DAP stands by its offer to form a new secular Opposition Front with Keadilan, PRM and other political forces to defend the 46-year fundamental constitutional principle and nation-building principle of Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state
- DAP Nibong Tebal Branch dinner
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Sunday): Two weeks ago, Parti Rakyat Malaysia president Dr. Syed Husin Ali broached the proposal of a new kind of arrangement for loose co-operation among the opposition parties, whether “inside or outside Barisan Alternative (BA), whether registered or not”.
The question of the DAP returning to the BA does not arise at all, as the DAP had pulled out of BA in September 2001 because of the BA failure to resolve the Islamic state issue despite repeated and lonely efforts by the DAP to address the PAS violation of the Barisan Alternative 1999 General Election common manifesto - "Towards a Just Malaysia".
DAP could not accept the contention of the PAS leaders that they are not advocating a theocratic form of government on the ground that the PAS Islamic State will not be ruled by a priestly order, as that is only one of the definitions of theocracy, which means a species of government which claims to be immediately directed by God.
Since the withdrawal of the DAP from the BA, PAS has hardened its position on Islamic State with the completion of a PAS Islamic State blueprint under which the Syariah will be the supreme law, superseding the Federal Constitution – which is nothing short of a codification of the violation of the 1999 BA Common Manifesto which made no mention of an Islamic State.
While the question of the DAP returning to BA does not arise, DAP is prepared to form a new secular Opposition Front with KeAdilan, PRM and other political forces, including progressive Islamic forces, to strengthen the hard centre of political and religious moderates in the country to defend the 1957 Merdeka Constitution principle of democratic, secular, multi-religious and progressive Malaysia with Islam as the official religion.
In the next general election, Barisan Nasional strategists would want to convince the Malaysian voters that the greatest issue before them is to choose between Islamic state ala-UMNO without any change to the Constitution and the status quo and the Islamic state ala-PAS with all the phobias about jihad and Taliban Afghanistan.
If Malaysians have no other options and must choose between an Islamic state ala-UMNO or an Islamic state ala-PAS, the overwhelming majority of the people would choose the former - but this is a false choice for Malaysians.
This is because the real choice that must be made by Malaysians is not to choose between Islamic state ala-UMNO or Islamic state ala-PAS, but whether to continue to defend the 44-year fundamental constitutional principle and nation-building cornerstone of Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious state with Islam as the official religion or to jettison this principle and endorse Malaysia as an Islamic state, whether ala-UMNO or ala-PAS or ala-some other formula.
This is the time for moderate and progressive Malaysians, Muslim and non-Muslims, to stand up and be united in the great battle in the defence of the 44-year fundamental constitutional principle of a democratic, secular and multi-religious Malaysia with Islam as the official religion and to make it very clear that Malaysians, both Muslim and non-Muslim, do not want either UMNO or PAS Islamic state which is not mentioned in Quran and the Sunnah or any other theocratic state of other religions.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman