By Lim Kit Siang
The MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek is playing the destructive role of Utusan Malaysia seeking to frighten Chinese voters with lies and falsehoods in the same manner Utusan has been trying in the past three years to scare Malay voters with its daily staple of lies and falsehoods.
The role of Utusan Malaysia, the official organ of UMNO, is to violate all ethics of journalism to systematically and unconscionably concoct and dispense lies and falsehoods about the DAP and the Pakatan Rakyat to stampede the Malay voters to vote solidly for UMNO.
For instance, Utusan Malaysia had been publishing downright lies and falsehoods about the DAP, spreading the completely baseless allegation that the DAP is anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers, that the DAP wants to create a Christian Malaysia to replace Islam as the official religion, appoint a Christian Prime Minister, establish a Republic and abolish the system of Malay monarchy.
In the past months, it has become obvious that the MCA President is playing the irresponsible and divisive role of Utusan Malaysia by seeking to frighten the Chinese voters to stampede them to vote for MCA through what MCA strategists believe is the MCA trump card – the issue of Islamic state and hudud implementation.
DAP’s stand on Malaysia as a secular state has always been constant and consistent.
We hold firm to our fundamental principle that an Islamic state and hudud laws are inappropriate and unsuitable for Malaysia as a plural society.
We do not hide our fundamental principle and beliefs, whether from PAS or any other political party or the Malaysian people. We know PAS’ stand on Islamic State and hukum hudud, just as PAS knows our different stand on these two issues.
Although DAP, PAS and PKR have our differences, the Pakatan Rakyat leadership has repeatedly reaffirmed our unswerving commitment to common policy agreements reached by the three component parties, whether before or after the 13th General Election, in the PR Common Policy Framework of December 19, 2009, Buku Jingga of 20th December 2010 or other Joint PR Leadership statements and documents.
The PR Leadership has also repeatedly reaffirmed the principle that there must be consensus among the three PR component parties before there could be any change in any agreed PR policy.
The PR Leadership has also repeatedly emphasized that the implementation of hudud is not part of the PR Common Policy Framework.
This means that if Pakatan Rakyat wins the 13th General Election and forms the Federal Government in Putrajaya, for the next five years from 2012/2013 to 2017/8, the implementation of hudud will not be part of the Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government policy or programme unless all the three PR parties can reach a consensus on it.
This position is very clear, simple and straightforward but the MCA President is doing his utmost in his politics of desperation, fear and irresponsibility to try to cause panic and fear so as to stampede the Chinese voters to vote for MCA in the 13th General Election.
One of Chua’s favourite gambits is to cite the PAS Deputy President Mohamad Sabu claiming that Mohamad Sabu had announced that PAS will amend the Federal Constitution to implement hudud if Pakatan Rakyat comes into power – totally ignoring Mohamad Sabu’s denial of ever having made such a statement and the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council’s policy pronouncement that the implementation of hudud is not part of Pakatan Rakyat policies, a policy position which binds all Pakatan Rakyat parties for the next four to five years until the 14th General Elections.
Another favourite Chua gambit is to shout from the rooftops that hudud implementation is a certainty if Pakatan Rakyat wins in the 13th general election, claiming that “judging from the 222 MPs, of whom most were Muslims, PAS could easily obtain the two-thirds majority to implement its version of hudud”.
Chua had gone on public record in saying: “So, this is a political reality that all non-Muslims must face. This is not a threat. It is something that all of us most think about carefully.”
This is a downright lie and utter rubbish. It shows that in his politics of desperation, Chua Soi Lek has utter contempt for figures, facts and the truth.
Firstly, the number of Muslim MPs, as it stands, still falls short of the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution.
After the 2008 GE, for Peninsular Malaysia, there were 107 Muslim MPs, i.e. 65 MPs from BN and 42 MPs – a far cry from the two-thirds majority of 148 MPs required to amend the constitution.
Even when Sabah and Sarawak are included (and Sabah and Sarawak must be considered separately, as Malaysia’s position as a secular state is specifically underlined in Sabah’s 20-Point Agreement and Sarawak’s 18-Point Agreement in the formation of Malaysia in 1963), the total number of Muslim MPs still fall short of two-thirds majority.
Including Sabah and Sarawak, the 2008 GE elected 130 Muslim MPs out of 222 or 59%, 18 MPs short of a two-thirds majority – with 88 Muslim MPs from BN and 42 Muslim MPs are from PR. (Table 1 below)
Table 1: Muslim and Non-Muslim MPs by BN / PR and by Region / State post GE2008
Region / State || BN || PR
Muslim Non-Muslim Muslim Non-Muslim
P.Malaysia 65 20 42 38
Sabah 9 21 - 1
Sarawak 14 11 - 1
Total 88 52 42 40
It would be simplistic to assume that the Muslim MPs from BN in East Malaysia would blindly support a motion to declare Malaysia as an Islamic state especially since some of these MPs, such as those from PBB in Sarawak, are from parties with non-Muslim members and representatives among their midst.
If we consider only the Muslim MPs in Peninsular Malaysia, they only constitute 107 MPs, less than 50% of the total number of MPs in Malaysia, far short of the two-thirds of 66.7% required for any constitutional amendment.
Table 2: Muslim and Non-Muslim Majority seats by Region / State
Region / State | Muslim Majority | Non-Muslim Majority | Total
P.Malaysia 113 52 165
Sabah 15 11 26
Sarawak 8 23 31
Total 136 86 222
Even if we take the number of Muslim majority versus Non-Muslim majority seats, there are only 136 Muslim majority seats in the whole country (61%), still 12 short of a two thirds majority of 148.
Again, the rationale of Sabah and Sarawak Muslim MPs not necessarily supporting such a motion still holds.
From Table 1 and 2, even in the most extreme circumstances where ALL of the MPs in Muslim majority seats vote to support an Islamic state motion, it would still not be sufficient to reach a two-thirds majority.
These two tables debunk the lie that the MCA President is spreading all over the country, that it is virtually a certainty that there would be two-thirds parliamentary majority of Muslim MPs to support a constitutional amendment to implement hudud when Pakatan Rakyat comes into power in Putrajaya in the 13th General Election.
I would advise the MCA President to cease and desist and halt all his politics of fear, desperation and irresponsibility. Let him act responsibly for a change and show greater respect for figures, facts and the truth.
(Speech at the DAP Pasir Pinji 919 UBAH nite in Ipoh on Wednesday, 19th September 2012 at 9pm)