(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): For
44 years, the mainstream nation-building agenda was to develop and sustain the
democratic, secular and multi-religious nature of the Malaysian Constitution and
voices calling for an Islamic state were at the periphery; but overnight, with
the declaration by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at the
Gerakan national delegates’ conference on
September 29 last year (the “929” declaration), the controversy over what
type of an Islamic state Malaysia should become has hijacked the
mainstream nation-building agenda.
the first time in the 44-year Malaysian parliamentary history, the question
whether the UMNO Government is “Islamic state” enough has become an abiding
theme in the debates in Parliament - when for the last four decades, the term
“Islamic state” was rarely heard.
the past seven months, the DAP had
been a lone voice as if in the wilderness seeking to draw the
attention of Malaysians to the tectonic shift in the nation-building process but
we have found it very heavy-going as there had been little awareness, concern
and alarm, with virtually nil crisis consciousness,
at the far-reaching political, legal, socio-economic and
citizenship implications for all Malaysians when the 44-year democratic, secular
and multi-religious nature of the Constitution is jettisoned in favour of an
Islamic state - whether ala-UMNO or ala-PAS.
who want to defend the 44-year Merdeka
Social Contract for a democratic, secular, multi-religious, tolerant and
progressive Malaysia must be aware that they are in a race against time, for if
in the next general elections - expected within the next 12 months - the Barisan Nasional is given strong
support, it would be regarded as a mandate to jettison the 44-year Social
Contract and embark Malaysia on the road of an Islamic State.
Malaysians and the civil society should speak up to preserve the
44-year democratic, secular and multi-religious constitution and not to
allow it to be transformed into an Islamic State, for two reasons:
the time for Malaysians to stand up to be counted in defence of the
Malaysian Social Contract is from now
to the next general election within
a span of 12 months - and not when
it is too late after the next
general election when the Barisan Nasional can claim national endorsement for
the 929 declaration because of landslide victory.
Malaysians must depend ultimately on themselves to defend the 1957 Merdeka
Constitution and “social contract”, as the overwhelming majority of the
political parties in the country are either opposed or not bothered about this
Ministers and leaders, for instance, cannot
be trusted to defend the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and uphold the “social
contract” of a democratic,
secular and multi-religious Malaysia and not an Islamic state as they could not even defend the dignity and integrity of the
claims to be the biggest political party representing the Chinese in Malaysia
with over one million members and the second largest political party in the
world representing the Chinese.
from the recent power struggle between the A and B factions in MCA, it is very
clear that the most powerful Chinese in the Barisan Nasional is neither MCA
President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, the MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lim Ah Lek
(Gerakan President Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik is not in the race at all), but
two political novices who devised the
so-called MCA “peace” plan in the name of Dr. Mahathir - whose political
clout do not derive from any connection with MCA at all!
more than a year of battle between the MCA and “MCB”, neither the A nor B
factions had won and the real
winner is the “MCU” - where “U” stands for UMNO.
biggest casualty of the MCA “peace” plan is the MCA party constitution - and
it should be an eye-opener for all Malaysians as to how MCA could possibly
defend the founding principles of the 1957 Merdeka Constituton and “social
contract” reached by our forefathers from the major communities 44 years ago
when the warring MCA Ministers and
leaders could not even defend and uphold the founding principles of the MCA
party constitution and protect its dignity and integrity!