(Penang, Thursday): The question of DAPís pulling out of the Barisan Alternative does not arise as the issue is how to ensure that the Barisan Alternative can sustain and grow as a political force for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
Before the recent general election in November last year, the DAP, PAS, Keadilan and PRM banded together to form the Barisan Alternative with the common objective of restoring justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and we had hoped to create a paradigm shift in Malaysian politics by crushing the political hegemony of the Barisan Nasional and denying its two-thirds parliamentary majority.
Although the Barisan Alternative component parties reached a common minimum programme in the form of the common manifesto, "Towards A Just Malaysia", there were major political differences among us, especially between the DAP and PAS - or the four opposition political parties could have merged into one party.
The issue of Islamic state was one such major difference between the DAP and PAS. However, the Barisan Alternative common manifesto embodied the important issues that we agreed upon, namely to end the high-handed and undemocratic practices in the country under the rule of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad so as to allow democracy and justice an opportunity to take root in the country and to ensure that injustices like the Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng cases can never happen again in Malaysia.
The four opposition parties could band together because what they could agree was more important and pressing for the country in the last general election than their differences.
If the choice before the people was between a restoration of justice, freedom, democracy and good goverance or a continuation of misgovernance and repetition of rank injustices like the Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng cases, the answer should be a very clear one.
However, if the people are made to believe as a result of the Barisan Nasional monopoly of the media and its propaganda of falsehoods and intimidation that the choice before them was on the one hand the continuation of injustices like the Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng cases under the Barisan Nasional or an Islamic State under the Barisan Alternative, majority support would undoubtedly be for the former.
This however is a false issue, for the DAP is in Barisan Alternative not to help PAS bring about an Islamic State, but to unite all available forces to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance while holding firm and steadfast to our founding principle that Malaysia shall remain forever a democratic secular state.
Political differences had surfaced particularly between the DAP and
PAS in the past eight months after the last general election, and these
issues would have to be addressed and resolved if the Barisan Alternative
is to remain a tenable and viable political force committed to the restoration
of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in Malaysia.