Press Statement by Karpal Singh in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 16th January 2009:

Islamic state: PAS should accept reality 

The assertion by Kedah PAS Commissioner and Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, that as far as he was concerned, PAS would not deviate from its original struggle to uphold Islamic law flies in the face of the Federal Constitution which designates Malaysia an Islamic state and the Supreme Court decision by a five-man bench in 1988 that Malaysia was governed by secular law which meant the country was a secular state. Islamic law can have no place in a secular state and the pronouncement by the Supreme Court that it was secular law which held sway in the country.

I must make it clear that the DAP is in absolute support of there being a two-party system in the country so as to give the people a choice of the government they would want installed after a general election. The Pakatan Rakyat provides for that option. However, what is equally absolutely necessary is that there be absolute adherence to the supreme law of the land, the Federal Constitution and unqualified acceptance of judicial pronouncements. All I am doing is to point out to PAS the status of the country as a secular state backed by the Federal Constitution and a judicial pronouncement of the Supreme Court.

I have no personal agenda. As chairman of the DAP, I have to speak up in the public interest and the interests of my party. I am not threatening PAS. I am only making an attempt to get PAS leaders to accept reality. I accept friends should not threaten each other. On the other hand, good friends must point out the misconceptions of their friends.

Every effort should be made by the component parties of the Pakatan Rakyat to work towards the aspirations of all the races in the country. In this regard, the DAP will give its full support. In fact, the states controlled by the Pakatan Rakyat are being well run and have the support of the people.

The voters, particularly the Chinese, in the Kuala Terengganu by-election should not be misled by MCA leaders who accepted the public declaration by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir in September, 2001 that Malaysia was an Islamic state which meant application of hudud laws because an Islamic state has to be ruled by hudud laws and no other laws as is the case in Islamic states like Saudi Arabia and Iran. Not one MCA leader criticised that declaration which was an open defiance of the Constitution and the Supreme Court declaration in 1988. I was the DAP which rose up vociferously in protest of the declaration to which MCA was privy being a component party of the Barisan Nasional led by Dr Mahathir.

MCA president, Ong Tee Keat, was no stranger to the MCA then. Ong Tee Keat should not pull wool over the eyes of the rakyat by now attempting to be the champion of a secular state and opponent of hudud laws.

* Karpal Singh, DAP National Chairman & MP for Bukit Gelugor