Lim Kit Siang clarifies Watan Report on 21st October 1990 on ‘addin’ and ‘ketuanan Melayu’

By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 21st October 1990.

Lim Kit Siang clarifies Watan Report on 21st October 1990 on ‘addin’ and ‘ketuanan Melayu’

I wish to clarify the Watan front-page report today dated 21st October 1990 stating that in an interview with Watan, I stated that the DAP accepted Islam as ‘addin’ as being fought for by Angkatan Perpaduan Umah and that the DAP accepted ‘ketuanan Melayu’.

The Watan front-page report on the DAP stand on Islam as ‘addin’ had been taken out of context. The real context had been given by the centre-spread of Watan which quoted me as follows:

“DAP tidak menentang ‘Addin’ sebagai satu cara yang sesuai untuk orang Islam kerana itu adalah hak mereka menganut agama sendiri.

“Bagaimanapun, hak orang bukan Islam pun perlu ditekankan juga.”

The DAP does not object to Islam as ‘Adin’ – or Islamic way of life – for Muslims but this should not apply to non-Muslim Malaysians.

As a result, we do not object or oppose Muslim or Muslim based parties wanting to have Islam as ‘addin’ for Muslims, provided it does not apply to non-Muslim Malaysians for their right to religious freedom and beliefs is guaranteed under the Malaysian Constitution.

Similarly, I stressed in my interview with Watan that although the DAP fully supports the good qualities which Islam or even an Islamic State wants to promote, like justice, honesty, sincerity, high moral values, we cannot agree with the concept of an Islamic State as a principle of government for it would exclude the right of non-Muslims to fully participate in deciding the destiny of the nation.

The DAP’s stand against Islamic State does not mean that the DAP is against Islam or the principles espoused by Islam or Islamic State, like justice, honesty, sincerity and high moral values.

With regard to the Watan front page report that the DAP accepts ‘ketuanan Melayu’. This term ‘ketuanan Melayu’ was never mentioned or discussed at my interview in the Watan office.

I was asked ‘for my views on ‘hakikat kepimpinan Melayu’ in Malaysian politics. I said that ‘hakikat kepimpinan Melayu’ in Malaysian government must be accepted by all Malaysians, because this is the political reality in Malaysia.

For instance out of 132 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, 96 parliamentary seats are predominantly Malay-majority seats.

This is the result of a delineation of parliamentary constituencies which had the full support of all the Barisan Nasional parties, in particular MCA and Gerakan. The DAP had always objection to the delineation of parliamentary constituencies as violating the democratic principle of one-man one-vote.

However, given the existing political reality where over per cent of the parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia are predominantly Malay-voter majority seats, it has created the ‘hakikat kepimpinan Melayu’ in Malaysia.

As a result of this ‘hakikat kepimpinan Melayu’, I said that the post of Prime Minister will be held by a Malay for the next few decades.