Malaysians can use their votes in the next general election to compel Barisan Nasional government  to drop its “929 Declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic state just as they had succeeded in  forcing it to drop the earlier assimilation nation-building policy

at  the  46th National Day Celebrations themed   “Defend Secular Malaysia” at the Bayan Baru parliamentary constituency
by Lim Kit Siang

(PenangMonday): I believe that the next general elections will be held under the fifth Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and that Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad will not abort the 2004 Budget mid-way, dissolve Parliament and lead the Barisan Nasional to fight the next polls before he steps down as Prime Minister after the OIC Summit in Putrajaya from 16th to 19th October  and the APEC Summit in Bangkok on October 20-21, 2003. 

Abdullah will have to decide whether to go to the country for a mandate in his first general elections either end of this year or early next year, depending on his political calculations as to which option is most beneficial to him and the Barisan Nasional. 

This would mean that the next general elections are  between four to eight or nine months away.  It also means that there are only four to eight or nine months left  to send out the message to the people  on the critical importance of the next general elections in deciding whether the country  is to make a tectonic and irreversible shift in the 46-year history of the nation to abandon the “social contract” and jettison its  fundamental nation-building cornerstone and constitutional principle written into  the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the 1963 Malaysian Agreement and the 1970 Rukunegara that Malaysia is a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state to embark the country on the road of an Islamic State. 

Can the Barisan Nasional government be toppled in the next general elections. My answer is no – not because I want the Barisan Nasional government to be re-elected. The most that we can hope for is to deprive tne Barisan Nasional governments its uninterrupted  two-thirds majority in Parliament.  

Can the “929 Declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic State be stopped if the BN government cannot be toppled in the next general elections? My answer is yes.

Just as Malaysians succeeded in  using their votes in the 70s and 80s to compel the BN  government  to abandon its assimilation nation-building policy – which Mahathir had publicly conceded – the voters can force the BN  government to drop its  “929 Declaration” that Malaysia is an Islamic state by endorsing in a loud, clear and united voice the 80th birthday legacy message of Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman on February 8, 1983 publicly calling on BN  leaders and Malaysians “not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state”.   But there are only four to eight or nine months to get this done, for there will not be a second chance.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman