proposed five-point “No Islamic State”position for Barisan Alternative which
was not accepted by PAS and which led to DAP’s departure from the opposition
opening of the Johore Karaoke Open Contest organised by Minyak Beku DAP
by Lim Kit Siang
Today’s press carried the Bernama
report headlined “PAS
Changes Strategy In Facing Next General Election” which said:
“KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 (Bernama) -- PAS will no longer promise voters the
implementation of the Hudud (Islamic Penal Code) laws and the setting up of
an Islamic State in the next general elections, according to its acting
president, Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang.
”In his mandate on the party's election strategy, entitled 'Formulas For
Success', Abdul Hadi states that this huge sacrifice has to be made to avoid
creating a massive rift among the partners of the opposition pact, styled as
the Barisan Alternatif.
”Hadi states that at the national level, PAS has to support provisions on
Islam as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and as practised at the
”The document, dated Jan 18, was distributed to the party's top leaders
throughout the country over the past few months.
”In the mandate, however, Abdul Hadi states that in two States -- Kelantan
and Terengganu -- PAS will maintain its manifesto on its intention to set up
an Islamic administration to serve as the role model to the other States.
”Abdul Hadi states that in Kelantan and Terengganu, PAS' image should be
portrayed as a party which does not need to be propped up by the other
”According to the document, PAS at the Federal level was discussing with
Kedah PAS and Perlis PAS to adopt a similar approach.
”In that way, the DAP will also be saved from attacks by its political
opponents for colluding with PAS in setting up an Islamic State.
”Abdul Hadi wants to ensure that the approaches adopted by PAS do not
undermine the DAP for as long as PAS' ambition is met.”
DAP leaders are as surprised
as anyone at this Bernama report, which was reported by all language
newspapers, for two reassons:
Bernama report is completely misleading as the DAP does not have any pact
with PAS after the DAP had pulled out of the Barisan Alternative in
September 2001; and
- This is
the first time any DAP leader had heard of such a “Hadi mandate” dated
January 18 to allegedly change its strategy on the issue of Islamic state.
Before any comment can be made
on the alleged “Hadi mandate”, it must be established whether the Bernama
report is correct and true and not a concocted report.
While we wait for
clarification on the veracity of the Bernama report on the “Hadi mandate”,
what can be stated is that the DAP’s stand on the Islamic state issue had
always been constant, consistent and principled in the past 37 years.
The DAP helped to establish
the Barisan Alternative (BA) with PAS, Keadilan and Parti Rakyat Malaysia
in 1999 with the sole objective to crush the political hegemony of the
Barisan Nasional and end its unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority to
advance the objectives as spelt out in the 1999 general election BA common
manifesto “Towards A Just Malaysia” which had nothing to do with PAS’
objective of an Islamic State.
Immediately after the 1999
general election, DAP had wanted the BA to address the people’s concerns
about the Islamic State issue but we found no support from the other BA
component parties despite persistent attempts by the DAP in 2000. As a
result, DAP decided to engage PAS in direct discussion on the issue in 2001,
where we proposed a five-point position for Barisan Alternative on the
Islamic State issue.
When talks broke down between
the DAP and PAS leaders on the DAP’s five-point formula for the BA position
on the Islamic State issue, DAP was left with no choice but to pull out of
the opposition front.
The DAP’s five-point ”No
Islamic State” proposal for the BA position were:
- That the
1999 BA Manifesto “Towards A Just Malaysia”, while respecting the
different ideological positions of component parties, binds every party
during the duration of the BA to a commitment to uphold and respect the
fundamental principles and basic structures of the Malaysian
Constitution and to give the assurance that there would be no radical
change to the Malaysian Constitution such as for the establishment of an
Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu or Christian state. Any effort by any component
party to pursue the establishment of an Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu or
Christian state will be against the BA Manifesto.
- A clear
reiteration that under the BA Manifesto, a vote for BA is a vote for
democracy, justice and good governance and not a vote for an Islamic
State and PAS agrees that in the duration of the BA, PAS would at all
levels of the party join forces with other BA parties to strive for A Just
Malaysia and not for an Islamic State
Presidential Council to be given prior notice of any proposed enactment or
measure in the Kelantan and Terengganu state governments which could
impinge on the sensitivities of the different religions, communities and
political parties to allow for fullest consultation and agreement.
- A special
BA committee to be set up to ensure that controversial or sensitive
pronouncements or statements affecting religious and other rights which
are against the BA manifesto are only made after prior consultation and to
deal with cases of infraction.
PAS is committed to the objective of an Islamic State, it accepts the
fact that in a plural society like Malaysia, the establishment of an
Islamic State is not suitable or practicable.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National