Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Wednesday, 19th
November 2008 at 11 am:
Imputation that I had been dishonest and
opportunistic in signing on behalf of DAP a “secret” compact to uphold
Malay rights and status of Islam as the official religion baseless,
mischievous and unworthy of a professional journalist
Star Editor-in-Chief Wong Chun Wai in his
blog yesterday on “The realities of Malaysian politics” wrote:
“Anwar Ibrahim has revealed a signed
document between himself, DAP's Lim Kit Siang and PAS' Hadi Awang
that none of us have heard of until now - an agreement to uphold the
rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution. The Sept 8 agreement
pledged to uphold Malay rights and the status of Islam as the
”Anwar also said that the social contract between the races were
already agreed upon by all members of the coalition. He also
revealed that the four-paragraph agreement could not be changed by
any party, according to
The imputation that I had signed on behalf of
DAP a “secret” compact with the other Pakatan Rakyat leaders to uphold
Malay rights and the status of Islam as the official religion as
provided in the Federal Constitution is baseless, mischievous and
unworthy of a professional journalist.
This is because Wong’s insinuation imported the innuendo that the DAP
and I had all along opposed these two constitutional provisions but in a
most opportunistic and dishonest act of political expediency, I had
agreed in Pakatan Rakyat to a secret document “none of us have heard of
until now” to support them.
The September 8 joint statement by Pakatan Rakyat leaders which Anwar
referred to in the Star report yesterday, “Anwar: Pakatan committed
to ensuring Malay rights”, which was signed by Anwar as the PKR
leader, Datuk Husam Musa as PAS National Vice President and myself on
behalf of DAP, was issued to all media, including the Star. I put it up
on my blog the same day.
Wong has only himself to blame if he did not keep himself informed of
what actually happened as getting properly briefed by Star reporters on
the political beat.
But what is most mischievous, unprofessional and unacceptable is the
insinuation that the DAP and I had concluded a dishonest and
opportunistic secret agreement to uphold Articles 3 and 153 of the
Malaysian Constitution on Islam as the official religion and Malay
special rights when we had been opposed to these two provisions all
My position and that of DAP on Articles 3 and 153 had never changed in
the past 42 years since the formation of DAP.
Although Article 3(1) states that “Islam is the religion of Federation”
and did not specifically use the term “official religion”, the DAP and I
had always supported Islam as the official religion and the
constitutional guarantee for freedom of worship for other religions.
We have also never shifted from our stand that Article 3 does not
provide the basis for an Islamic State which is contrary to the secular
character of Malaysian nation-building agreed by the major communities
on the attainment of independent nationhood and an important feature of
the Merdeka “social contract”.
As far Malay special rights, I declared the DAP’s stand on Article 153
in my first speech in Parliament on February 23, 1971, where I said:
“The DAP has also been accused of opposing special rights for Malays. We
again invite the government to produce a single instance from our
speeches and statements to show that we have opposed efforts to raise
the economic standards of living of Malays.
“As democratic socialists, we are dedicated to the abolition of poverty
and economic backwardness regardless of race. We want to create a
classless community of Malaysians based on fellowship, co-operation and
service, where there is no exploitation of man by man, class by class or
race by race.
“We support any measure which will help better the lot of the Malay
poor. But we are strongly opposed to the use of Malay special rights to
enrich the new Malay rich to make them richer, while the mass of
peasantry and poor are exploited as ever.”
In my first speech in Parliament more than 37 years ago, I stressed that
the basic problem in Malaysia was an economic and class one, and not a
I warned: “Any attempt to impose racial theories and solutions to
basically socio-economic problems of the have-nots is dangerous as it
will pit one race against another, which must culminate in a racial
holocaust. It will also be founded on the monstrous falsehood that all
the haves in Malaysia are non-Malays, while the Malays are the
Those who are interested to know more of what I said in Parliament in
that first debate after the lifting of 21-month suspension of Parliament
following the May 13 riots should look up my first book, “Time Bombs in
Malaysia” published in 1978 or wait for a 30-year Reprint expected by
the end of the year.
Wong should make amends for the unfounded innuendos and the grave
injustice of his mischievous and completely unwarranted imputation and
insinuation against the DAP and myself – as it does not serve the cause
of a rational national discourse to chart a new blueprint to create a
more united, cohesive, progressive and prosperous Malaysian nation in
the aftermath of the March 8 “political tsunami”.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor