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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Neutralising the DAP: A Malay political strategy

Just got back from a CNY open house in Kota Kemuning. The host is a good friend of mine since college, Lau, now a successful dentist. His wife is an accountant with a GLC.

What enchanted me is his father, Lau Sr. At 77 and a former DAP member (he left the party when Lee Lam Thye resigned in the early 1990s), he was sharp and seemed to know everything about the Opposition party.

"Why not let more Malays join the party? Sooner or later, there will be more Malays in DAP than the Chinese and Indians. When they form the majority, they will hold the key positions.

"Karpal, Chen (Man Hin), Kit Siang and others cannot deliver what they promised. They will have to vacate their respective seats when the time comes.

"Part of the reasons why Lee Lam Thye left the party was when his suggestion for DAP to open its door to more Malays was rejected by the top leadership. They (the leaders) were afraid should more Malays walk in, they will soon become the majority race in the Chinese-dominated party," Lau Sr said.

I was startled. I remember talking to Lee some times ago but he refused to reveal anything about his reasons for quitting.

"Simple, my friend. If the Malays dominate DAP, the power will be in their hands. They might also consider the party's role in domestic politics. As PAS is already a strong Malay opposition party at the Parliament, they might opt to join Barisan Nasional.

"And such an idea frightens people like Chen, Kit Siang and Karpal. Forget about the Indian members. They are always sidelined, right from the very beginning," he added.

It makes sense. But what if the Malay-dominated DAP is rejected by the non-Malays, especially the Chinese?

"Of course the Chinese in DAP will not like it. Once they lose grip on the party key positions, they will think more than twice as whether to stay or opt out, say... forming another party or join the MCA or Gerakan.

"Should the Malay-dominated DAP decides to join hands with PAS, PKR and other opposition parties, the Chinese will lose faith in DAP and this will prompt them to find other avenues. And MCA, being a largest Chinese party in Malaysia, is a good option.

"You should also bear in mind that while the Malays, irrespective of their political parties, are talking about Malay unity, the Chinese too... in this has come to their mind... will have to reconsider their position, a united Malaysian Chinese."

Well, nothing's wrong with that, I admit.

So, is it wise for more Malays to join DAP?

"Why not? This is a political strategy. The Malays outside Umno, PAS and PKR should consider this. The Malay-dominated DAP can choose to stay as an Opposition or join BN. It takes time, maybe 10 or 20 years from now. It can be attained.

"Once the Malays are in control, they can 'neutralise' the party... and there goes the government's strongest Opposition!"

Only a 30-minutes chat but it was very arousing. I am not sure how many of us share such an idea...

I remember reading Laure Paquette's 'Political Strategy and Tactics' some years ago. Will it work for Malaysia?

1 comment:

  1. I am afraid Lau Sr is still very much a race based thinker.. old stories... What we the younger generation wants is a Malaysian based party. The one that is Malaysia for all malaysian... So what is Lau Sr's problem if in the future the malays will be the dominant race... I can accept them as long as they walk the talk and act in the interest of the country as a whole and not just for the interest of their own race at the expense of others..
    Right now its ABU time...Down with UMNO BN....