Hadi’s statement of “no change in Constitution if PAS wins polls” meaningless as it has been contradicted  by his interview with Mingguan Malaysia on Sunday on PAS’ concept of an Islamic State

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaThursday): The statement by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang of  “no change in Constitution if PAS wins polls”  (Star) is meaningless as it has been contradicted by his interview with Mingguan Malaysia on Sunday (21.9.03) on PAS’ concept of an Islamic State. 

This is what Hadi said:  

“Ciri-ciri negara Islam ialah agama Islam berkuasa, mewujudkan keamanan setelah ketakutan, undang-undang Islam menjadi undang-undang yang tertinggi, mana-mana hukum yang bercanggah dengan Islam mesti dibatalkan.” 

Hadi has not said that he had been misquoted by Mingguan Malaysia in the past five days. 

In fact, Hadi’s statement yesterday that PAS will retain the existing Federal Constitution but would give a new definition to Islam, which is stated in the Federal Constitution as the religion of the federation, according to what was stated in the Quran as addeen (way of life), is a contradiction in  terms. 

How can the 46-year social contract that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion  be left untouched when there is a tectonic shift in the constitutional  basis of the nation with  the 1957 Constitution transformed from being the supreme of the law of the land to become  subordinate to the Quran and Sunnah?   

It was because of  this fundamental difference about the character of the Malaysian nation that DAP pulled out of the Barisan Alternative in September 2001.

After the 1999 general election, DAP leaders had protested strongly  against PAS coming out with a Terengganu state manifesto for an Islamic state in the last few days before polling the 1999 general election   which was in clear conflict with the  Barisan Alternative   common manifesto “Towards A Just Malaysia” to restore  justice, freedom, democracy and good governance. 

Although the   DAP  wanted the BA to address the people’s concerns about the Islamic State issue after the 1999 general election,  we found no support from the other BA component parties despite persistent attempts by the DAP in 2000.  As a result, DAP decided to engage PAS in direct discussion on the issue in 2001, where we proposed a five-point position for Barisan Alternative on the Islamic State issue. 

When talks broke down between the DAP and PAS leaders on the DAP’s five-point “No Islamic State” formula for the  BA, DAP was left with no choice but to pull out of the opposition front. 

The DAP’s five-point ”No Islamic State” proposal for the BA position were: 

  • That the 1999 BA Manifesto “Towards A Just Malaysia”, while respecting the different ideological positions of component parties, binds every party during the duration of the BA to a commitment to uphold and respect the fundamental principles and basic structures of the Malaysian Constitution and to give the assurance that there would be no radical change to the Malaysian Constitution such as for the establishment of an Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu  or Christian state. Any effort by any component party to pursue the establishment of an Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu  or Christian state will be against the BA Manifesto.
  • A clear reiteration that under the BA Manifesto, a vote for BA is a vote for democracy, justice and good governance and not a vote for an Islamic State  and PAS agrees that in the duration of the BA, PAS would at all levels of the party join forces with other BA parties to strive for “A Just Malaysia” and not for an Islamic State
  • BA Presidential Council to be given prior notice of any proposed enactment or measure in the Kelantan and Terengganu PAS  state governments which could impinge on the sensitivities of the different religions, communities and political parties to allow for fullest consultation and agreement.
  • A special BA committee to be set up to ensure that controversial or sensitive pronouncements or statements affecting religious and other rights which are against the BA manifesto are only made after prior consultation and to deal with cases of infraction.
  • Although PAS is committed to the objective of an Islamic State,  it accepts the fact that in a plural society like Malaysia, the establishment of an Islamic State is not suitable  or practicable.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman