Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang at the DAP/PR Sibu by-election media centre on Tuesday, 11th May 2010:
Mahathir said he was not a dictator but after he unconstitutionally declared Malaysia as an Islamic State on Sept. 29, 2001 not a single SUPP leader in the past 10 years dare to say in Parliament and Cabinet that Malaysia is a secular state
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that he was not a dictator in his 22 years as Prime Minister but the incontrovertible fact is that after he arbitrarily and unconstitutionally declared Malaysia as an Islamic State at the Gerakan National Delegates Conference on Sept. 29, 2001, not a single SUPP leader in the past 10 years dare to say in Parliament and Cabinet that Malaysia is a secular state as provided by the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreement 1963.
It is also incontrovertible history that although Mahathir unilaterally, arbitrarily and unconstitutionally declared Malaysia is an Islamic State in what DAP had described as the “929 Declaration” without first consulting and getting the agreement of the other Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, the BN Supreme Council was convened within a week where all BN component parties including SUPP fully endorsed Mahathir’s unconstitutional “929” Declaration.
Only DAP stood up firm and fast in declaring that Mahathir’s “929” was unlawful and unconstitutional, in violation of the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement – pointing out that in the Cobbold Commission Report, the Malaysian Government made categorical assurance that Malaysia was and would remain “secular” when referring to reservations and fears expressed by Sarawakians and Sabahans about “freedom of religion”.
Now, SUPP leaders have betrayed the first generation of SUPP leadership in surrendering the fundamental constitutional feature of Malaysia as a secular nation with Islam as the official religion but an Islamic state.
It is a great shame for SUPP leaders that PAS, which they accused as being extremist, could be so moderate and open as to support the use of the term of “Allah” by Christians not only Sarawak and Sabah but also in West Malaysia – something the SUPP leaders dare not do, for fear of stepping on the toes of UMNO leaders.
In fact, the SUPP candidate for Sibu Lau Hui Yew , under the directive of the SUPP leadership, is even trying to out-Umno Umno by proposing that the Allah term controversy should be prohibited from discussion in Parliament!
Over the decades, Umno has become more extreme and intolerant than PAS, while PAS is showing a more open, moderate and accommodative policy in recognition of Malaysia as a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual nation.
What has the SUPP leadership got to say for their retrograde political attitudes going against the interests of the people and the currents for the future?
The SUPP “killer weapon” of “A vote for Rocket is a vote for an Islamic state” is a lie but a very powerful one with great destructive force. One of the reasons DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh and I were defeated in the 1999 general elections was because of this “killer weapon” which was fully exploited by SUPP’s counterparts in the Peninsular Malaysia – MCA and Gerakan.
Since the unveiling of the SUPP “killer weapon”, the DAP momentum in the Sibu by-election to regain the advantage in the unfavourable “40% to 60%” odds on Nomination Day had been seriously affected.
After two days of campaigning, I had estimated that we have developed a by-election momentum gaining 2% each day to “44% to 56%”, but after the SUPP had come out with the “killer weapon” of falsehood that “A vote for Rocket is a vote for Islamic State”, the DAP/PR by-election momentum had been seriously halved – and I can only estimate gaining of ground of one per cent yesterday or an overall odds of 45% to 55% in favour of SUPP candidate.
At this rate, DAP/PR candidate Wong Ho Leng will lose on polling day on Sunday.
The SUPP “killer weapon” can stop the momentum to turn the Sibu by-election around, not because the SUPP lie “A vote for Rocket is a vote for Islamic State” is true but because there is not enough time to reach out to all Sibu voters to tell them the real truth in the next five days.
I call on the voters of Sibu to destroy “killer weapon” of lies and falsehood that “A vote for Rocket is a vote for Islamic State” in the Sibu by-election on Sunday.
This “killer weapon” has been destroyed in Peninsular Malaysia which is why 85% of the Chinese voters in Kuala Sepetang fishing village voted for Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, PAS/PR candidate in the Bukit Gantang by-election in April last year and why 82.5% of the Chinese voters in Rasa voted for the PR candidate Datuk Zaid Ibrahim in the Hulu Selangor by-election despite the RM3 million carrot for a new Chinese primary school in Rasa which was dangled by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
In Peninsular Malaysia, the Chinese do not believe the lie that “A vote for Rocket/PR is a Vote for an Islamic State”.
If the people of Sibu destroy this “killer weapon”, it would have far-reaching implications for Sarawak and Malaysian politics for it would mean the end of one of the most potent weapons blocking political change in the country and signal that Sarawakians, together with Sabahans and Peninsular Malaysians, are prepared to take the March 8 political tsunami of the 2008 general election to its fullest impact in the next 13th Malaysian general elections with a change of power in Putrajaya.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor