Keng Yaik said in Seremban that Gerakan will work together with MCA to counter the DAP’s “dirty tactics” and stop DAP from “misleading and confusing” the Chinese community by playing up the issue of Malaysia as an Islamic country “for its own political ends and not in the interest of unity and democracy".
The DAP does not resort to “dirty tactics” to “confuse and mislead” whether the Chinese community or the Malaysian people. It is most extraordinary that those whom all Malaysians know are most guilty of using dirty tactics, as illustrated by the recent Indera Kayangan by-election rendering the Barisan Nasional victory highly suspect and illegitimate, should be hurling such allegations at others.
The DAP had always maintained cool and calm rationality in our discussions of the Prime Minister’s declaration that Malaysia is already an Islamic state, never resorting to emotionalism or hysteria - as employed by Gerakan and MCA in the 1999 general elections, seeking to create fear among voters with the irresponsible propaganda that a vote for DAP was a vote for PAS and an Islamic State, where there would be no pork, no bak-kuk-teh, no alcohol, no temples and churches, no Chinese primary schools, etc.
The DAP accepts Keng Yaik’s challenge as we are prepared to take on MCA and Gerakan jointly to let Malaysians decide whether to preserve and defend the 1957 Merdeka social contract that Malaysia shall remain a democratic, secular and multi-religious state or abandon this 45-year fundamental constitutional principle and nation-building cornerstone in exchange for an Islamic state.
We challenge Keng Yaik and his counterparts in the MCA to a series of public debate on whether Malaysians should defend and preserve the democratic, secular and multi-religious principle of the Malaysian constitution and nation-building or whether this principle, accepted without question for 45 years, should now be abandoned in favour of an Islamic state.
I find it unbelievable that Keng Yaik could say in Seremban yesterday that the nation had always been an Islamic state since Merdeka in 1957 as it is clear that he has either forgotten or has decided to rewrite Malaysian constitutional and political history.
I would advise Keng Yaik to refer back to the Reid Commission Constitution Report 1957, the Alliance Government White Paper on the Reid Commission Constitution Report 1957 and the Cobbold Commission Report 1963 where they were categorically of one voice that that Malaysia is not an Islamic state but a secular state.
Keng Yaik’s claim that Malaysia had always been an Islamic state for the past 45 years since Merdeka is really most shocking, as he had first stood as an Alliance candidate in 1969 under the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who had declared both inside and outside Parliament that Malaysia was not an Islamic state and served in the Barisan Nasional government of the second Prime Minister, Tun Razak and the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, both of whom took a similar stand that Malaysia was not an Islamic State.
Why has Keng Yaik’s memory become so frail and faulty? Can Keng Yaik explain why he has gone against the public stand of the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia that Malaysia is a secular and not an Islamic state?