Press Statement by DAP delegation regarding the fact-finding mission to Kelantan issued by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, after meeting with the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Nik Aziz Nik Mat at the Kelantan Mentri Besar’s office in Kota Bahru on Tuesday, 28th January 1992 at 4.45 p.m.
Achievements of the DAP fact-finding mission to Kelantan.
This delegation of DAP leaders to Kelantan is pleased to have completed their fact-finding visit to Kelantan. The main purpose of our visit has been to find out the truth of the situation in Kelantan after 15 months of PAS-led state government because the controlled organs of the mass media have ceased to be a reliable source of information.
In the last few days, we have met with and heard the views of non-Muslims in various towns in Kelantan besides meeting YAB Haji Nik Aziz Nik Mat. We would like to express our thinks to all the people who have met us to give us their views and especially the hospitality accorded to us by the Kelantan state government.
Achievement of the DAP delegation to Kelantan includes:
1. We have broken the vicious spell of the Barisan Nasional propaganda which has concocted the deceitful image that the “DAP is anti-Malay/Muslim” and that PAS is “anti-Chinese/non-Muslim”. The panic response to the Barisan Nasional component parties towards this pared to meet with anybody in the spirit of mutual respect, whether they be PAS, UMNO Baru, MCA or MIC.
2. We have proven once again that the DAP is not afraid to confront any problem faced by any sections of the Malaysian people regardless of ethnicity, colour or creed and that we will go out of our way to seek the truth.
3. We have shown yet again that the MCA and Gerakan are political opportunists without any principles who thrive on blind subservience to their political master-UMNO Baru. Although they have been baying like political coyotes all these months in the Barisan Nasional controlled press about “the oppression and persecution of non-Muslims in Kelantan”. The MCA and Gerakan leaders dared not take up the challenge by Sdr. Lim Kit Siang to come to Kelantan to meet the people and the Mentri Besar of Kelantan. The record shows that MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders have sheepishly supported all or UMNO’s Islamisation policies at federal and state levels without a whimper.
4. We have established that the Barisan Nasional is the common enemy of all the rakyat throughout Malaysia and that all who cherish justice and equality should unite to save the country from the Barisan Nasional’s corruption, communalism, abuse of power, violations of democracy and human rights. It is a very clear that the Barisan Nasional is deeply worried and is becoming even more dictatorial and unethical ever since their electoral support plummeted to 51.7 per cent during the 1990 General Elections.
The so-called’70 Islamisation measures’
In sharp contrast to MCA and Gerakan who support all UMNO Islamisation policies but oppose all measures if they emanate from the PAS State Government, the DAP has come to Kelantan with an open mind. We have been guided only by our political principles and our respect for the truth.
First, our staunch belief in upholding democracy and human rights requires us to ensure that no Islamic laws or measures which infringe the rights of non-Muslims are imposed anywhere in Malaysia. This is the yardstick by which we judge all Islamisation measures, whether they are UMNO or PAS.
Therefore, we evaluate and categorise the so-called 70 Islamisation measures of the Kelantan State Government into the following three categories:
(i) those which promote universal values and are acceptable to all other religions in order to create a clean, just and caring society;
(ii) those which concern only the Muslims; and
(iii) those which affect non-Muslims and (a) infringe the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians; and (b) which do not infringe the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians.
The DAP’s stand against Islamisation policies and measures which are detrimental to the rights and interests of non-Muslim Malaysians are very clear.
In the course of our visit, we have tried to verify the accuracy of the category of the Islamisation measures which infringe on the rights and interests of non-Muslims, both in our meeting with the Mentri Besar, Haji Nik Aziz Nik Mat, and from the feedback of the people of Kelantan regarding these measures.
We have urged the PAS-led Government in Kelantan to introduce laws and measures which are based on the principles of tolerance, social justice, democracy and human rights. Only by stressing and focusing on our common values can the democratic and progressive forces in Malaysia be united in the struggle to free our country of corruption, abuse of power, cronyism and exploitation under the Barisan Nasional.