By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, October 23, 1991:
Why have Ling Liong Sik and MCA leaders failed to attack the Malacca State government for trying to implement Islamisation policy adversely affecting non-Muslim rights in banning pig farming and selling and slaughter of live poultry in the Malacca central market
Recently, the MCA president, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the MCA national leaders have pretended to be champions of non-Muslim rights and opponents of Islamisation policy.
MCA leaders go round the country and claim that in the past 12 months, the Kelantan State Government had carried out over 60 Islamisation policies and progremmes which adversely affect and undermine non-Muslim rights.
What are these over 60 Islamisation policies and programmed which MCA leaders claim the Kelantan State Government had carried out in the past year which adversely affect and undermine non-Muslim rights?
These ‘over 60 Islamisation policies and programmes’ which the MCA leaders claim the Kelantan State Government had implemented in the past 12 minths which adversely affect non-Muslim rights include the following:
1. The Mentri Besar, State Excos and all government heads to continue to use old cars of the former government to reduce expenses;
2. The abolition of Mentri Besar and Timbalan Mentri Besar allowances for Hari Raya ‘fast-breaking’ parties;
3. No acceptance of gifts and presents during official openings and visits to reduce corruption and waste of public funds;
4. Women civil servants given 42 days maternity leave;
5. Amendment of the State Constitution requiring an Assemblyman to resign his seat if he resigns or defects from the party on whose ticket he was elected.
If the MCA leaders regard these as examples of Islamisation programmes of the Kelantan State Government which adversely affect and undermine non-Muslim rights, then they are doing a great disservice to the whole cause and struggle for the preservation of the secular basis of Malaysia where non-Muslim rights are fully protected and respected.
Probably to MCA leaders, when they declare that they are fighting against Islamisation, they are meaning that political leaders should be allowed to be dishonest, extravagant, corrupt and be able to commit abuses of power, breach of trust and immoral acts with impunity.
DAP is prepared to take a common stand with the MCA to oppose Islamisation policies and programmed, whether by the Federal Government or the Kelantan State Government, which adversely affect and undermine non-Muslim rights.
But we cannot agree or accept that just because the Kelantan state government adopts a policy or programme, it must be blindly condemned as an Islamisation programme adversely affecting non-Muslim rights although its whole purpose is to ensure good, clean and honest government and has been adopted by other governments and countries which have no Islamic content.
Liong Sik and the MCA leaders should not debase and degrade the genuine concern of the non-Muslim Malaysians about their rights by attacking every action of the Kelantan State Government as adversely affecting non-Muslim rights, including acts taken to curb corruption, abuse of power, immorality and breach of trust.
This is why Liong Sik and the MCA national leadership cannot accept my challenge to them to list out the over 60 islamisation policies and programmes which they claim the Kelantan State Government had implemented in the past year which adversely affect and undermine non-Muslim rights.
Liong Sik and the MCA national leaders must be consistent in their defense of non-Muslim rights.
If they are consistent, why haven’t Liong Sik and the MCA national leadership attacked the Malacca State Government, the Malacca Chief Minister and the State Exco for carrying out Islamisation programmes adversely affecting non-Muslim rights in their decision to ban pig farming in Malacca state?
Again, why had Liong Sik and the MCA national leadership failed to attack the Malacca State Government for another Islamisation programme adversely affecting non-Muslim rights with the recent decision to ban the selling and slaughter of live poultry in the Malacca Central Market, requiring the over 2,000 poultry a day sold at the Malacca Central Market to be slaughtered individually6 by the Veterinary Department (which incidentally are some seven miles apart!)
DAP offers united stand with MCA to oppose Islamisation programmes adversely affecting non-Muslim rights whether from Federal Government or any State Government
I have no doubt that if it was the Kelantan State Government which had made the announcement to ban pig farming and the selling xxxxx slaughter of live poultry in the central market in their state, Liong Sik and the MCA national leaders would be yelling their heads off every day and the whole world will be topsy-turvy!
But now, they keep a complete silence, why? Do they have double standards? Or do they support Islamisation programmes which adversely affect non-Muslim rights if they are carried out by the Barisan Nasional Government, whether at Federal or State level, but oppose every policy and programme of the Kelantan State Government on the ground that it is an Islamisation policy, regardless of whether it adversely affects non-Muslim rights or not?
I advise Liong Sik and the MCA national leaders to have a higher standard of political honestly and political discourse. DAP offers our hand of co-operation and we are prepared to work with the MCA to ensure that non-Muslim rights in Malaysia are respected and protected, whether by Federal Government, or by all State Governments, whether Kelantan or Malacca.
Is Liong Sik and the MCA national leaders prepared to accept this offer from the DAP to form a common front to protect and defend non-Muslim rights and to oppose all Islamisation policies and programmes, whether from Federal Government or any state government, which adversely affect non-Muslim rights in Malaysia?