PART of Speech
by DAP Secretary General, Kerk Kim Hock
when opening the DAP Negeri Sembilan State Ordinary Convention in Seremban
on Sunday, 22.9.2002
DAP 's decision to quit the Barisan Alternative one year ago vindicated
It was exactly one year ago that the DAP decided to quit the Barisan Alternative following the failure between DAP and PAS to resolve the Islamic State controversy.
Our decision was then greeted with unfair criticisms and accusations by some quarters. There were even those who alleged that DAP was being opportunistic or was quitting to cover up our own internal weaknesses. There was even prediction that this would be a death knell for the DAP. However, time has proven them wrong.
In fact, not only have been able to keep the party intact as no one has left the party because of our decision, we have also been able to arrest the eroding confidence in us from our traditional supporters who have been disillusioned with PAS's violations of the 1999 Barisan Alternative 's Common Manifesto.
Additionally, events which have taken place since then, like the passage of the Terengganu hudud and qisas Bills as well as the continued insistence by PAS leaders that they will establish an Islamic State if they come to power, have proven that the DAP's decision in quitting the Barisan Alternative was wise, necessary and right.
We had joined the Barisan Alternative because we saw it as an important political vehicle to smash the political hegemony of the Barisan Nasional. However, we had done so because it was agreed that the 1999 Barisan Alternative Common Manifesto excluded an Islamic state.
As a party that was founded on the principle that Malaysia will remain a secular democratic nation, we cannot, and will not compromise or abandon our founding party principle. As such, when it was inevitable that we must leave the Opposition Front so as not to betray our principles and supporters, DAP decided to leave the Barisan Alternative on 22.9.2001.
As we meet here today, let us all assure Malaysians that we will never compromise or abandon our founding principle that Malaysia shall remain a secuar democratic nation. Let us pledge to continue our political mission to preserve the constitutional secular basis of our nation although the course before us may be lonely and arduous.
The question of the DAP returning to the Barisan Alternative does not arise anymore. If at all there is any type of cooperation between the DAP and the Barisan Alternative in the coming general election, it will only be for a very specific purpose only, that is, to cooperate in terms of seat negotiation so as to ensure straight fights between the Opposition and the Barisan Nasional.