(Ipoh, Sunday): On his return from meeting the Pope and visiting
Switzerland and Luxembourg on Friday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.
Mahathir Mohamad attacked the DAP for being “bankrupt of ideas” and had no
reason to exist anymore for launching the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to
1957” People’s Awareness Campaign.
He also challenged the DAP to show how Malaysia
had suffered as a result of his “929 Declaration” that Malaysia is an
Islamic State at the Gerakan national assembly on September 29 last year.
The answer to Mahathir’s challenge is very
simple and straightforward – the immediate victims
of Mahathir’s unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional “929
Declaration” will be the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the “social contract”
of the major communities on attaining Independence
and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia is a democratic, secular,
multi-religious, tolerant and progressive Malaysia with Islam as the official
religion but not an Islamic State.
This is also why I had counter-challenged
Mahathir to a public debate, with live telecast, whether
his "929 declaration" is in line or contrary to the 1957 Merdeka
Constitution, the "social contract" of the major communities and the
1963 Malaysia Agreement and I am still waiting for his response.
would have no hesitation in accepting the challenge to a public debate if his
“929 Declaration” is not contrary to the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the
“social contract” and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement –
but I do not expect Mahathir to agree to a public debate for he knows
that I am in the right.
DAP has launched the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957” People’s
Awareness Campaign because the Barisan Nasional election strategists want
Malaysians to believe that the next general election, expected in less than 12
months, is to decide one crucial question – to make a choice between PAS’
Islamic State, described as extremist and Taliban-like, and UMNO’s
“moderate” Islamic State.
is a false choice and the Malaysian voters will making a great mistake if they
fall for this Barisan Nasional gambit and believe that the critical
decision to be made in the next general election is to choose between Pas
Islamic State and UMNO Islamic State.
actual fact, the real choice to be made by Malaysians at the next general
election is whether to defend and preserve the 44-year fundamental
constitutional principle and nation-building cornerstone that Malaysia is not an
Islamic state although Islam is the official religion of the nation – and to
say “No” in a loud, clear and unequivocal manner to both PAS Islamic State
and UMNO Islamic State.
Barisan Nasional strategists want Malaysians to believe that the next general
election is a decisive choice between UMNO or PAS version of Islamic State, as
they believe that in such a contest, the UMNO version of an Islamic State can
win hands-down not only among non-Muslim and non-Malay voters, but also among
Malay and Muslim voters.
Barisan Nasional gambit to mislead
the voters into believing that the next general election is a choice between the
PAS or UMNO Islamic State will be assisted considerably if they can create a
panic situation by also making the voters believe that the Barisan Nasional
could be toppled by the PAS-led Barisan Alternative in the next polls.
there is a possibility that Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional government could
be toppled in the next general election, it would be virtually impossible to
stop the Barisan Nasional strategists from turning the next general election
into a choice between the PAS or UMNO Islamic state.
this is not the case, for in the next general election, there is no possibility
whatsoever that Mahathir could be toppled as Prime Minister and the Barisan
Nasional Federal Government replaced by the PAS-led Barisan Alternative.
fact, the chances of the Opposition denying the Barisan Nasional two-thirds
parliamentary majority in the next general
election is even slimmer than in the 1999 general election – especially
with the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States which had changed
the global and local political landscape and the Anwar Ibrahim factor not as
powerful as in the last general election.
For this reason, PAS and Parti
Keadilan Nasional (PKN) should be realistic and concede that in the next general
election there is no possibility of toppling the Barisan Nasional
government so as not to fall
into the Barisan Nasional
trap to turn the next general election into a choice between PAS or UMNO
If there is a possibility that
Mahathir could be toppled as
Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional kicked out of government in the next
general election, then it is a different proposition.
But when such a possibility does not exist, and
airily talking about capturing
Federal power could be used by the
Barisan Nasional to mislead the voters by turning
the next general election into a choice between the UMNO or PAS Islamic
State, PAS and PKN should seriously consider making an open and public
concession that in the next general
election, there is no possibility
of toppling the Mahathir government but only breaking the Barisan Nasional
political hegemony by ending its
unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority.