That the DAP CEC took the decision to cease to be part of the Barisan Alternative on September 22, 2001, 11 days after the heinous terrorist crimes against humanity in the United States and four days after the Sarawak state general elections nominations was a pure coincidence.
The DAP Party Congress on August 18/19, 2001, after debating at length on the issue, gave the mandate to the new Central Executive Committee to take all necessary measures to resolve the Islamic State controversy with PAS in the shortest possible time, without having to refer the issue back to the Congress.
In keeping with the Congress mandate and directive, the new DAP Central Executive Committee had wanted the final meeting between the DAP and PAS leaders to be held as early as possible, preferably by the end of August or latest by early September, as the issue had already been too drawn-out for several months.
But a DAP-PAS meeting could not be scheduled at the end of August or even early September as most of the key PAS leaders were out of the country at the time and the earliest date available for the PAS leadership for the meeting was Sept. 22. If the DAP-PAS meeting had been held at the end of August or early September as intended by the DAP, and the DAP had taken the decision to pull out of the Barisan Alternative because of the failure to resolve the Islamic State controversy, there would no attempt to link it with either the Sept. 11 terrorist mass murders or the Sarawak state general elections.
The coincidence of the DAP decision last Saturday to pull out of the Barisan Alternative and the Sarawak state general elections has undoubtedly thrown Barisan Nasional leaders, particularly SUPP leaders in Sarawak, totally off-gear, as their irresponsible and baseless attack on DAP as defender and even champion of PAS Islamic State had been the centerpiece of the Sarawak Barisan Nasional election campaign.
Until Saturday, SUPP leaders led by its President Datuk Dr. George Chan, had been assailing the DAP for still being part of Barisan Alternative despite PAS’ position on Islamic State, but since Saturday, they had accused the DAP of the “sandiwara” of pretending to pull out of Barisan Alternative but still fully supporting PAS’ Islamic State concept.
SUPP leaders should not judge DAP by its own political standards and history of saying one thing and doing another. As far as the DAP is concerned, the party had been consistent and unswerving in our commitment to the objective of creating a democratic secular Malaysia since the DAPs formation 35 years ago in 1966.
SUPP leaders who accuse the DAP’s of “sandiwara” are either betraying their political illiteracy or deceit, and I will recommend them to read the DAP’s latest publication “BA & Islamic State”, which documented the DAP’s consistent approach on the issue of Islamic State from before the formation of the Alternative Front and during the entire period of the DAP’s participation in the opposition front, particularly in the 22 months after the 1999 general elections.
The DAP teamed up with PAS, Keadilan and PRM before the 1999 general election to form the Alternative Front for two reasons: to save Malaysian democracy and justice from savage and fatal attacks by the Barisan Nasional government and secondly, a common Alternative Front manifesto “Towards a Just Malaysia” which not only put aside the ideological differences of the component parties on the issue of Islamic state but committed every Barisan Alternative party to uphold the fundamental principles and cardinal features of the Malaysian Constitution – which would exclude any pursuit of an Islamic State.
However, the whole political scenario altered drastically when in the past 22 months PAS leaders publicly reiterated their commitment to establish an Islamic State, where the principle of the sovereignty of the people in a democracy will be replaced by the principle of the sovereignty of God based on the Quran – a clear violation of the BA Common Manifesto.
The series of meetings between DAP and PAS to resolve the Islamic State controversy finally broke down when the PAS leadership was not prepared to concede that while it is ideologically committed to the Islamic State principle, an Islamic State is not feasible or practicable in a plural Malaysia in the 21st century.