Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Socialist Youth National Convention held at DAP National Building , Cheras, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, July 14, at 11a.m.
Call on Anwar Ibrahim to declare his stand on the detention of the three PAS Youth leaders under Internal Security Act
Malaysians must be disturbed by the Segamat statement on Thursday by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, that there was a possibility that further action would be taken in the next few days or the next one or two months’ against extremist groups.
Firstly, because if the government has adequate evidence against the activity of religious extremists, then it should have taken action now by charging them in court, and not later. If the government does not have adequate evidence, then it is most improper for the Deputy Prime Minister to issue threats just for the sake of issuing threats.
The Deputy Prime Minister also seems to be backtracking from the issue of a Government White Paper on the activities of extremist groups in the country. On the arrest of the three PAS Youth leaders, Datuk Musa said that Government had been watching the iractivities which were detrimental to the nation for several months. If so, why the delay in the issue of a White Paper on their detention under the ISA?
Similarly, the government must have been following the activities of extremist groups for a considerable time. Why is the Government unable to produce a White Paper in time for tabling in Parliament before its last sitting in July in two weeks’ time on July 27?
The DAP is opposed to religious extremism or any other from of extremism, but we cannot support the resort to Internal Security Act to deny a person of his freedom indefinitely without trial, when he Government has ample powers to charge the persons concerned in open court.
ABIM Secretary-General Kamarrudin Jaffar, said that according to Islam, a citizen could not be jailed without being given a chance to defend himself in open court, and I distinctly remember similar public stands on the ISA by the then ABIM chief, but now the fastest – rising UMNO Cabinet Minister, Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar should now declare his stand on the detention of the three PAS Youth leaders under the Internal Security Act, as to whether it violates the teaching of Islam and makes a mockery of the Islamisation process of the Government.
The DAP reiterates its call to the Government to release the PAS Youth leaders or put them on trial to give them an opportunity to answer the government’s charges.
Bukit China is a test case of the tolerance of the government to the other cultures and religions in the 1980s and 1990s
The Bukit China issue in Malacca will be a test case of the tolerance of the Barisan Nasional government to the other cultures and religions in Malaysia in the 1980s. This is because if a 500-year-old symbol of the Chinese cultural roots and religious worship in Malaysia could not be preserved, the future is going to be a very bleak one.
But Bukit China symbolises more than the cultural roots and religious worship, for it also symbolises the first Sino-Malay friendship and association in the 15th century, and is therefore not only a Chinese monument of their contribution Malaysian nation-making, but a national treasure which should be cherished by all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.
It is for this reason that the DAP calls on all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, to rally to the cause to defend Bukit China from being levelled and developed by the Malacca State Government to create a new tribe of multi-millionaires at the expense of an important part of our national heritage.