Press Statement By Abdul Aziz:
In Jill Ireland v Home Ministry, the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday ruled that allows Christians nationwide to use the word “Allah” and three other Arabic words – Baitullah (“House of God”), Kaabah (“Islam’s holiest shrine in Mecca”) and solat (“prayer”) – in their religious publications for educational purposes.
That night, Muafakat Nasional (“MN”) Consultative Committee held a meeting to urge the High Court’s ruling on the use of the Islamic words be referred to the Court of Appeal (CoA”). MN which consists of the ultranationalist UMNO and ultraorthodox PAS issued a joint-statement yesterday that the coalition views seriously in the High Court’s decision in allowing non-Muslims to use the Islamic words in their publications. The far-right wing political coalition also urged the Perikatan Nasional (“PN”) led Federal Government to take the initiative to expedite the implementation of a more harmonized legal system within the Federal Constitution framework.
On the other hand, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (“GPS”) has been very quiet in regards to the joint-statement issued by MN. None of its coalition members, be it PBB, SUPP, PRS nor SPDP, issued any official statements to condemn and/or criticize the MN joint-statement. Well, GPS can try to deny that they are not part of PN coalition but that can’t deny the fact that GPS is indirectly part of PN led Federal Government. If PN decided to refer the case to CoA, therefore, GPS should be held accountable to the voters. This is because any collective decisions made by the PN led Federal Government pertaining to that matter received the consent (impliedly or expressly) by GPS since they are also part of the Cabinet.
In the past, when GPS seat was on the opposition bench, the coalition had been very vocal in criticising the then Pakatan Harapan (“PH”) led Federal Government. It seems like almost all decisions made by PH received strong objections by GPS leaders. They even went far to claim themselves as the so-called “defenders of Sarawak”. In fact, GPS spreads propaganda saying that PH is not protecting the rights of Sarawak as enshrined in Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963. However, that was part of the history. What happened after they joined UMNO, PAS, Bersatu and Barisan Nasional (“BN”) to form the backdoor government called PN? GPS has since then become quiet.
If GPS failed to react to the latest joint-statement issued by MN, it would be prudent for the Sarawakians to ditch the coalition in the upcoming state election. It shows the failure on part of GPS coalition to protect the rights of Sarawakians as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963. Such ignorance by GPS should not receive any supports by the vast majority of Sarawakians.
Abdul Aziz Isa
Special Assistant to YB Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Batu Kitang Chairman
DAPSY Stampin Chief