Saturday 13 October 2012

DAP’s ‘secular’ stand not anti-Islam, says Kit Siang

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 - The DAP’s secular stand does not mean that it is anti-Islam or anti-God, its parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said today as the party comes under renewed attack by certain religious conservatives accusing it of plotting to turn mainly Muslim Malaysia into a Christian state.

The DAP’s stand that Malaysia is a secular nation is shared by the country’s first three prime ministers, Lim (picture) said in a statement.

“All throughout the DAP’s 46-year history, the DAP has been constant and consistent in the stand, which is also that of the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein, that Malaysia is a democratic, multi-racial, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but Malaysia is not an Islamic State,” Lim said.

The Ipoh-Timor MP also said that DAP’s secular stand is not “anti-Islam” or “anti-religion”, saying that the party actually defends and enhances Malaysia’s multi-religious nature.

“By ‘secular’, we do not mean anti-religion, anti-God, anti-Islam, anti-Christianity, anti-Buddhism, anti-Hinduism or anti-Sikhism but a state polity which is morality-based and pro-Islam, pro-Christianity, pro-Buddhism, pro-Hinduism and pro-Sikhism in defending and enhancing the multi-religious characteristics and diversity of the Malaysian nation.”

Two lawmakers – former PKR MP who turned independent and pledged allegiance to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition Zulkifli Noordin and renegade PAS leader Nasharuddin Mat Isa – had again raised the allegations, which top Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition leaders have attacked as a move to scare away Muslim voters from voting for the opposition pact in the 13th general elections.

Church leaders have yesterday brushed off the “baseless” allegations as an “old tale”, saying that voters will not fall for such an election ploy.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) chairman yesterday said more focus should be placed on “real issues” such as justice, fairness, dealing with corruption and helping the poor.

Malaysia’s 28 million people is 60 per cent Muslim, while Christians form the third biggest religious group or 9.1 per cent of population, after the Buddhists (19.2 per cent). Hindus make up 6.3 per cent with the remaining populace following Confucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese beliefs, Lim said.

He pointed out that there are presently some 35 Christian MPs in Parliament or about one-sixth of the total Parliamentary strength – a far cry from the two-thirds of 148 MPs out of a total of 222 MPs required to amend the Federal Constitution to establish a Christian state.

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