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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Let’s be fair to DAP

 

From Moaz Nair

“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. We must not let this happen here.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Using DAP as a threat to scare the Malays has become a political cliche among some politicians from the Malay-based political parties.

Ironically, almost all Malay-based parties and Malay leaders have worked with DAP in Malaysian politics. With the present political uncertainties in the country, post-15th general election will probably see Malay-based political parties again working with DAP, as no single party is likely to form the government without roping in their adversaries.

Possibly, the country will then see a unity government and this will augur well for it.

Malaysian politics must be one of a kind in the world where race and religion are often overtly used by some political parties to seek power. DAP is often used as the bogeyman by the Malay-based political parties, enough to scam the naive and gullible voters in the country for politicians to achieve their political goals.

Speeches among some failing politicians do not lack the habit of stereotyping the narrative that DAP can be a threat to their race and religion. Sowing hatred for DAP in the name of politics is not going to bring any economic benefits to the nation. What more, not all Malaysians will fall to a political cheat that DAP is a threat to the Malay race, Islam and the royalty.

A political ploy

Politics in the country has evolved for many years since independence and it has led to Malays being split into many political parties. When these parties of single race and religion squabble among themselves to seek power and dominance over each other, DAP is needlessly made the punching bag.

This is a political ploy to divert attention from the reality and hoodwink the masses. The people have come to realise that this is all a game of power and has nothing to do with racial unity in the real sense or that DAP will arrogate Malay political power in the country.

If truth be told, it’s the fear of losing power and Malay support that some Malay-based parties are demonising DAP, even to the extent of describing the latter as “extreme”.

DAP is a multi-racial party. Never in the history of DAP’s party manifesto has it shown any aversion towards the Malays, Islam or the royal institution.

The party, on the other hand, has set a lofty principle that the country should be governed with full accountability and that race and religion should not be the stumbling block to progress. People of all races and religions should have a fair share of the nation’s wealth and opportunities.

To DAP, deserving Malaysians irrespective of their race or religion should be acknowledged as rightful citizens and no Malaysian should be discriminated against based on race or religion.

Disparaging DAP, hence, is not going to make the party less popular among sensible Malaysians. In fact, Malay-based political parties working with DAP would be an asset for the country, as the latter has many capable no-nonsense leaders who could help bring progress to the nation.

The clarion call for unity among the dominant Malay parties after the 14th general election has been confined to race and religion. Yet the nation sees the three major Malay-based parties – Umno, PPBM and PAS – wrangling among themselves, each seeking dominance over the other. DAP is not at all part of this equation, yet the party is without reason impugned by some Malay political leaders for their own internal glitches.

Interestingly, the country is not short of Malay-based political parties. Pejuang and Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra), among others, for their political mileage, have joined in the fray chorusing the same tune – Malay unity and that DAP is a “thorn in the side”. With almost half a dozen Malay-based parties vying for support from the Malay race, it only proves that Malay unity in politics is just a utopian idea and it can never come about. It has, in fact, divided the Malay race politically.

A climate of political uncertainty

If there is a genuine wish to bring together the Malay race, then all these existing Malay-based political parties should be merged into a single entity. Disband them all and form one political entity representing the Malays.

Nevertheless, without a shred of doubt, this is not going to happen. The political reality is that each party wants to be dominant despite all of them claiming to champion the same cohort of people – Malay race and Islam.

The nation now sees the multiple parties representing the Malays as just a false façade filled with pretence. The perception among the younger generation is that the ultimate aim of these parties is not for the race but more of self-seeking and political grandiosity.

The present political spats going on among the Malay-based parties in the ruling coalition is quite disturbing. This has unwittingly led to political instability in the country. It has shaped a climate of political uncertainty, creating fear among investors.

Investors’ perception currently is that religion and race have become a divisive force in the society and this has made them skip the country. Even many local-based industries and entrepreneurs are moving out to other countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore to invest.

Still, the silver lining is that not all Malaysians subscribe to politics of race and religion. There are political parties that are multiracial and they seem to have support from those who see politics from a more pragmatic perspective.

Intrinsically, multiracial parties are gaining traction when the younger generation are fed up seeing the never-ending tiffs among political parties that are race or religion based. These are Malaysians who have a bigger ambition to see the country stable and developed economically.

Seeing the Chinese community more economically affluent in the country, the blame cannot be put on DAP. The Chinese are a resilient group of people wherever they are and they do not need DAP to be economically well off. It’s the innate nature of the Chinese, whether they are affiliated to MCA, Gerakan, PKR or DAP, to excel in business. Envying the Chinese for their success should not point to branding DAP as an extreme political party.

Most stable political party

DAP, for that matter, is a result-oriented party. There are reasons why DAP has become the most stable political party in the country. The party comprises some of the finest young political leaders in the country. Penang under DAP is just a living example. Good governance has made Penang one of the most successful states in the country. Penang has been internationally acknowledged as the best state governed in the country by a team of competent politicians.

DAP believes in being prudent and accountable in governance. It advocates transparency in governance and that the country must do away with the corrupt and obscure policies that only benefit a few select cronies at the expense of other deserving Malaysians.

The younger generation sees DAP as a political party from entirely a different perspective. This generation is educated and well exposed to the media. They can differentiate between a political party or government that does not subscribe to competency, accountability and transparency and that which does.

It is not surprising then that the younger generation is resorting to DAP and multi-racialism to bring better governance and prosperity to the country. For this reason, DAP today is fast becoming popular among the Malays and other races.

Complement the governing of the country

The younger generation and educated Malaysians in general are convinced by DAP’s sincerity and they have no fear being part of this team to see a fair and honest administration of the country.

They are aware that the less than 18% of parliamentary seats DAP generally garners during general elections is not going to pull to pieces the political structure of the country. It can in effect help complement the governing of the country helmed by Malay leaders. Thus, there is no resounding reason why Malays have to turn away from DAP and brand the party as extreme.

Malaysians should realise that politics of race and religion, social injustice, unbridled
corruption and abuse of power are destroying the country – not DAP. - FMT

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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