Open Letter to the Chinese in Kelantan by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, on Friday, 24th January 1992 on the three-day visit of the DAP delegation to Kelantan from 26th-28th January 1992
Kit Siang welcomes the Chinese of Kelantan to inform DAP delegation of any specific cases of ‘oppression’ and ‘persecution’ to bring to the attention of the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Nik Aziz Nik Mat
I am today issuing thee following Open Letter to the Chinese in Kelantan on the DAP Delegation’s three-day visit to Kelantan from Sunday 26th January to Tuesday 28th January 1992:
“Open Letter by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, to the Chinese in Kelantan on 24th January 1992
A DAP delegation will visit Kelantan for three days from Sunday, 26th January 1991 to Tuesday 28th January 1992 to get first-hand information and feedback from both the people of Kelantan and the State Government on the state government policies and measures since the last general elections 15 months ago.
The places we will visit are Pasir Mas, Tanah Merah, Machang, Kuala Krai, Pasir Puteh, Tumpat and Kota Bahru.
In the past few months, MCA and Gerakan leaders have painstakingly created the impression that the Chinese in Kelantan have become the most oppressed and persecuted lot after 15 months of PAS Kelantan State Government, descibing them as being driven into ‘deep waters and furnace heat’.
For this reason, the DAP delegation wishes in particular to meet the Chinese in Kelantan, whether Chinese organisations, associations or as individuals to hear their views.
I particularly call on the Chinese in Kelantan to inform the DAP delegation of any specific case of ‘oppression’ or ‘persecution’ to bring out to the attention of the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Haji Nik Aziz Nik Mat, when we meet him on Tuesday.
The DAP leaders are visiting Kelantan with a completely open mind. We are going to Kelantan not for interests of DAP, but for the interest of the people of Kelantan, in particular the Chinese community in the state, and the well-being of multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious democracy.
This is why we are prepared to meet anyone-including MCA and Gerakan state and branch officials. This is also the reason why I had extended an invitation to the MCA President, Datuk Dr.Ling Long Sik and the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr.Lim Keng Yaik, to jointly visit Kelantan and meet the Kelantan Mentri Besar.
Kit Siang’s invitation to Ling Sik and Keng Yaik to jointly visit Kelantan and meet the Mentri Besar remains open until last moment
Although the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr.Lim Keng Yaik had rejected the invitation and MCA leaders have said that the MCA president, Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik, would not accept the invitation, my invitation to Liong Sik and Keng Yaik will remain open until the last moment.
I hope the MCA President and Gerakan President will be able to rise above party and personal interests in and interests of the Chinese in Kelantan and Malaysia whom they claim to represent, decide in the last minute to jointly visit Kelantan or at least to jointly meet the Kelantan Mentri Besar.
The DAP delegation, in its visit to Kelantan, will be guided by the following principles which haeen consistently held by the DAP for the past 25 years:
(i) that Malaysia is a secular state;
(ii) that we oppose any Islamisation policy or measure which are detrimental to the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians;
(iii) that Muslim laws and measures should not be imposed or applied on non-Muslim Malaysians anywhere in Malaysia.
The DAP will not follow the opportunistic, unprincipled and irresponsible example of MCA and Gerakan which support all Islamisation measures if they come from UMNO but oppose all measures, whether Islamisation or not, if they come from PAS.
DAP will evaluate, judge and take a stand on all Islamisation measures or measures which are claimed to be related to Islamisation-regardless of whether by UMNO or PAS- strictly on the basis as to whether they infringe on the rights and interest of non-Muslim Malaysians.
For this reason, the DAP will divide the so-called 70 ‘Islamisation measures’ of the PAS Kelantan State Government into three categories:
(1) those which promote universal values also to be found in other religions for a good, clean, just and caring society such as measures to curb corruption, abuses of power and misuse of public funds;
(2) those which strictly concern Muslims only; and
(3) those which infringes on the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians
It is the height of irresponsibility on the part of MCA and Gekran leaders to lump the first two categories with the third category and to allege that the first category of measures to promote a good, clean, just and caring society and the second category which applies only strictly to the Muslims infringe and violate the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians.
DAP leaders believe in being fair and firm. While we must be form on our principle and stand that we oppose the imposition of Islamic laws and measures on non-Muslin Malaysians, we must also be fair and honest in commending and supporting measures which promote the iniversal values of a good, clean, just and caring society as to found in all religions.
The DAP delegation wants to verify the accuracy of the measures that fall under the third category, i.e. measures which infringe on the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians, to get feedback from the people of Kelantan, and take them up with the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Nik Aziz Nik Mat during our meeting.