Next general election the  first and last opportunity to stop the implementation of the “929 Declaration” that  Malaysia is an  Islamic State

Media Conference Statement
at the launch of the  Love Malaysia/Defend Secular Malaysia campaign at Sungai Way new village
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaThursday): The next general elections will be held under the fifth Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and I do not expect, as some are forecasting, that  Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad will abort the 2004 Budget debate  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 when  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 nine months away.  It also means that there are only four to 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 Malaysia 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 and  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 but because it is a political reality we must be brave and realistic enough to face. . The most that we can hope for is to deprive tne Barisan Nasional its uninterrupted  two-thirds majority in Parliament – which would be a major political milestone in Malaysian political and electoral history ushering far-reaching changes in the rest of the unfinished term of the 30-year Vision 2020.

Can the “929 Declaration” by Mahathir at the Gerakan National Delegates Conference on 29th September 2001  that Malaysia is an Islamic State be stopped if the Barisan Nasional  government cannot be toppled in the next general elections? My answer is a definitive and categorical YES. 

Just as Malaysians succeeded in  using their votes in the 70s and 80s to compel the Barisan Nasional   government  to abandon its assimilation nation-building policy – which Mahathir had publicly conceded – the voters can force the Barisan Nasional   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 in publicly calling on Barisan Nasional   leaders and Malaysians “not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state”.  

But there are only four to nine months to get this done, for there will not be a second chance.

This is because the next general election will be the  first and last opportunity to stop the implementation or the “929 Declaration” that  Malaysia is  an Islamic State.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman