Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 19.6.2014.
1Malaysia A Cruel Political Gimmick When BN Does Not Respect Non-Muslim Rights Even Their Parental Rights Over Their Own Children.
BN only talks about 1 Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak. In Peninsular Malaysia, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia is truly dead and buried from the moment Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declared in 2010 that he was a Malay first and a Malaysian second.
1Malaysia is a cruel political gimmick when BN does not respect non-Muslim rights, even their parental rights over their own children. First, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom declared that Malaysia is not a secular state but an Islamic state in a written parliamentary reply to DAP Sibu MP Oscar Ling. This outrageous attempt to change the basic framework of the Federal Constitution derived during Merdeka in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963 ignores the fact that our country’s laws are clearly secular in nature.
The BN government is taking this unconstitutional step when the Supreme Court in 1988 on the case of Che Omar Che Soh vs Public Prosecutor decided that the law in this country was secular. Our founding Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was first recorded telling Parliament on May 1, 1958: “I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic state as it is generally understood; we merely provided that Islam shall be the official religion of the state.” Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia’s third PM and father of current Defence Minister Datuk Hishamudin Tun Hussein Onn supported Tunku by rejecting the notion that Malaysia is an Islamic state, adding that “The nation can still be functional as a secular state with Islam as the official religion”.
Already reeling from the shock of discovery that BN now considers Malaysia as an Islamic state, Jamil Khir followed up with a second shock on non-Muslims by maintaining that unilateral religious conversion of a child to Islam by either one parent is allowed by the Federal Constitution and thus does not plan to amend any law to change the situation.
In a written parliamentary answer to M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat), Jamil Khir said consent from either one parent is enough for such a conversion of a minor(child under 18 years) under Article 12 (4) of the Federal Constitution. Jamil Khir’s announcement violates the 2009 cabinet decision banning unilateral conversion of minors by just one parent as announced by former de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Unilateral conversions to Islam of minors by the Muslim parent convert are unacceptable because it completely ignores and negates the rights of the other non-Muslim parent over their own children. Can MCA and Gerakan now join a BN Cabinet that can not keep its promises and instead supports the notion that Malaysia is an Islamic state and unilateral conversion to Islam of minors by either one parent is sufficient?
Worse is the sense of betrayal felt by Sabahans and Sarawkians when the Education Ministry written parliamentary reply to Darell Leiking (PKR-Penampang) that a forum organised by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on the usage of the word Allah by Christians, which had been described as a ‘Christian-bashing’ exercise, should be viewed ‘positively’ because it was to promote ‘intellectual discussion’. In other words, Christian bashing promotes intellectual discussion and should be viewed positively.
Malay Muslims as the largest majority in Malaysia has never being threatened by the non-Muslim minority. BN has not been able to prove its claims of hundreds of thousands or tens of thousand or even thousands of Malay Muslims becoming apostate(murtad). However these lies by BN of large number of Malays becoming murtad are perpetuated to instill fear amongst the Malay Muslims and justify efforts to place the non-Muslims under siege with declarations that Malaysia is an Islamic state and unilateral conversions of minors to Islam by either one parent is allowed by the Federal Constitution.
DAP will stand up against efforts by the extremist and racist forces in BN to change the character and identity of the Federal Constitution as well as disrupt the harmonious multi-cultural and multi-racial lifestyle of all Malaysians regardless of race and religion. Malaysia can never achieve genuine national unity and national integration if non-Muslims’ rights are not respected and they are not allowed to live with dignity as provided in the Federal Constitution.
LIM GUAN ENG
—– Mandarin Version —-