Amiruldin should at least honour the memory and legacy of Tunku Abdul
Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn who had publicly defended Malaysia as
a secular democracy with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): It is most regrettable that while UMNO leaders and delegates, as well as the Malaysian public, are trying to decipher the underlying meaning and far-reaching political and economic implications of the shock UMNO Vice President and Supreme Council election results, there had been irresponsible attempts to snuff out legitimate democratic expression by creating new sensitive and “seditious” issues which could not be raised in the public domain.
The newly-elected UMNO deputy permanent chairman and MP for Jerai, Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin for instance said in the UMNO General Assembly debate yesterday that my open questioning in Parliament of the status of Malaysia as an Islamic State was “intolerable”. (Sin Chew online)
Does this mean that Badruddin and other UMNO leaders will soon be demanding that those who question the UMNO and Barisan Nasional stand represented in the “929 Declaration” on Sept. 29, 2001 that Malaysia is an Islamic State should be arrested and charged with sedition or detained without trial under the Internal Security Act – although they are defending the true meaning of the Merdeka “social contract” and the 1957 Merdeka Constitution that Malaysia is a secular democracy with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State?
Badruddin Amiruldin need not agree with me, but he should at least honour the memory and legacy of past UMNO Presidents and the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, who had publicly defended Malaysia as a secular democracy with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State.
Badruddin will do UMNO and the country greater good by trying to interpret the meaning and implications of the shock UMNO election results – whether it is a clear and convincing mandate by UMNO delegates to support and empower Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to wipe out corruption in Malaysia and clean up “money politics” in UMNO, or the exact reverse. What is Badruddin’s stand?
Ten out of ten who were told on Thursday night that a “dark horse” had won the highest votes in the UMNO Vice Presidential election stakes would have thought of Datuk Shahrir Samad, an indicator of the magnitude of the shock effect of the victory of Tan Sri Mohamed Isa Abdul Samad – catapulting from a dispensable Cabinet member turned out to pasture into the third highest UMNO leader with the strongest claim to be the next Deputy Prime Minister until the next party polls.
This is the subject Badruddin and other UMNO leaders should be focusing on – whether the UMNO party polls have strengthened or weakened Abdullah’s campaign pledge of “Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang” with a clean, incorruptible, accountable, transparent and trustworthy government the centerpiece of his administration.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman