Pas Islamic State blueprint a threat to the Federal Constitution

Media Statement
Karpal Singh

(Penang, Thursday): The Pas blueprint for an Islamic State is an unadulterated threat to the continued existence of the Federal Constitution as envisaged by the framers of this solemn document which by Article 4 establishes it to be the supreme law of the land. An Islamic State, whether it be a la Pas or UMNO, is an affront to the Supreme Court which declared the country to be a secular state by a 5-man bench on 29 February 1988 with the then head of judiciary, Tun Salleh Abas, presiding. I am surprised Tun Salleh has chosen to remain silent and tacitly, with his being an elected representative and executive council member in the Terengganu State government, giving his blessing to the blueprint. Clearly, Tun Salleh has betrayed his oath of office he took as a Federal Court judge and later on as Lord President to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. That oath outlives his tenure of office.

Pas is trying to destroy the basic structure of the Constitution by introduction of the blueprint. That this move is an election  gimmick is apparent as Pas cannot obtain a 2/3 majority in Parliament to amend the Constitution to set up an Islamic State. Pas should not frighten away foreign investors. The Federal Constitution, as presently constituted, has entrenched provisions to safeguard the rights of both Muslims and non-Muslims in the country. Syariah law in the states provides for the perpetuation of personal law of Muslims and the civil law provides for the protection of the rights of both Muslims and non-Muslims. The Constitution, the undisputed social contract between the various races in the country, has been unquestioned since independence. It is mischievous for Pas, for the sake of gaining political mileage in the upcoming general election, to cause alarm, concern and disquiet among the populace by introducing the blueprint.

The DAP categorically opposes the blueprint with all the force at its command and, in defence of all Malaysians, will take Pas to court if it persists in its aim to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State.

In the meanwhile, it is fruitless for both Keadilan and PRM to wring their hands in hopelessness by rejecting the blueprint but stating it was Pas' right to issue the document. Pas has no right to issue such a document which aims to subvert the Constitution. Keadilan and PRM should strive to get out of the shadow of Pas and stick to principle if both these parties have any credibility. They cannot run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. Both these parties should place principle and the common good of all Malaysians above political expediency. They are multi-racial parties, unlike Pas, and should not ignore the concerns of their supporters.

It would be in the national interest for these parties to throw in their lot with the DAP, a multi-racial party of no mean rank or history on the political terrain in the country. The public interest demands that there be a third force to counter both Pas and the Barisan Nasional. With Pas' latest political antic in unveiling the blueprint, there is no prospect of a two-party system in the country. That ideal should be deferred until Pas comes to its senses.


* Karpal Singh, DAP National Deputy Chairman