Speech by Parliamentary opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, when launching the national – wide signature campaign organized by DAPSY to petition for the repeal of Sections 67 and 70 of Selangor Islamic Administration on Enactment to restore parental rights of non – Muslims at a public cermah at Petaling Jaya community hall on Sunday 19. 11. 1989 at 10pm
DAP is not anti – Islam, but pro – family integrity in launching campaign for repeal of Section 67 and 70 of Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment
The DAPSY, in launching a nation – wide signature campaign for the repeal of Section 67 and 70 of Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment, seeks to restore to non – Muslim parents their constitutional and fundamental right of unfettered control, custody and guardianship of their children below 18 years, and their freedom of religion.
The DAP is not anti – Islam in launching this campaign, just as the DAP is not anti any other religion. We are pro – family integrity, for we believe that family unit is the most fundamental social unit of any society. In fact, this is one of the fundamental rights recognized in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights which the Kuala Lumpur CHOGM communiqué of Oct. 24 had urged all Commonwealth countries to honor.
In this sense, the DAPSY mass signature campaign is the first activity to be carried out inside Malaysia, and probably thought the Commonwealth, to implement the Kuala Lumpur CHOGM Communique!
Today, we had a Human Rights Seminar at Hotel Merlin in Kuala Lumpur organized by the DAP Human Right Council to commemorate the second anniversary of the Operation Lallang mass arrests.
During one session, the issue of the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment was raised, and one Muslim lawyer, who was invited to give his views on human rights from the Islamic viewpoint, defended the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment.
This Muslim lawyer said that the Enactment did not violate the Malaysian Constitution, as there was no constitutional guarantee to provide unfettered parental control, custody and guardianship to parents and to decide their children’s religion. He also said that Islam does not force people to convert and that parents have only themselves to blame if they could not influence their children on religion matters.
What this Muslim lawyer said represented the views of the UMNO Assemblymen, including the Selangor Mentri Besar, when they drafted and vote for the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment in the Selangor Assembly on July 19.
Unfortunately, the eight Selangor MCA Assemblymen also agreed with this view at the time, which was why they all fully supported and votes for the Enactment, although the DAP Assemblymen had warned that the Enactment was unconstitutional and completely unacceptable.
Only the people’s own power and strength can undo the great damage that was done when the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment was passed by the Selangor Assembly and later gazette into law.
I call on all Malaysians who cherish inter – racial unity and religious harmony to give support to the DAPSY campaign to demand the repeal of Section 67 and 70 of the Enactment, and restore to non – Muslim parents their right to family integrity. The right of family unity, integrity and happiness know as racial boundaries.
The DAP is as prepared to defend the unchallengeable right of a Malay or a Muslim to family unity, integrity and happiness in the same manner that we are prepared to come to the defense of the right that should be equally enjoyed by a non – Malay or non – Muslim Malaysian to family unity, integrity and happiness.