Instead of just mechanically re-launching the MCA School of Political Studies and the forum on the Thoughts of Tun Tan Cheng Lock with empty words, it would be more worthwhile if the MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai remembers the spirit and struggle of the MCA founder and used the occasion to demonstrate that he is a worthy successor to Cheng Lock.
In 1957 under Cheng Lock’s leadership as MCA President, together with other Alliance leaders Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun V T Sambanthan, the Alliance leadership submitted a memorandum to the Reid Constitution Commission stating clearly and unequivocally that the religion the country shall be Islam with the assurance: “The observation of this principle shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practising their own religions and shall not imply the State is not a secular state”.
What has Liow and the present MCA leadership done to uphold Cheng Lock’s uncompromising principle during the Merdeka days that Malaya and now Malaysia will forever be a secular state?
Last week, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom said in a reply to the DAP MP for Sibu Oscar Ling Chai Yew that Malaysia is not a secular state due to the special position of Islam in the framework of the Federal Constitution.
On March 27, Jamil told Parliament that the federal government was ready to work with the PAS Kelantan state government to implement the hudud law in Kelantan.
On April 24, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Alor Setar that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud.
If Cheng Lock is still alive today, he would be in the forefront repudiating all these three pronouncements as totally against the fundamental principle of the Constitution as well as the commitment and guarantees given by the Alliance founders.
Is Liow living up to the memory and following in the footsteps of Cheng Lock?
If MCA leaders still honour Cheng Lock’s memory, Liow will not allow UMNO Ministers or even the Prime Minister from reneging on the word and spirit of Merdeka Constitution that Malaysia is a secular nation.
Cheng Lock would be horrified that a MCA President like Liow is only passionate about whether he could get back to the Cabinet as a Minister in the shortest possible time, hoping that Najib would be charitable enough to give the MCA three Ministers and five deputy ministers!
Is this what the 10th MCA President has been reduced to, hankering only after Cabinet positions but completely forgetting the memory and struggle of the founding MCA President, Tun Tan Cheng Lock?