PAS’ disagreement that “A vote for BA is not a vote for Islamic State” is the nub of the crisis facing the Barisan Alternative

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday): The first working meeting of the new DAP Central Executive Committee elected at the recent 13th DAP National Congress tonight  is to discuss and decide how to carry out the  Congress mandate “to resolve the controversy of Islamic State with PAS in the shortest possible time and to take all necessary final decisions” and not to decide whether the party should quit or  stay in the Opposition coalition.

However, the statement by the PAS president  Datuk Fadzil Noor, in Malaysiakini yesterday that PAS could not agree with the DAP that “a vote for BA is not a vote for Islamic State” represents the nub of the crisis facing the opposition front, as this represents a subtle but  major departure from the BA Common Manifesto committing the component parties to  respect and uphold  the fundamental principles of the Constitution and the present sytem of democratic governance.

A situation would be  created where there would be  two different groups of voters for the Barisan Alternative in the next general elections, those who vote  BA to restore  justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and those who vote BA to achieve a major leap forward  to establish PAS’ concept of Islamic State.

Although Fadzil has said publicly that PAS would abide by the BA common manifesto issued before the 1999 general elections and that the issue of Islamic state did not arise in BA, the most recent statements by the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat,  the Terengganu Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and other PAS leaders have made it very clear that its  Islamic State concept  remained the central core of PAS’ present-day politics.

This is why the DAP had taken the position that if there is no way for the Barisan Alternative to send out a clear and convincing message that a vote for the Barisan Alternative is not a vote for an Islamic State and will not bring it one step closer,  PAS should convince Malaysians that its Islamic State concept promotes a liberal and progressive solution to the problems of religion and society and is  compatible with democracy, pluralism, equality of all Malaysians before the constitution,  human rights, cultural diversity, social tolerance, women’s rights, development and the promotion of  human progress.

This is why DAP welcomes a  public debate on the political, legal and constitutional implications of  PAS’ concept of Islamic State for plural Malaysia.

These will be among the issues which would be considered by the new DAP Central Executive Committee when deciding on how to discharge the Congress mandate on the BA crisis over the Islamic State issue.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman