP and PAS that kharaj would not be imposed against the wishes of non-Muslim while continuing to give extensive coverage about denunciations on kharaj not contributing to responsible journalism


Media Conference Statement (3)
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya,  Saturday): Today, the Star carried a page 2 headline "Kharaj will scare investors" but it blacked out my press conference statement  yesterday that the DAP had reached a breakthrough with PAS on the kharaj issue.

Mass media which blacked out reports about the breakthrough agreement reached between DAP and PAS that kharaj would not be imposed against the wishes of non-Muslims while continuing to give extensive coverage about denunciations on kharaj are not contributing to responsible journalism.

During the recent election campaign,  MCA and Gerakan  scared the Chinese voters with the falsehood that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS and an Islamic state, and that there would be no pork, no alcohol, no  karaoke, no temples, pretty women cannot work and there would be the  chopping of hands and feet if DAP MPs are elected.

Last Wednesday, DAP leaders visited Terengganu and in our dialogue with the Terengganu Mentri Besar Haji Hadi Ahmad Awang brought back several good news, including the lifting of 10-year ban on rearing and slaughter of pigs and a positive commitment to approve the building/renovation of non-Muslim places of worship which had not been approved by the previous Barisan Nasional state government.

Can MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the Terengganu MCA explain why the MCA had agreed in the Terengganu Exco ten years ago to the UMNO proposal to ban pig rearing and slaughter in the state, and why the Terengganu State Exco had refused to approve the building/renovation of temples and churches in the state?

Kelantan Barisan Nasional state chairman Datuk Annuar Musa said yesterday that DAPís suggestion that the Kelantan and Terengganu Governments amend their State Constitutions to provide for the appointment of Assemblymen  to represent minorities  was to "pressure" PAS.

Annuar is up to no good, hoping to create strains in the DAP-PAS relationship.

The question of the DAP putting pressure on PAS does not arise.  As Annuar said, such a proposal had been included in the PAS manifesto during the 1990 general election.

In our meeting with Kelantan Mentri Besar, Nik Abdul Aziz on Thursday,  we were informed that the reason the Kelantan PAS government did not proceed with the proposal was  because it was advised at the time  by the state legal adviser that the proposal to amend the state constitution to appoint Assemblymen to represent minorities was unconstitutional.

Now that the Terengganu state government was considering a similar proposal under the former Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas, who holds the State Exco portfolio of hizbah and special duties, the Kelantan state government was ready to reconsider the proposal.

Annuar should stop his "divide and rule" mentality and be more positive in his contribution to Kelantan and Malaysian politics. What he should explain is whether UMNO and MCA would support such a proposal to amend the Kelantan and Terengganu state constitution to appoint Assemblymen to represent minorities in the two states and to stop his negative and destructive politics.

(18/12/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman