Immediately after the Nov. 29, 1999 election, the MCA and Gerakan have started their post-election campaign of falsehoods and fear against the DAP to prepare for the general election in five yearsí time - as painting DAP and myself in particular as an apologist for PASí Islamic State objective.
Today, in the Star column "On The Beat", Wong Chun Wai wrote an article entitled "Courting PAS spells more trouble for DAP" where he said that after the visit of the DAP delegation to Terengganu and Kelantan, "the Chinese community now sees the DAP as being apologists for PAS, rightly or wrongly".
Writing about "the negative side" of DAPís decision to continue
co-operation with PAS in the Barisan Alternative, Wong said:
"PAS leaders have not committed themselves to anything; all they have said, according to the DAP, is they are willing to have discussions with non-Muslims."
"Neither should non-Muslims be relieved by his statement that non-Muslims
would be appointed to various municipal and district councils
"These are minor concessions by PAS to get the support of non-Muslims for a greater agenda of setting up an Islamic state, which the PAS leaders have openly stated.
"What non-Muslims should ask is whether, under PASí Islamic rule, the role and powers of Parliament will be limited compared to a council of ulamaks?
"PAS may have put on record its readiness to protect their interests of non-Muslims but letís not forget that under PAS-ruled Malaysia, important political, administrative and judicial positions will go to Muslims.
"Their argument is that in an Islamic state, it is only logical that those who lead, guide and direct the state should be those who subscribe to their belief."
I will make a more detailed rejoinder to the insidious insinuations and dishonest slant in Wongís article tomorrow, but I wish to make one emphatic point on DAPís stand on an Islamic state today.
The DAP and I have dedicated over three decades of our lives, with myself detained twice under the Internal Security Act and prosecuted and convicted under the Official Secrets Act not to become an apologist for PAS, an Islamic state or for anyone else, but to remain true and loyal to our objectives of a Malaysian Malaysia, where there is justice, freedom, democracy and good governance for all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.
It is most irresponsible on Wongís part to suggest that the DAP has
become an apologist for PAS and an Islamic state, when the DAPís
stand had been the most consistent for over three decades on this issue.
DAPís stand that Malaysia shall remain forever a secular democratic Malaysia is a fundamental founding principle of the party which cannot be compromised.
We are realistic enough to know that we cannot ask PAS to abandon its founding party principle of an Islamic state, just as PAS must be realistic enough to know that it cannot ask the DAP to abandon our founding party principle that Malaysia shall forever be a secular democratic society.
While PAS leaders remain committed ideologically to an Islamic state, PAS leaders will also have to realise that in a plural society like Malaysia, with the diversity of races, religions, languages and cultures, an Islamic state is not a practical proposition.
DAPís decision to continue working with PAS in the Barisan Alternative have been one of the reasons used by certain quarters to demand my resignation as DAP National Chairman.
I will decide during the Chinese New Year period whether to resign as DAP National Chairman as demanded by certain quarters ouside the party, including NGOs and other opposition parties, who have made use of various channels to frame their demands, whether through open letters or seminars.
I had said on Tuesday that I will make use of the next two or three months to get direct feedback from the public as to whether I have outlived my political usefulness and whether, although I have the unanimous support of the DAP Central Executive Committee to continue as National Chairman, I should give in to the clamour from certain quarters outside the party and resign as National Chairman.
I reiterate my earlier statement that I will not tarry a day longer if I have outlived my political usefulness for the cause to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and to build a new Malaysia.
Whatever decision I take during the Chinese New Year period on my position as DAP National Chairman, I propose to go off for two to three years for my first sabattical in my more than three decades of political work.
In fact, I think Lim Guan Eng should also go off for an extended sabbattical but we should be going to different countries.