Hadi should not cheapen political discourse by trivialising the numerous strong and legitimate DAP objections to the PAS Islamic State concept which PAS leaders have to date been unable to give satisfactory or acceptable explanations
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Friday): Yesterday’s Bernama report under the heading “DAP Against Islamic State Because No Chance To Become PM – Hadi” quoted the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as saying that the DAP has rejected the PAS-initiated Islamic State because its representative will have no chance to become Prime Minister in such a state and if the opposition pact comes to power.
According to Bernama, Hadi said in the Terengganu State Assembly during winding up of the debate on the state budget yesterday: "Our problem with the DAP emerged during our discussions and they opposed the setting up of an Islamic State for when PAS sets up an Islamic State automatically they cannot become Prime Minister. This is the reality."
Hadi should not cheapen and devalue political discourse by trivializing the numerous strong and legitimate DAP objections to the PAS Islamic State concept which PAS leaders have to date been unable to give satisfactory or acceptable explanations.
The DAP’s stand on the Islamic state issue had always been constant, consistent and principled in the past 37 years, whether before, during or after the DAP’s participation in the Barisan Alternative – whether in our discussions or arguments with PAS, UMNO, Parti Keadilan Nasional, MCA,. Gerakan, SUPP or MIC.
Hadi knows that 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” and had nothing to do with PAS’ objective of an Islamic State.
In fact, the BA common manifesto “Towards A Just Malaysia” was an implicit commitment by the BA component parties at the time that the Islamic State was not one of the objectives of BA – as all component parties made the commitment to uphold the fundamental principles of the Malaysian Constitution which provides for a secular Malaysia with Islam as the official religion.
In early 2001, DAP had proposed a Five-point Position on Islamic State for Barisan Alternative to address the people’s concerns on the Islamic State issue after PAS leaders repeatedly flouted the BA Common Manifesto in openly advocating an Islamic State. However, when the PAS leadership refused accept the Five-Point Position on Islamic State for BA, DAP was left with no choice but to pull out of the opposition front in September 2001 on an important point of principle.
The DAP’s proposed Five-Point Position on Islamic State for BA were:
Hadi should not therefore cheapen and devalue political discourse by trivializing the numerous strong and legitimate DAP objections to the PAS Islamic State concept which PAS leaders have to date been unable to give satisfactory or acceptable explanations by claiming that the DAP has rejected the PAS-initiated Islamic State because its representative will have no chance to become Prime Minister in such a state and if the opposition pact comes to power. Hadi should know that this is not a honest manner of conducting any political discourse.
DAP still awaits reasoned and rational responses from Hadi and the PAS leadership to the publicly-stated DAP objections to the PAS Islamic State blueprint, the “Islamic State Document” released on November 11, 2003, such as:
At a PAS Melaka forum in June 2000, I had asked whether the Political Islam of PAS is compatible with democracy, or whether it believed only in “one man, one vote, one time” and will use electoral politics to “hijack democracy” as power-sharing was just the strategy and mechanism to achieve the ultimate objective, the establishment of an Islamic State, which would be irreversible.
I was not being cynical or facetious as some thought but was very serious – for the question the advocates of Islamic State or any religious state must answer is whether they would countenance the change of such a system of government. If apostasy is regarded by PAS as “warring” against Allah and must entail the capital punishment of death penalty, wouldn’t any proposal to change the Islamic State to other forms of government be regarded as an even greater “war” on Allah, even worse than treason, which must entail worse and harsher punishments?
When launching the PAS Islamic State blueprint, Hadi had welcomed a reasoned and rational public debate. He should honour his invitation for a public discussion with serious answers to the grave objections and not cheapen and devalue public discourse by trivializing the objections.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman