It is Keng Yaik who should make a double apology to the Chinese community and Malaysian people – firstly for PAS’ winning 27 MPs in last general election and secondly, for betraying the 46-year Merdeka social contract and Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman’s legacy injunction at the latter’s 80th birthday dinner celebrations in 1982 hosted by Barisan Nasional “not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State”
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Monday): Gerakan President Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik yesterday demanded that I apologise to the Chinese community and accept responsibility because the DAP’s co-operation with PAS in the last general election had led to PAS’ phenomenal growth in Parliament.
It is Keng Yaik who should make a double apology to the Chinese community and the Malaysian people, firstly for PAS winning 27 MPs in the last general election and secondly, for betraying the 46-year Merdeka social contract and Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman’s legacy injunction at the latter’s 80th birthday dinner celebrations in 1982 hosted by Barisan Nasional “not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State” when he and the Gerakan gave full support to the “929 Declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic State on September 29, 2001.
Keng Yaik should stop his irresponsible politics of mischief and falsehoods in trying to distract national attention from his abandonment of the 46-year “social contract” that Malaysia is a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State, whether ala-PAS or ala-UMNO by directing his fire at the DAP.
Keng Yaik knows that his baseless attack on the DAP as being responsible for PAS’ winning 27 parliamentary seats in the last general election cannot withstand public examination or scrutiny, and this is why he backed down after the DAP accepted his challenge to a public debate on Gerakan’s support of the “929 Declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic State.
Any astute political observer would have known that whether the DAP was in the Barisan Alternative in the 1999 general election or not, the political climate and conditions at the time were such that UMNO would have suffered its greatest electoral defeat in its history, paving the way for PAS’ win of 27 parliamentary seats.
Is Keng Yaik seriously suggesting that if the DAP had not been in the Barisan Alternative in the 1999 general election, PAS would not be able to treble its parliamentary strength from eight to 27 MPs, retained Kelantan and won the Terengganu State government?
This is why Keng Yaik dared not face the DAP in a public debate – for he would be exposed as either dishonest and irresponsible or naïve and illogical in holding such a view.
In the 1999 general election, the 27 parliamentary seats won by PAS were 10 from Kelantan, seven from Terengganu, eight from Kedah and two from Perak.
Is Keng Yaik seriously suggesting that DAP was responsible for the victories of the PAS parliamentary seats in the Malay heartland where the Malay voter majorities were invariably over 95 per cent as in Kelantan and Terengganu? If so, then Keng Yaik is as good as claiming that the DAP had greater influence over the Malays in the East Coast than even UMNO!
Who then was responsible for paving the way for PAS to gain momentum in the last general election to win 27 Parliamentary seats? UMNO must bear the primary responsibility and Gerakan and MCA the secondary responsibility – for the Barisan Nasional’s misgovernment and misrule, with its corruption, cronyism, nepotism, abuses of power, human rights violations, and undermining the doctrine of separation of powers in usurping the powers of Parliament and the Judiciary, highlighted and personalized by the Anwar Ibrahim “black-eye” outrage.
Keng Yaik and Gerakan gave full support to the UMNO policies of misrule and misgovernance, and as such, must bear responsibility for paving the way for PAS to gain momentum in the last general election to win 27 parliamentary seats, retain Kelantan and capture Terengganu.
DAP had decided to help form the Barisan Alternative because the 1999 general election represented an unprecedented opportunity to break the Barisan Nasional political hegemony by ending its uninterrupted two-thirds parliamentary majority to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in the country.
If in the last general election, the Barisan Alternative had succeeded in ending the two-thirds parliamentary majority of Barisan Nasional, with the DAP, PAS and Parti Keadilan Nasional/Parti Rakyat each winning some 25 parliamentary seats, the stage would have been set for a more balanced multi-ethnic Opposition in Parliament, a vibrant and healthier democracy and the “929 Declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic State would not have been made.
This is because the UMNO and Barisan Nasional leadership would have to contend with a strong and balanced multi-ethnic opposition representation in Parliament, and not just with a strong 27-man PAS presence with a very weakened team of only 10 DAP MPs.
Is Keng Yaik prepared to have a public debate to dispute my contention that if the 1999 general election had produced not only 27 PAS MPs, but also 25 – 30 DAP MPs, the “929 Declaration” of Malaysia as an Islamic state would not have been made, as the Barisan Nasional must worry about both Malay and non-Malay support?
The 929 declaration of Malaysia as an Islamic state was one direct consequence of the weakening of the DAP parliamentary representation to ten MPs in the last general election, as with the absence of strong external checks by the DAP, neither Gerakan nor MCA could provide the necessary internal checks against violations of the 1957 “social contract”, the Merdeka Constitution and the fundamental nation-building cornerstone of Malaysia as a democratic, secular, religious, tolerant and progressive nation with Islam as the official religion or forestall the country lurching towards Islamic state represented by the 929 declaration.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman