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MCA policy statement on social contract “blacked out” in MCA newspaper The Star – Why?

Media Statement (2) 
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Wednesday): This is most extraordinary and unthinkable – MCA newspaper The Star “blacking out” the MCA policy statement on the “social contract”! 

The Chinese newspapers gave front-page headline treatment to the policy statement issued yesterday by the MCA Presidential Council following the shock declaration of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that Malaysia was an Islamic state and not a secular state. 

Strangely enough, the policy statement was reported by the Sun but it is also conspicuously omitted in the New Straits Times and the Malay newspapers. 

Releasing the MCA Presidential Council statement, MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the Federal Constitution should be the reference to resolve controversies or confusion over the social contract. 

The statement said that what had been agreed by the forefathers 50 years ago, especially the principles and the spirit in governing the country, must be preserved. 

These principles and spirit were enshrined in the Constitution. 

Two questions are in order: 

Firstly, why the two-faced treatment of the MCA Presidential Council policy statement on the “social contract” by the MCA – having it published prominently in the Chinese media but blacked out in its own English-language newspaper, the Star and the New Straits Times as well as the Malay newspapers. 

Secondly, why had the MCA Presidential Council betrayed the fundamental principles espoused by the early generation of the MCA founder-leaders like Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin who had declared unequivocally both inside and outside Parliament 50 years ago that this nation was conceived as a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state. 

In limiting its “social contract” understanding and commitment to what is in the Malaysian Constitution, the present MCA leaders have created the conditions to justify their support for the abandonment of the foundation nation-building cornerstone of Malaysia as a secular state with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state.

This is to enable the present MCA leadership to support the distortion and misinterpretation of the Merdeka “social contract” of Malaysia as never having been an secular state and had always been an Islamic state. 

The Malaysian Constitution is both silent on a secular state and an Islamic state. However, all constitutional documents leading up to the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and the 1964 Malaysia Agreement and the highest judicial pronouncements of the land spelt out clearly that Malaysia was conceived as a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state. 

Now, through sheer political hegemony and against the public stands of the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein, the “social contract” and Merdeka Constitution is being misinterpreted to jettison the fundamental nation-building principle of a secular Malaysia and to substitute instead an Islamic Malaysia. 

The MCA Presidential Council policy statement yesterday has only one objective – to perpetuate the myth that MCA remains steadfast and fully committed to defend and uphold the Merdeka social contract when in fact it had already abandoned the fundamental principle that Malaysia was conceived as a secular state and was never meant to be an Islamic state. 

How could Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin rest in peace at such betrayal of principles by the present crop of MCA leaders?


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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