Call on Malaysian secularists, Muslim and non-Muslim, to stand up and unite  to defend the 44-year fundamental constitutional principle and nation-building cornerstone of Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious state with Islam as the official religion


Media Conference Comment
- in reply to a press question  
by
Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Saturday) In my talk to the LSE  Malaysia Club 2001-2002 in London  on Wednesday, I had said that the DAP is prepared to form a new secular Opposition Front with KeAdilan, PRM and other political forces, including progressive Islamic forces, to strengthen the hard centre of political and religious moderates in the country  to defend the 1957  Merdeka Constitution principle of democratic, secular, multi-religious and progressive Malaysia in the country, the fundamental basis of the social contract agreed by our forefathers on the nationís Independence some five decades ago.

This is because the greatest challenge facing the country  in the coming decade is whether Malaysia defends or jettisons the 44-year fundamental constitutional principle and nation-building cornerstone of Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious Malaysia.

In the next general elections, Barisan Nasional strategists would want to convince the Malaysian voters that the greatest issue before them was to choose between Islamic state ala-UMNO without any  change to the Constitution and the status quo and the Islamic state ala-PAS with  all the phobias about jihad and Taliban Afghanistan.

If Malaysians have no other options and  must choose between an Islamic state ala-UMNO or an Islamic state ala-PAS, the overwhelming majority of the people would choose the former - but this is a false choice to Malaysians.

This is because the real choice that must be made by Malaysians is not to choose between Islamic state ala-UMNO or Islamic state ala-PAS, but whether to continue to defend the 44-year fundamental constitutional principle and nation-building cornerstone of Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious state with Islam as the official religion or to jettison this principle and endorse Malaysia as an Islamic state, whether ala-UMNO or ala-PAS or ala-some other formula.

This is the time for Malaysian secularsts, Muslim and non-Muslims, to stand up and be united in the great battle in the defence of the 44-year fundamental constitutional principle of a democratic, secular and multi-religious Malaysia with Islam as the official religion and to make it very clear that Malaysians, both Muslim and non-Muslim, do not want an Islamic state which is not mentioned in Quran and the Sunnah or any other theocratic state of other religions.

It is for KeAdilan and PRM to decide whether they are prepared to stand with the DAP  for the cause of a democratic, secular and multi-religious Malaysia, and  whether on this great issue of a secular state or an Islamic state, they feel more comfortable with PAS than with the DAP.

(15/12/2001)



*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman