Keng Yaik and Gerakan leadership should stop avoiding the issues and declare whether they endorse or repudiate the shocking positions  of the Gerakan think-tank, SEDAR, on Islamic State, Chinese education and corruption

on the  DAP’s 46th National Day Celebrations/Defend Secular Malaysia campaign at Rifle Range Flats
by Lim Kit Siang

(PenangFriday): At Sunday’s DAP Penang State Convention, I had called on the Gerakan President Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and the Gerakan leadership to apologise for the Gerakan think-tank’s attacks on Chinese mother-tongue education as the source of social ills like high school dropout rate,  prostitution and criminal activities.

The Gerakan think-tank, Socio-Economic Development and  Research (SEDAR)  made these allegations against Chinese mother-tongue education in general and Chinese primary schools in particular in a letter to Malaysiakini last week  (4.9.03) under the tendentious heading “DAP keen on exploiting race-based issues”:

It is almost a week and I am still waiting for Keng Yaik and the Gerakan leadership to publicly apologise for the unwarranted and unacceptable  allegations  against Chinese mother-tongue education and  to dissociate themselves from and repudiate the SEDAR stand.

In the letter in question, the Executive Director of SEDAR, Khoo Kay Peng also sought to defend the Gerakan against my criticisms for its  support for the undemocratic, arbitrary and unconstitutional “929 Declaration” by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at the Gerakan National Delegates Conference on Sept. 29, 2001 going against not only the 46-year  founding nation-building principles of Malaysia   but also the 38-year founding  principles of Gerakan  by advancing for the first time the thesis of the” plurality in definition”.

Khoo said Gerakan accepted “plurality in definition: Muslims are welcomed to call this country an Islamic country and the non-Muslims can also freely define Malaysia as a secular or multi-religious country”.

A political party which accepts such “plurality in definition” about the fundamental character of the Malaysian nation has neither backbone nor political principles.

Barisan Nasional leaders have attacked PAS for being insincere and hypocritical for its proposal to come out with  two election manifestos – with the  state manifesto calling for an Islamic state while the  national manifesto will be silent on the issue.

What is the difference between PAS and Gerakan, when the former has two manifestos with plurality of  positions  on the Islamic State, while the Gerakan has a “two definition” stand on the fundamental character of the Malaysian nation, one as an  Islamic State and the other as a secular state, all within the bosom of the Barisan Nasional? 

But what is most serious and saddening  is that after the “929 Declaration”, Keng Yaik and the Gerakan leadership have abandoned their earlier stand that Malaysia is an secular state and adopted lock, stock and barrel Mahathir’s declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic State.

The people of Malaysia, regardless of race, religion and political beliefs, are entitled to an honest reply from Keng Yaik and the Gerakan leadership on the fundamental issue as to whether Malaysia is or is not, should or should not, be an Islamic State.

They  should stop avoiding the issues raised by the Gerakan think-tank in the letter to Malaysiakini and declare whether they endorse or repudiate the shocking standpoints of  SEDAR on Islamic State, Chinese education and corruption.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman