Wednesday, December 22, 2010


At the recent Pakatan Rakyat Convention, DAP National Chairman, Mr Karpal Singh said that the issue of Islamic State “boleh dibincang dan dicari jalan penyelesaian “ (can be discussed and a way to be found to resolve).

That “boleh dibincang dan cari jalan penyelesaian” on the issue of establishing an Islamic state, has sent PAS into a state of euphoric dizziness, with PAS leaders interpreting Karpal Singh’s words to mean that that DAP has finally softened its long held objection and have resigned to accepting PAS’s holy grail of establishing an Islamic state.

As late as June 2010, Mr Karpal Singh in an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider is reported to have said “We cannot compromise for the country to turn into an Islamic state”. Mr Karpal Singh had always openly opposed Hudud laws and establishment of an Islamic state on the ground that it was unconstitutional. In fact, Mr Karpal Singh’s stand ( at least until now ) is also consistent with DAP’s constant, consistent and principled stand that Malaysia is a secular state and Islam as its official religion.

Even DAP’s Advisor Mr Lim Kit Siang is on record of stating that “Hudud laws and Islamic state are not Pakatan Rakyat policies”. Thus, when Mr Karpal Singh as the DAP national chairman now say openly that Islamic state “boleh dibincang”, it is surely a complete capitulation ( or sell out) from DAP’s long held stand and principle. Perhaps, Mr Karpal Singh and DAP owe an explanation to DAP members, supporters and Malaysians as to what is meant by “boleh dibincang” and state openly what is DAP’s stand on Islamic state.

Mr Karpal Singh’s “boleh dibincang” statement sends mixed signals. In the Common Policy Platform unveiled during the First Pakatan Rakyat Convention at Shah Alam there was no mention of turning Malaysia into an Islamic state. In fact in the Common Policy Platform, in the section “Transparent and Genuine Democracy”, Pakatan Rakyat made a pledge to “Defend the Federal Constitution, Islam as the religion of the Federation while other religions can be practiced peacefully anywhere in the country and protecting the special position of the Malays and the indigenous peoples anywhere including Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interest of other races in accordance with Article 153. While, in the section on “religion” Pakatan Rakyat made the following vow to “Defend the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation and guarantee of religion for every Malaysia.”

So with this iron cast pledge by Pakatan Rakyat and DAP making a promise to uphold and defend Islam as the religion of the Federation which is also consistent and constant with DAP’s long held acknowledgement that Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, why then capitulate and raise the issue of “ Negara Islam boleh bincang” when PAS has has not shown that it can “boleh bincang” to drop its goal to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.

Norman Fernandez