DAP's 2003 New Year Proposal - An all-political party/
Inter-Religious/NGOs National Conference to eliminate the international
perception that Malaysia is a "terrorist centre" as an important spur to
Malaysia's economic growth and development
by Lim Kit Siang
The ending of the year 2002 and the beginning of the new year occur in an
international environment where the September 11 terrorist attacks continue
to haunt the world with news of terrorism becoming a daily diet of
A look at the international news on the last day of 2002 confirms and
highlights the powerful impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks in
making the world a more worrisome and dangerous place, viz:
New Year celebrations worldwide held under the shadow of
unprecedented terrorist threat and alert.
FBI high-profile search for five men who had crossed into the
US from Canada as part of its war on terrorism.
The killing of three American missionary doctors in the first
major anti-US attacks in Yemen since the sinking of the USS Cole in 2000.
The arrest at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport of a baggage
handler who had a mini-arsenal of weapons stashed in the trunk of his car,
including explosive devices ready to be used
The continued massive US military build-up in the Gulf, with
"Feb. 21 at midnight" reported by a British tabloid as when the US war on
Iraq would start.
Malaysia has been most adversely affected by the global
geopolitical changes in what might be a decade if not a century of terror.
In his recent Hari Raya Address, the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister,
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad publicly admitted for the first time that
Malaysia is perceived internationally as a "terrorist centre" - which is not
unrelated to his downward revision last week of the country's economic
growth for next year when he said that Malaysia's gross domestic product
(GDP) growth next year was expected to be similar to the 2002 estimate of 4
to 5% instead of the 6 to 6.5% which he had forecast in the 2003 Budget in
Parliament only three months ago.
Recent reports that China is set to grab the lion's share of the world's
foreign direct investments (FDI) this year, with the inflow of funds
expected to exceed US$50 billion, at the expense of Southeast Asian
countries, should underline the gravity of the situation to Malaysia if we
continue to be complacent about the international perception that the
country has become a "terrorist centre".
DAP wishes to make a 2003 New Year Proposal - the convening of an
all-political party/ Inter-Religious/NGOs National Conference to eliminate
the international perception that Malaysia is a "terrorist centre" as an
important spur to Malaysia's economic growth and development.
It will be a great contribution towards the elimination of the international
perception of Malaysia as a "terrorist centre" if UMNO and PAS can call a
halt to their competition to out-Islam and out-Islamic State each other,
which is worsening the national investment climate in an already bleak
global economic scenario.
On UMNO's part, Mahathir should withdraw the "929 Declaration" at the
Gerakan national delegates' conference on Sept. 29 last year that Malaysia
is an Islamic State, which is unconstitutional and violates the 1957 Merdeka
Constitution, the "social contract" and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement that
Malaysia is a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as
the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic state, whether ala-UMNO
On PAS' part, it should withdraw the Syariah Criminal Enactments in
Terengganu and Kelantan, as they are also against both the spirit and letter
of the 45-year Merdeka Constitution, the "social contract" and the 1963
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National