PETALING JAYA: The DAP has taken Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat to task over his reported remarks that DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang could serve as Deputy Prime Minister if he converts to Islam.
Saying it reflected the Kelantan Mentri Besar’s ignorance about the Federal Constitution, DAP chairman Karpal Singh said the remarks were devoid of any substance or merit.
Karpal claimed the Constitution did not provide for a Prime Minister to be of the Malay race or one who professed Islam.
“Article 43(7) of the Federal Constitution sets out only one restriction and that is, a person who is a citizen by naturalisation or by registration under Article 17 shall not be appointed Prime Minister.
“To be appointed Prime Minister, a person has to be a citizen by operation of law, that is by birth. I would advise Nik Aziz to take time off to study the provisions of the Federal Constitution before making statements which clearly reflect his ignorance and may well confuse the people,” Karpal said in a statement here yesterday.
In a posting on his blog last week, Nik Aziz had allegedly said Lim could be the future Deputy Prime Minister if he was a devout Muslim.
Karpal said the nine Malay states in Malaysia specifically provided that no person shall be appointed Mentri Besar unless he was of the Malay race and professed Islam.
“There is no such provision in the constitutions of the states of Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
Karpal said a national leadership should conform to the constitutional provisions, not defy them.