The passing of the Islamic Law Administration (Amendment) Bill 1989 in Selangor State Assembly is the best lesson that MCA, Gerakan and MIC cannot be trusted to protect the rights of the people

Media Statement
- during the
DAP's "Defend Secular Malaysia" campaign
by Loke Siew Fook

(Seremban, Sunday): In the aftermath of the 1999 General Election where DAP suffered an electoral setback and marginalized in Parliament and replaced by PAS as the largest opposition party in Parliament in three decades, DAP leaders had forewarned that the country has set into an Islamic State terrain where UMNO and PAS will try to out-Islamize each other to win back the Malay grounds.

PAS, which governed two states currently has shown intolerable attitude towards their goal to set up an Islamic State and continued to introduce policies, which contradict with the Barisan Alternatif's manifesto "Towards A Just Malaysia". This is the sole reason why the DAP has pulled out from the BA in September 2001 for we cannot betray our principles and political ideals for narrow political interest.

In the other hand, UMNO in trying to compete with PAS and announced that Malaysia is already an Islamic State on September 29, 2001 and if this pronouncement is unchallenged, then we are on an unreturned journey towards an Islamic State.

Some quarters argued that DAP's Defend Secular Malaysia campaign is meaningless as Malaysia is already an Islamic State. This notion must be rejected outright as accepting Malaysia as a theocratic state is not only a very big mistake but it also kill the secular nature of our system of governance which must be defended at all costs.

Can the Islamic State agenda be stopped? Yes, it can provided the people rally behind the DAP in the coming general election and send a loud and clear message to Barisan Nasional that they don't want an Islamic State in Malaysia.

The people of Negeri Sembilan in particular must be reminded and learn the lesson from Selangor 14 years ago. On 17 July 1989, a new bill making it lawful to convert non-Muslims children below 18 years old to Islam without the consent of their parents was passed in the Selangor State Assembly.

This Islamic Law Administration (Amendment) Bill were given full support by all the eight MCA State Assemblymen then led by Datuk Yap Pian Hon and the sole MIC rep. If it is not because of the strong opposition from the DAP Assemblymen in the Selangor State Assembly then, this has become a norm in the country and non-Muslim parents might have lost their guardianship over their children in the issue of religious conversion.

Therefore, Negeri Sembilan State Legislative Assembly cannot be left without any DAP Assemblyman after the next general election. MCA, Gerakan and MIC elected representatives cannot be expected and trusted to protect the rights of the people for they do not have the political convictions to oppose any political agendas of their political master UMNO even if the agendas are in violation of their own political belief.

DAP Negeri Sembilan pledges that we will continue to support and give our fullest commitment to the Party national leadership to carry out the "Defend Secular Malaysia" campaign in Negeri Sembilan and make the voters to aware, be informed and fully understand the importance of their votes in hand to protect the secular nature of the country before they cast their votes in the next general election.


* Loke Siew Fook,  DAP Negeri Sembilan Secretary & DAPSY National Secretary