by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 12th March 1990:
Kit Siang replies to Liong Sik : Challenge Liong Sik to declare that MCA would sever all relations with UMNO Baru and pull out of Barisan Nasional Government if UMNO Baru co-operates with PAS
Pity Ling Liong Sik – this is my first reaction when I read his speech at the 41st MCA party anniversary celebrations in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
It was only a week ago that the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, could only say “Thank God” when the DAP lawyers, Gooi Hock Seng (DAP MP for Bukit Bendera) and N. Shanmugam (DAP Penang Assemblyman for Prai) won the Susie Teoh case at the Supreme Court and established clearly and finally that parents have the constitutional right to decide the religion of their children below 18 years of age.
In actual fact, Lion Sik should have the decency, honesty and humility to publicly thank the DAP for pursuing the Susie Teoh case to victory at the Supreme Court, although it has taken five long years and all along the way, the MCA had tried to sabotage and block Susie Teoh’s father, Teoh Eng Huat, from allowing the DAP to take the case to court.
If the Susie Teoh case had been handled by the MCA, it would never have been taken to court and the landmark Supreme Court judgement on the Susie Teoh case to protect the rights of all non-Muslim parents would never have been made.
Susie Teoh case a major setback to those who want to establish and Islamic State
The Susie Teoh judgment is a major setback to those who want to establish an Islamic State in Malaysia.
There is no doubt that in an Islamic State, the Susie Teoh judgement would be the first to be struck down, as the Syariah law as provided in the Selangor Islamic Law Adminstration Enectment (which was passed with full MCA support) would allow male minors of 15 and female minors as young as nine or ten years old (so long as they have reached puberty) to convert to Islam without parental knowledge or consent.
We do not mind if instead of thanking the DAP, Liong Sik could only say “Thank God” at the DAP victory in the Susie Teoh case.
But we cannot help doubting his political judgement, balance and maturity when a week after the DAP’s great victory in the Susie Teoh case, he accused the DAP of wanting to co-operate with PAS to establish an Islamic State.
Susie Teoh case best proof of a party’s stand on Islamic State
The Susie Teoh case is the best proof of a party’s real stand on the Islamic State issue. A party which supports the establishment of an Islamic State would never take up the case and be responsible for the landmark Supreme Court judgement on the Susie Teoh case, defending non-Muslim parental and religious rights.
MCA would never take the Susie Teoh case to court. What MCA would have done would only to persuade Susie Teoh’s parents to accept the reality, and as in another related case of a minor girl converted to Islam without parental knowledge or consent – the Ng Yee Kuan case of Kelantan in 1985 – advised the parents that they should imagine that they had never given birth to their daughter, and the whole problem would be solved! It was also the DAP who restored Yee Kuan to her parents when they approached us for help.
If Susie Teoh’s case is used as a yardstick on a party’s stand on the Islamic State issue, then the DAP has passed with flying colours as to our uncompromising opposition to any concept of an Islamic State, while MCA has failed miserably.
MCA will team up with PAS to establish an Islamic State anytime when told by UMNO to do so
From its past record, the MCA is weak and feeble when it comes to asserting and defending the basic rights of non-Muslim Malaysians from the progressive Islamisation of the country, leading eventually to an Islamic State, ala-UMNO or ala-PAS.
In fact, MCA is prepared to team up and co-operate with PAS anytime to establish and Islamic State when told by UMNO to do so. The MCA has no firm principled stand for or against the PAS’ struggle for an Islamic State. The MCA supports what UMNO likes and opposes what UMNO dislikes.
This is why when in 1973, UMNO decided to form a coalition with PAS leading to the formation of the Barisan Nasional, MCA also gave full support, becoming ‘abang adek’ with PAS and its objective of an Islamic State for four years – all sleeping on the same bed!
Even in today’s press, discerning Malaysians can see for themselves the hollowness and hypocrisy of Liong Sik’s speech, in the resorting to the politics of fear in alleging that the DAP was co-operating with PAS and that DAP was supporting an Islamic State.
Will Liong Sik condemn Anwar Ibrahim for inviting PAS to co-operate with UMNO?
While Ling Sik was speaking in Kuala Lumpur that any co-operation with PAS would bring about the dire consequences of an Islamic State, and must be condemned and repudiated by all Malaysians, in Nibong Tebal the same day, the Education Minister and UMNO National vice President, Anwar Ibrahim, was publicly pleading with PAS to co-operate with UMNO Baru “to safeguard the interests of the Malays and to uphold Islam.”
If Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik is sincere ad honest in what he said, which received front-page headline treatment in many newspapers, he should condemn Anwar Ibrahim for being irresponsible and going out of lime of Barisan Nasional policy, and demand an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to censure Anwar Ibrahim.
Liong Sik should go further, and demand that the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council should adopt a resolution publicly decouncing PAS and declare that PAS will never be accepted into the Barisan Nasional.
Can Liong Sik do this? Of course not. Everybody knows that it is not UMNO Baru that does not want to co-operate with PAS, but the other way round – PAS refuses to co-operate with UMNO Baru.
If at any time, PAS decide to co-operation with UMNO Baru, MCA will be the first to line up to make friends with the PAS leaders and embrance them as ‘abang adek’, as happened in the four years of PAS-MCA honeymoon in the Barisan Nasional from 1973-1977.
Is Liong Sik serious about what he said at the 41st MCA anniversary celebrations yesterday, that any co-operation with PAS is dangerous and Disastrous for Malaysia? In that case, I challenge Liong Sik to publicly declare that MCA would sever all relations with UMNO Baru and pull out of Barisan Nasional if UMNO Baru co-operates with PAS, or continues to invite PAS to co-operate with it to “safe-guard the interests of the Malays and uphold Islam”.
If Liong Sik is not prepared to accept my challenge, then his speech at the MCA 41st anniversary celebrations yesterday does not deserve any serious attention.
MCA Politics of Marginalisation : MCA leaders at present hold government office but have no actual power
Liong Sik said in his speech that in an Islamic State, non-Muslims cannot hold government positions and have no right to vote. The mca President seems to be very slow in political consciousness, for this is what the DAP had been saying all these years, in particular during the 1986 general elections, to explain why the DAP can never support or accept an Islamic State.
It is another pity that the MCA President should realise the meaning of an Islamic State so late in the day.
The immediate problem today, however, is not with an Islamic State where non-Muslims cannot hold government office, but with MCA leaders who hold government office but have no actual powers – what MCA leaders have admitted as “in charge of the house but not in charge of power”.
This is why MCA leaders and Ministers have now indulged in the politics of marginalization, and given up on the politics on the fundamental rights, principles and interests of the people in political, economic, educational, cultural, religious and all other nation-building fields.
The MCA President is only interested in making the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, happy – and has spent the last sixty weeks making Dr. Mahathir happy after making him angry at the end of 1988 for going off on a protest six-week leave, although no issue had been solved or pledge fulfilled.
The Deputy MCA President’s main preoccupation is with the restoration of his Datukship. I congratulate Lee Kim Sai for being restored his Datukship, but I want to askm how this could help to get the Barisan Nasional government to fulfill its 1986 general elections ;edge to repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act by the end of 1986?
Why MCA dare not support the national campaign of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikkhism (MCCBCHS) to reject imposition of Islamic laws on non-Muslim Malaysians?
It is under the present Barisan Nasional rule that there has arisen throughout the country growing concern among non-Muslim Malaysians about greater Islamisation and the increasing efforts to impose the Islamic law on non-Muslim Malaysians.
MCA Ministers and leaders must bear full responsibility for this state of affairs for they are part of the Barisan Nasional government.
This is why the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikkhism (MCCBCHS) has launched a national campaign to reject imposition of Islamic laws on non-Muslim Malayaians.
The MCA’s opposition to an Islamic State would have sounded more genuine if Liong Sik had used the 41st MCA anniversary celebrations to declare the MCA ‘s full support for the MCCBCHS campaign, and declare that all the MCA Minsters, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, State Executive Councillors, MPs and State Assemblymen would sign the MCCBCHS mass-signature petition to oppose the imposition of Islamic Laws on non-Muslim Malaysians.
Of course, if the MCA wants to be consistent on this issue, it would have to immediately expel the eight MCA Selangor State Assemblymen who voted for the Selangor Islamic Law Administration Enactment.
Can Liong Sik explain why the MCA up to now is not prepared to give full support to the MCCBCHS campaign, by raising the issues highlighted by the MCCBCHS in Cabinet and in Parliament?
DAP will not co-operate with PAS or any other political party to establish an Islamic State
The DAP is the only political party in Malaysia whose stand rejecting the Islamic State is most clear-cut and unequivocal. On this ground, we refused to co-operate with PAS to establish an opposition united front in the 1986 general elections.
The DAP will remain steadfast in our convictions, and we will not co-operate with PAS or any political party to establish an Islamic State. This includes Parti Semangat 46.
The DAP will never be like the MCA, which says one thing but its leaders do another.
I hope Liong Sik Will have the courage the answer the many important questions I have raised in my reply to his speech yesterday, making unwarranted and baseless attack against the DAP for co-operating with PAS to establish an Islamic State.
If there is only silence from Liong Sik, then the people can conclude that the MCA President has confessed defeat in the debate started by him yesterday.