The grave omission of reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Bahasa Malaysia master text of the PAS Islamic State blueprint although it appears in the English text raises fundamental questions about the compatibility of the PAS Political Islam with human rights
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Wednesday): I have raised four basic objections to the PAS Islamic State blueprint made public by the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang last Wednesday, which has still to be responded, viz:
I wish to discuss a fifth basic objection – its compatibility with human rights.
While studying the PAS Islamic State blueprint, I have found a major inconsistency in its master text, the Bahasa Malaysia version, and the English translation of the document.
Under section 6 on al-Hyurriyah (Freedom) of chapter 3 on “Dasar Utama Pemerintahan Islam” (Primary Principles and Policies of the Islamic Government), after spelling out seven “rights and freedom of the individuals and the citizens” in its concept of an Islamic State, the English text of the document reads:
“The freedom and rights of the citizens especially enjoined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are not only enjoined but are also protected by the Islamic State. It must not however contravene the provisions of the Shari’ah.”
The master text of the document in Bahasa Malaysia makes no mention whatsoever to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reads differently, as follows:
“Semua kebebasan yang tersebut di atas dan lain-lain bentuk kebebasan yang tidak bercanggah dengan syara’ terutama yang dijamin oleh hak asasi manusia akan mendapat tempat dalam negara Islam tanpa diganggu-gugat.”
The grave omission of the specific reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Bahasa Malaysia master text of the PAS Islamic State blueprint although it appears in the English text raises fundamental questions about the compatibility of the PAS Political Islam with human rights.
Before this discrepancy between the Bahasa Malaysia master text and the English translation, I had asked for clarification on the PAS Islamic State blueprint’s conditional support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which challenged two important principles about its universality and indivisibility, asking the PAS leadership to spell out what are the human rights in the UDHR which are objectionable and unacceptable.
Although Hadi had welcomed a public debate, the many questions raised by the DAP on the compatibility of the PAS Islamic State blueprint with the “social contract”, democracy, human rights, women rights, pluralism, social tolerance and modernism still await answers from the PAS leadership.
Mursyidul Am PAS Dato’ Nik Aziz Nik Mat has proposed a meeting of all presidents of political parties on the PAS Islamic State blueprint. DAP will definitely be represented in such an all-party leaders’ discussion on the PAS Islamic State blueprint but I do not believe that such a meeting will materialize.
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.
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 of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance 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 “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:
The PAS leadership were prepared to accept Points 3 and 4 but not Points 1, 2 and 5.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman