Two contradictory manifestos by PAS, one for Islamic state at state level and the other silent on Islamic state at national level, violates the  1999 BA Common Manifesto and two of the DAP’s five-point “No Islamic State formula” which PAS leaders had agreed when in BA

Media Statement
Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaThursday): As Malaysia is a federation, it is not uncommon for political parties to have two manifestos, one national and the other state when  simultaneous national and state general elections are held. 

What is uncommon, controversial and highly objectionable, however,  is for a political party to have two contradictory manifestos, as suggested by PAS, one for Islamic state at state level in its own name and the other silent on Islamic state at the national  level in the name of the Barisan Alternative. 

Having  two  such contradictory manifestos on Islamic State violates the 1999 Barisan Alternative Common Manifesto “Towards a Just Malaysia” as well as against the spirit and intent of  two of the DAP’s five-point “No Islamic State formula” which PAS leaders had agreed when  DAP was still in the  Barisan Alternative before our pull-out  of the opposition front in September 2001. 

After the 1999 general election, DAP leaders had protested strongly  against PAS coming out with a Terengganu state manifesto for an Islamic state in the last few days before polling in the 1999 general election which was in clear conflict with the  BA  common manifesto.

This was one of the reasons why  DAP  wanted the BA to address the people’s concerns about the Islamic State issue after the 1999 general election 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 “No Islamic State” formula for the  BA, 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
  • BA Presidential Council to be given prior notice of any proposed enactment or measure in the Kelantan and Terengganu PAS  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.
  • Although 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.

The PAS leadership were prepared to accept Points 3 and 4 but not Points 1, 2 and 5.

If PAS comes out with two contradictory manifestos, a state manifesto  for an Islamic state for Kelantan, Terengganu and probably also for Perlis, Kedah and Pahang, but a different national manifesto which is silent on Islamic state, it would be going against the spirit and intent of Points 3 and 4 which its leaders have agreed, apart from violating Points 1, 2 and 5.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman