Total unconcern and disregard of MCA leaders and delegates at the 50th MCA General Assembly about the grave issue of Islamic State, whether PAS or UMNO, the greatest disappointment as it is continued proof of MCA’s political irrelevance and marginalization
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Monday): The total unconcern and disregard of MCA leaders and delegates at the 50th MCA General Assembly about the grave issue of Islamic State, whether PAS or UMNO, is the greatest disappointment as it is continued proof of MCA’s political irrelevance and marginalization.
Malaysia is today at the crossroads, facing the second great test in its 46-year nation-building history, facing two choices:
Twenty years ago, at the grand 80th birthday dinner for Tunku Abdul Rahman on Feb. 8, 1983 hosted by the Barisan Nasional leaders headed by Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamd, Bapa Malaysia expressed his greatest concern for the nation when he publicly urged government and Barisan Nasional leaders, whether UMNO, MCA, Gerakan or MIC, to remain true to the Malaysian Constitution and “not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State”.
Tunku’s call “Not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State” was reported with approbation on the front pages of all language newspapers the next day, whether New Straits Times, Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh, Nanyang Siang Pao, Kwang Wah Jit Poh, China Press, Utusan Malaysia or Berita Harian.
When Tunku made the famous “Don’t Turn Malaysia into an Islamic State” call to Barisan Nasional leaders and Malaysians, all the Barisan Nasional parties supported without question or qualification the stand that Malaysia is a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation. Tunku’s call also had the support of all Opposition parties, except for PAS, at the time.
Twenty years later today, all the Barisan Nasional parties have turned their back on Tunku’s call and made a somersault to cravenly accept that Malaysia is an Islamic State, in line with the unconstitutional and arbitrary “929 Declaration” by Mahathir that Malaysia is an Islamic State.
In the opposition, DAP stands alone as the only party to take a clear, principled and uncompromising stand to defend and uphold the 46-year constitutional compact that Malaysia was founded as a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic state.
With the change of MCA leadership, the 50th MCA General Assembly yesterday was to herald a new MCA – but if the MCA leaders and delegates lack the courage and conviction to return to the fundamental principle and belief which MCA had held steadfastly for 48 years of its half-century history that Malaysia is a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation and not an Islamic state, then there could be no new MCA.
At the end of last month, Mahathir said in Miri that Malaysians must protect and enhance the nation-building formula of the country’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Malaysians as a whole, and the Malaysian Chinese in particular, are entitled to know why the new MCA leadership has abandoned Tunku’s nation-building formula and turned its back to his injunction “Don’t Turn Malaysia into an Islamic State”.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman