KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — DAP Secretary-General Anthony Loke has reportedly downplayed calls for DAP to amend its party constitution to remove parts referring to secularism and a “Malaysian Malaysia”.
In a report by the English daily The Star, Loke emphasised that DAP and other members of the federal government coalition have already agreed to uphold and defend the Federal Constitution which includes the positions of Islam as the religion of the federation, Malay as the national language, the Malay Rulers, and those of the Malays and Bumiputera.
“DAP has never asked any party to amend its constitution. Each party has its own principles and ideology, but what is important is that when we formed the unity government, we agreed to work together in maintaining several key parameters,” he was quoted as saying.
Loke also reiterated that Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman and Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi himself has previously acknowledged and accepted DAP’s stance before bringing BN into the unity government pact.
This comes as Johor Umno Leader Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said DAP must also do its part to help the national unity government gain the support of Malay voters by “dropping the agenda of secular state and the slogan of Malaysian Malaysia from its party constitution”.
Despite Nur Jazlan’s claim, Clause II in DAP’s party constitution only describes the Federal Constitution as a secular document and a “secular framework as the supreme law of the land”.
Another article under the clause promoting national integration also called for the party to “infuse a national spirit and unity amongst all races to forge a common identity of a united Malaysian Malaysia”.
Responding to the statement, Loke said DAP’s allies should not bring up matters that would erode public confidence in the government, and asserted that voters primarily evaluate the track record and work of their representatives, not just their party ideology.
He cited his own victories in constituencies with a high percentage of Malay voters, indicating that voters prioritise performance over ideology.
Loke also clarified that Nur Jazlan’s views had not impacted PH’s campaign in the Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections, as DAP was not contesting in these elections. The PH candidates are from Parti Amanah Negara.
Yesterday, Zahid said the suggestion for DAP to amend its constitution was not his party’s position and was Nur Jazlan’s personal one.
Last month, Zahid also reiterated to Umno’s supporters that DAP has given its commitment that the party will always respect the religion of Islam as enshrined in the Constitution.