DAP to persuade Kedah government to drop ban
The DAP has assured the people of Kedah, especially the non-Muslims, that it will persuade the PAS-led state government revoke its decision ordering entertainment outlets to close during the whole month of Ramadan.
DAP chairperson Karpal Singh said in a statement today the party was well aware of the needs of the different communities in the country, and would fight for their rights, just as it had done before the 2008 general election.
"The Pakatan Rakyat cannot afford to have policies that alienate supporters. The decision of the Kedah government should not affect non-Muslims. Any by-law which discriminates against non-Muslims will stand unconstitutional," the veteran lawyer said.
"The PAS-led Pakatan Rakyat Kedah government cannot act on its own and make decisions that affect the other component parties in the opposition coalition."
On Wednesday, the Kedah government issued a directive banning all entertainment outlets in the state from conducting their businesses during the Muslim fasting month in August.
However, all other religious activites are allowed to proceed, although the organisers are required to make the applications to district office.
The Star quoted Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak as saying that cybercafes, bowling and snooker centres would be excluded from the ban.
'DAP not abdicating its duties'
Karpal also said the DAP would not abdicate its principles, as it had in the past opposed PAS' resolve to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.
"The MCA and Gerakan stood mute when Dr Mahathir Mohamad declared Malaysia as an Islamic state at the Gerakan general assembly in September 2001.
"Both these parties owe the Chinese an explanation as to why they did not oppose that declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic state. This clearly reflects the chicanery of these parties.
"There is no doubt the decision of the Kedah government to ban 13 types of entertainment outlets during Ramadan cannot be supported and the DAP, with all the might at its command, will demand that this ban be lifted in the of the people and of Pakatan Rakyat," he said.
The Bukit Gelugor MP warned MCA and Gerakan not to take this opportunity to flex their muscles to show that they were supposedly champions of the people.
Describing these two parties as rejects, Karpal said the Chinese have lost confidence in both parties in Peninsular Malaysia and also in SUPP in Sarawak.