Islamic State, whether PAS or “929 Declaration” of Mahathir, constitutes quintuple violation of the “social contract”, 1957 Merdeka Constitution, 1963 Malaysia Agreement, Tunku’s nation-building formula and Rukunegara
- 37th DAP anniversary dinner organized by Lengkap DAP Branch
by Lim Kit Siang
(Lengkap, Saturday): This month Malaysians celebrate the 46th National Day anniversary. In Kuala Lumpur and throughout the country, billboards of Rukunegara are being prominently displayed to remind Malaysians of its five principles, as they have been generally forgotten not only by the ordinary people but also by the top leaders, whether in government, politics, the civil service, the professions, education, commerce or industry.
In the run-up to the National Day on August 31, attention appears to be focused only on changing the national anthem from Negaraku to Malaysiaku.
Last week, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said in Miri that Malaysians must protect and enhance the nation-building formula of the country’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman but the government seems bent on undoing the Tunku’s legacy, including Negaraku.
A decade ago, the national anthem was given a new marching tempo without consulting the general Malaysian public. Before the government changes Tunku’s Negaraku to Malaysiaku, all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, territory, gender and age should be consulted first.
If there is to be a change of the national anthem from Negaraku to Malaysiaku, let it be the decision of the Malaysian people after a process of nation-wide consultation and survey and not the decision of a handful of people temporarily in power or of one person, three months before he steps down after being Prime Minister for more than 22 years.
The reminder to Malaysians about the Rukunegara and Mahathir’s call for the protection of Tunku’s nation-building formula are most timely, and should be the theme of the 46th National Day celebrations this year.
This is because both the Malaysian leaders and people have forgotten not only the Rukunegara principles but also the Tunku’s nation-building formula to the extent that a fundamental constitutional principle and nation-building cornerstone is facing unprecedented threat and challenge.
One important pillar of Tunku’s nation-building formula is to be loyal to the nation-building compact reached by the forefathers of the major communities on the founding of the nation and written into the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia is a democratic, multi-racial, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic state.
This is why during his 80th birthday dinner on 8th February 1983 hosted by the Barisan Nasional leaders headed by Mahathir who had become the fourth Prime Minister for 18 months and won a landslide victory in his first general election in 1982, Tunku chose as the most important theme of his speech a public call to the Barisan Nasional leaders to adhere to the Malaysian Constitution and “not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State”. The next day, the banner headline “Tunku: Don’t Turn Malaysia into an Islamic State” was on the front pages of all language newspapers, whether New Straits Times, Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh, Nanyang Siang Pao, Kwang Wah Jit Poh, China Press, Utusan Malaysia or Berita Harian.
An Islamic State in Malaysia, whether PAS or “929 Declaration” of Mahathir, constitutes a quintuple violation of the “social contract”, 1957 Merdeka Constitution, 1963 Malaysia Agreement, Tunku’s nation-building formula and the Rukunegara. In fact, an Islamic State, whether PAS or the “929 Declaration” of Mahathir, violates two of the five Rukunegara principles, viz: the first principle of “Belief in God” which is predicated on a multi-religious Malaysia where Islam is the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic state and the third principle of “Upholding the Constitution”.
I have no doubt that if Tunku had been alive when Mahathir made the “929 Declaration” that Malaysia was an Islamic State at the Gerakan national delegates’ conference on September 29, 2001, he would have been extremely shocked and would have been the first to come forward boldly, strongly and unequivocally to point out that the “929 Declaration” was a violation of the “social compact” reached by the major communities on achieving Independence, the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and to spearhead a nation-wide movement to call for its revocation.
This is the time for all Malaysians, whether political parties, professional groups, educational bodies, civic organizations, youth organizations and even clans and associations, to celebrate the 46th National Day in a big way, one month before and after August 31, to foster nationalism and patriotism by strengthening the commitment to enhance and protect the Tunku’s nation-building formula and the five Rukunegara principles to build a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic state – whether ala-PAS or ala-UMNO. DAP should set the example to mark and celebrate the 46th National Day nation-wide in as big a way as possible.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman