There will be no condition or basis to explore the possibility of a merger between DAP and Keadilan if the latter has not left the Barisan Alternative and freed itself from subservience to the PAS Islamic State objective

Media Conference Statement (3)
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaThursday): Yesterday, I said that if Keadilan is prepared to break free from PAS and its subservience to PAS’ Islamic State objective, DAP and Keadilan should explore the possibility of a merger for the triple objectives of restoring meaningful democracy, establishing good governance of a clean, incorruptible, just, efficient and trustworthy government and to defend and uphold the 46-year Merdeka “social contract” of Malaysia that Malaysia is a secular democracy with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State, whether ala-PAS or ala-UMNO. 

I made it very clear at the media conference yesterday this was my personal idea and that it was not a party position, as it has not been discussed by the party leadership. 

Keadilan National Vice Chairman Tian Chua in response said that it is premature to talk about the dissolution of the Barisan Alternative before there is any talk on the merger idea. 

There will be no condition or basis to explore the possibility of a merger between DAP and Keadilan if the latter has not left the Barisan Alternative and freed itself from subservience to the PAS Islamic State objective. 

Although the Chinese leaders in Keadilan had said that they do not support an Islamic State and support a secular democracy, this is not the stand of the core Keadilan mainstream national leadership. 

After the general election in 1999, DAP had hoped that we will get support from  Keadilan and Parti Rakyat Malaysia to thrash out with PAS that it should not deviate and betray the Barisan Alternative Common Manifesto “Towards a Just Malaysia” which was focused on the restoration of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, with all the four parties agreed that it had nothing to do with the PAS objective of an Islamic State.

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

If Keadilan and Parti Rakyat at the time had supported the DAP, it would be PAS which would have to leave the Barisan Alternative and not the DAP.

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. 

DAP had proposed a  five-point ”No Islamic State” proposal for the BA position, viz:  

  • 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.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman