I refer to the article by Kamarul Yusoff entitled “Hannah Yeoh Contoh Hipokrasi Terbesar DAP” questioning the Democratic Action Party (DAP)’s commitment to Malaysia as a secular state. The writer used the expression of my personal faith as a Christian in my book “Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey” and in my personal writings as fodder to attack the DAP. Since then, various websites and media outlets including Harakah Daily and Utusan Malaysia have propagated similar allegations and some went as far as accusing the DAP of having a Christian agenda based on my book.
These articles make it seem like my book ‘Becoming Hannah’ is a grand discovery of a secret agenda by me or the DAP. ‘Becoming Hannah’ had its soft launch in 2014 and was officially launched on 10 January 2015 (more than 2 years ago) and can be purchased online at www.gerakbudaya.com or at any major bookstores such as Kinokuniya, MPH, Popular and Times. This book records my personal journey as a young Malaysian discovering my love and responsibility for my country and my struggles of running a political campaign. This book also documents my marriage story and my new role as a wife and mother. This is why it is called ‘Becoming Hannah’ and not ‘Becoming DAP’ or ‘Becoming a Christian’.
DAP with a Christian agenda?
Secularism is the principle of the separation of the state from religious institutions and not the rejection or denial of religion. A secular state is where the Government recognises and respect each citizen’s right to practise their faith without interference from the state.
DAP’s commitment to a secular state as defined under the Federal Constitution of Malaysia is reflected by the fact that its membership is multi-ethnic and multi-religious. The party has Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and no doubt, variants of each religion, as its members and it allows its members the space to practise our own religion so long as we do not attempt to impose our faith on others or let our faith interfere with our duties as an elected representative. The DAP has a Malaysian agenda and not a Christian one.
As a practising Christian, I believe in the rule of law, justice, transparency, accountability, fairness and good governance and all these can be reflected in the legislative reforms I have pursued as an assemblyman and Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly. I reject corruption and abuses of power. These are the values I live by because of my faith in God. These are also the same values I want to see for our country. It is my belief that these values are universal and shared by all fair-minded Malaysians. The hopes I expressed in my book that more God-fearing Malaysians would return to serve this nation still holds true because brain drain remains a problem. In fact, more than ever we need people in public office who are selfless and of integrity.
I am saddened by these irresponsible and defamatory allegations against the DAP and the racial and religious card is used once again as the General Elections draw near. I have lodged a police report today and I leave it to the DAP legal bureau chief Gobind Singh Deo to advise me and the party on our legal recourse.
I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of Subang Jaya as an elected representative and my personal convictions have driven me to be diligent, honest, fair and the best I can be for my voters. I am also grateful to Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Selangor, the Menteri Besar and my fellow assemblymen for entrusting me with the role of Speaker of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly. I believe and uphold our Rukun Negara – the first 2 principles being Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan, and Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara, both of which I have steadfastly exercised and practised in the discharge of my duty as a citizen and as a politician.