By parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 22nd October 1991:
DAP reiterates its opposition to Islamisation policy whether by Kelantan state government or Federal Government adversely affecting and undermining non-Muslim rights in Malaysia
DAP’s stand on a secular multi-religious Malaysia is firm and unshakeable and wishes to reiterate its opposition to Islamisation policy, whether by the Kelantan State Government on the Federal Government adversely affecting and undermining non-Muslim rights in Malaysia.
DAP also reiterates that the DAP is not anti-Islam or anti any religion, and that its opposition to any Islamisation policy whether by Kelantan State Government or Federal Government adversely affecting and undermining non-Muslim rights is based on the constitutional rights of all Malaysians to a secular state, and the universal right of all human beings to profess a religion and to decide their own way of life.
On the same principle, the DAP will oppose any Christianisation policy, for instance, which adversely affects and undermines the rights of non-Christians; or any Buddhist-isation policy adversely affecting or undermining the rights of non-Buddhists or any Hinduisation policy adversely affecting or undermining the rights of non-Hindus.
This reiteration of the DAP policy is necessary because of three reasons:
Firstly, the statement by the Kelantan Mentri Besar, haji Nik Aziz Nik Mat, yesterday that his government would “persist in its Islamisation policy and will govern the state in accordance with Islamic stand and fashion” and that “the kelantan State Government would not change any of its operational policy and will continue to implement Islamisation policies in the States”;
Secondly, Nik Aziz’s statement advising the Chinese and non-Muslims to make “necessary adjustments to give Islamisation a new assessment” and his claim that “religious differences are the cause of the tension and sensitivities in racial relations and that if the entire people embraces one religion, the problem of the sensitivities of the different racial groups would not exist’;
Thirdly, the persistent policy and campaign of lies and falsehoods by the MCA and Gerakan to distort and poison the minds of the people that the DAP supports Islamisation policies and the Islamic State objective of PAS.
This is why the DAP wants to make clear from the outset that it opposes Islamisation policies whether by Kelantan State Government or Federal Government, adversely affecting and undermining non-Muslim rights for this is against both their constitutional and fundamental human rights.
Muslim movements have a common plank of policy to carry out Islamisation programmes to make Muslims more aware of the Muslim principles. Teachings and heritage.
DAP is not anti-Islam and dose not appose Islamisation policies and programmes concerning Muslim. What we oppose are Islamisation policies and programmeds, whether at Kelantan state or Federal Government, which adversely affect and undermine non-Muslim rights.
Nik Aziz is right, then Bangladesh will never break away from Pakistan
There are enough examples in the contemporary world to show the fallacy of such an argument. Bangladesh is the best example. Pakistan was formed on a theocratic basis on its separation from India in 1947, but despite having only one religion, Pakistan fell apart in 1972 with the secession of East Pakistan and establishment of Bangladesh.
If Nik Aziz is right, then Bangladesh should never have been fromed.
The recent Iraq-Kuwait war is another example of the fallacy of the view that a common religion will itself resolve differences and tensions whether between races or nations.
Nik Aziz’s view that if all Malaysians have only one religion, racial relations in Malaysia will be perfect, is not confined to the PAS leadership. Top UMNO leaders, including those who now hold key and powerful positions in the Federal government, had also expressed similar sentiments to me.
Another variation of this school of thought is that all the problems of race relations and nation building in Malaysia would be resolved if there is only one language or only one culture – leading to an attempt to build a Malaysian nation based on a ‘one language, one culture, one religion’ policy.
Recent political history shows that if not for the DAP’s strong and principled stand to oppose such a ‘One Language, One Culture, One Religion’ policy, the position in Malaysia today would be a very different one.
While one can argue that race relations and nation building will be easier if there is only one race, one language, one culture or one religion, it will be the height of folly for anyone to try to create a situation in Malaysia where is only one race, one language, one culture or one religion.
This will be a recipe not for nation building or national unity, but for national division and disintegration.
This is why at the time when the MCA and Gerakan leadership had submitted to a ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy, the DAP stood firm and alone to demand that Malaysian nation-building must return to a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious basis.
This is one of the chief reasons why so many DAP leaders were detained under Operation Lalang under the Internal Security Act in 1987.
If the Kelantan State Government attempts to implement Islamisation policies adversely affecting and undermining non-Muslim rights, and attempt to create a ‘one religion’ polity, it will be as strongly opposed by the DAP as we had strongly opposed the ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy.
Malaysia is in its fourth decade of nationhood and entering the 21st century. Let all Malaysians from all political parties accept the fact that the only way to make Malaysia succeed is to accept and respect the fact that Malaysia is a plural society of different races, languages, cultures and religions, and that his immense diversity represents Malaysia’s greatest strength for national greatness and stop trying to turn the clock back by pursuing destructive thoughts of having only one race, one language, one culture or one religion.
Challenge Liong Sik and the MCA national leadership to list out the over 60 Islamisation policies implemented by the Kelantan State Government in the past year which adversely affect and undermine non-Mulsim rights
Recently, the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, announced an all-out war against the DAP. It is now obvious that what he meant is that the MCA leaders would launch a campaign of lies and falsehoods to distort and poison the people’s mind into believing that the DAP supports the Islamisation policies and Islamic State objective of PAS.
One MCA Deputy Minister, Wong See Wah, even claimed that the Kelantan State Government had implemented over 60 Islamisation policies affecting and undermining non-Muslim rights in the post one year.
If the MCA leadership is so confident that the Kelantan State Government had implemented over 60 Islamisation policies adversely affecting and undermining non-Muslim rights, then why are Liong Sik and the MCA leadership afraid to accept a public debate with DAP to how to protect non-Muslim rights.
Before Wong See Wah and the MCA leaders continue with their falsehoods, I challenge Liong Sik and the MCA national leadership to list out the over 60 Islamisation policies which they alleged the Kelantan State Government had implemented in the past one year which adversely affect and undermine non-Mulsim rights.
If the MCA leadership is unable to lit out these over 60 instances of Islamisation policy which adversely affect and undermine non-Muslim rights, then the MCA leaders are guilty of the most irresponsible politicking in their campaign of lies and falsehoods against the DAP.