Former minister Zaid Ibrahim has likened the fear of DAP among the Malays to being afraid of ghosts.
Zaid said he shared this with a Malay audience after being invited by DAP's Raub MP Mohamad Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz to a session with the party's leadership.
"There were 40 or so Malays in a coffee shop, with DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and several DAP officials present.
"I told the gathering that Malays were generally afraid of hantu (ghosts) but there was no real scientific basis for the fear, other than what has been told to them by their elders," Zaid said in a blog posting today.
Similarly, he said, what Malays knew about DAP were what Umno and former DAP vice-chairperson Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim, who had a fallout with the party, told them.
"My view is that Malays are neither hostile towards nor afraid of the DAP - they just don’t know enough about the party...," Zaid added.
He said Malays are likely to warm up to DAP if things are properly explained.
Zaid explained that discussing the issue is important as Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Umno had labelled DAP as "anti-Malay and anti-Islam".
"Malays are generally shy and not expressive in their outlook. They will not raise their fists to Umno to show their displeasure, but they will vote Umno out.
"Similarly, after many years of brainwashing by Umno, they might not attend a DAP ceramah or join the party as members in droves, but they might give the DAP quiet support at the ballot box," he added.
Zaid said if the opposition wants to win in the coming general election, they must have faith that working closely with the DAP can maximise its chances of forming the new government.
"If some of them are still uncomfortable with the DAP, then it’s about time they wake up because the people, including Malays, are no longer uncomfortable or afraid of the DAP.
"What the people want now is to see a structured and organised opposition so they can feel assured that Najib can be removed from power.
"They don't care if it's DAP, Parti Amanah Negara, Bersatu or PKR that does it. They want Najib out.
"Don’t complicate matters by trying to instil fear, which is how Umno practices politics," he said.
The opposition has remained fractured as Pakatan Harapan and PAS are unable to reconcile their differences.
PAS has insisted that it will not work with DAP and Amanah.- Mkini