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
- during the DAP's "Defend Secular
by Loke Siew Fook
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
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