by DAP NS Assistant Organizing Secretary and DAP NS Youth Pro-tem Committee Chief, Loke Siew Fook
on Thursday 11th July 2002
A strong DAP representation in Parliament in the next general election is important to ensure a strong balancing political power between UMNO and PAS
During the debate session on the Syariah Criminal Offences (Hudud and Qisas) Bill in Kuala Terengganu on Monday, Terengganu Opposition Leader from UMNO, Datuk Abdul Rashid Ngah have said, "the law discriminated against Muslim because a non-Muslim could choose whether he or she wanted to be prosecuted in the Syariah Court" (The Star, July 9, 2002)
The contention by the UMNO State Assemblymen created the impression that UMNO is not against the Hudud bill presented by PAS but even press the PAS government to extend the law to non-Muslim. In fact, the UMNO tunes inside and outside the Parliament including UMNO top leaders have changed to not against the hudud law but merely against hudud proposed by PAS.
DAP views this development as very alarming as the Islamisation race between UMNO and PAS has geared up to a fast mode. This has confirmed the worries by DAP National Chairman, Lim Kit Siang who have forewarned after 1999 General Election that "Malaysian politics is heading for a very uncertain and perilous future after the DAP marginalized in Parliament and UMNO is set to compete with PAS on the Islamic terrain to win back the Malay heartland".
DAP's stand is crystal clear as far as the Islamic State and Hudud issue is concerned. We opposed to any ideas of turning Malaysia into an Islamic State or implementing Hudud laws not because we are anti-Islam but we believe that the states and religion must be separated. We opposed to any theocratic state or any laws based on religions not just because it's insensitive to the multi-religious and multi-racial society of Malaysia but also it's incompatible to the principles of democracy, human rights, justice and freedom.
DAP NS is strongly against the Hudud and Qisas bill tabled by PAS in Terengganu but we are also equally concerned that similar bills will be moved in other State Assemblies controlled by UMNO. MCA and Gerakan have understandably opposed the Hudud laws presented by PAS for political mileage but the question is, are MCA and Gerakan equally courageous to oppose the Hudud laws if it is tabled by UMNO in other state assemblies?
MCA and Gerakan do not have a good record to speak about in this respect. The most noted example is on 17 July 1989, an Islamic Law Administration (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Selangor State Assembly, which make it lawful to convert non-Muslim children to Islam without the consent of their parents. The eight MCA assemblymen headed by Datuk Yap Pian Hon all voted to pass the bill.
The current "No to 929" People Awareness Campaign launched by DAP is a very important campaign to create awareness to the Malaysian society on the serious implications of the Islamic State declaration by the Prime Minister on 29th September 2001 as well as the danger of the Islamisation race between UMNO and PAS. We definitely cannot depend on MCA and Gerakan to stop UMNO to compete with PAS on the Islamic terrain, as their leaders are lack of the political will and would not dare to question their political master, UMNO so to safeguard their political positions in the government.
The people must be fully aware of the importance of voting a strong DAP representation in the Parliament in the next general election not because of the issue of political survival for the DAP, but for the legitimate reason of having a strong balancing political power in Malaysian politics between UMNO and PAS to ensure the multi racial and multi religious character of Malaysia preserved forever.