PETALING JAYA: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang says the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak should state their stand on the comments of former inspector-general of police Abdul Rahim Noor on the issue of Malaysia possibly becoming an Islamic country.
The DAP supremo was referring to the speech by Rahim at a forum, “Malaysian in the Future”, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on Sept 20.
“I appreciate Rahim’s warning that Sabah and Sarawak may want to leave the federation if the government submits to PAS’ demands to implement hudud, ‘inch by inch’, just to ensure that Umno remains in power,” Lim said at a ceramah to launch the Pakatan Harapan manifesto for Sarawak and Sabah, in Kuching last night.
“I now call upon the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as all Barisan Nasional ministers and MPs from the two states, to publicly endorse the stand of the former IGP, for it concerns one of the fundamental terms and conditions in the agreement to form the Malaysian Federation in 1963.”
Last Tuesday, Rahim told the forum that the Federation of Malaysia was never meant to be an Islamic country because if it was, Sabah and Sarawak would never have agreed to it.
He said that when the idea of Malaysia was mooted, religion was the main issue addressed by the Cobbold Commission.
“The people in the Bornean states, all of them, regardless of race and religion, did not want an official religion for the new federation. The demand was reasonable.
“After all, there are many Muslim-majority countries in the world that do not have Islam as their official religion, for example Egypt and Indonesia, a country with the highest number of Muslim’s in the world.
“If people’s anxiety over the issue of religion gets heated up, Malaysia may be thrown into chaos as Sabah and Sarawak may think twice whether to continue to be in Malaysia or not”, Rahim had said.
Meanwhile, speaking of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto for the two states, Lim said it would take 36 MPs from Sabah and Sarawak to ensure the coalition has a two-thirds parliamentary majority in the next general election.
“Together with support from Sarawak and Sabah, PH may have 125 to 130 out of 222 parliamentary seats to form the new PH federal government.
“But this is not enough to achieve a two-thirds parliamentary majority of at least 149 out of the 222 parliamentary seats, to ensure that there can be constitutional re-arrangements following a fair and equitable review of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 to provide a ‘New Hope, New Deal’ to Sarawakians, Sabahans as well as all Malaysians,” Lim said, referring to the title of the PH manifesto.