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Uncommon Sense with Wong Chin Huat: Spotlight on DAP

THE media spotlight has turned to the DAP in recent weeks over the party’s sacking of Tee Boon Hock, Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu‘s special assistant. Tee had allegedly issued letters of recommendation using Liu’s official letterhead and seal to help family members secure contracts. Liu was severely reprimanded by a DAP disciplinary committee for the incident.

Meanwhile, Selangor speaker Teng Chang Khim faced disciplinary proceedings due to his “OMG, the real culprit is freed” tweet. Teng told the disciplinary committee he was tweeting about a movie character and not about Liu and Tee.

The Nut Graph asks political scientist Wong Chin Huat how he thinks the DAP’s leadership performed in these events, and what the DAP‘s democratic health is like as a whole.

TNG: How did the DAP’s leadership perform in this recent series of events? Are the revelations surrounding Ronnie Liu merely part of an internal power struggle?

Wong Chin Huat: The DAP tried its best to do damage control by sacking Tee immediately, but the problem is more complicated. Support letters are part of Malaysian political culture. Ronnie Liu or Tee would not be the first people to have issued support letters, nor will they be the last.

Support letters may serve some pragmatic purpose, and stopping them will require alternatives; for example, a comprehensive audit on public administration. But such a move was not proposed in the rush to do damage control. To many, Tee is indeed guilty, but was also chosen as a sacrificial lamb.

Teng

Unnecessarily dragging in Teng Chang Kim, who wittily got away with his “movie tweet” explanation, made the DAP’s disciplinary committee hearing look like a badly managed public relations exercise. It also revealed that senior party leaders don’t talk to each other, which is quite an open secret.

But factionalism and power struggles are normal in politics. Power and the prospect of winning greater power will help them to close ranks or restrain their antagonism. One need not read too much into it.

What is interesting is that errant members from the DAP and other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties are mostly grassroots-level politicians. They are either local councillors or special assistants to lawmakers. You may blame the party leadership or lawmakers for trusting the wrong people. For me, I see it as the consequence of not having local elections.

If local elections were held, the real power would rest with people who can win the popular mandate, not those who know how to impress the senior leadership. Of course, the party may still pick the wrong candidates, as they did for parliamentary and state elections, but the pressure of facing the scrutiny of the electorate and political opponents will make them more cautious.

There have been media murmurings about the Lim Kit Siang-Lim Guan Eng leadership, and also talk of in-fighting in Perak where cousins Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming hold prominent positions. Are the charges of factionalism and nepotism justified? Does the  DAP suffer from a lack of democracy in its leadership?

I don’t think it is fair to label the Lim father-and-son or the Ngeh-Nga cousins as proof of nepotism. They are more like the Kennedys or the Bushes.

At least Lim Guan Eng has proven his worth in forming a credible team to lead the party into an unprecedented victory. This is a fact that even his critics in the party would acknowledge. If he was once seen as his father’s shadow, he is certainly more than his father’s son. For one, the junior Lim knows how to win the Malay-Muslim electorate over. He is genuinely popular among the PR’s Malay Malaysian supporters.

Gobind

Similarly, Nga is sharp and articulate. He is a good orator and more well-known than his senior cousin. Likewise, Gobind Singh is now known as a politician and a lawyer in his own right, not just as the son of Karpal Singh.

Factionalism is another issue. The DAP is famous for having leaders position themselves as proxies of certain top leaders and who alienate other state or local leaders. However, factionalism only becomes an issue when the winners take everything. As long as there is enough room for different factions to survive, the losers will not be eliminated and the factionalism will not be deadly to the party.

Formally, the DAP is democratic, where members can elect their leaders up to state level. Even Lim Guan Eng and his wife, a sitting assemblyperson, once lost in the Malacca party elections. Such democratic practice, however, does not necessarily translate into the selection of candidates for the general election. In the past, candidate selection was decided by only three top leaders. The selection of “parachuters” or senior leaders’ right-hand persons over local leaders often caused a lot of resentment.

The solution to this problem is decentralisation. There should perhaps be primary elections within local branches to choose candidates. The senior leaders can still recruit young talent to run, but this cherry-picked lot will have to win grassroots support.

The DAP is often branded a Chinese chauvinist party by Umno, even though it is a non-race-based party. What makes the DAP an easy target for the chauvinist label? What hinders it from establishing itself firmly as a multiracial party, especially among Malay Malaysians?

Political parties are often defined by their opponents. The DAP exists mainly to challenge Umno’s hegemony, a role expected of the MCA, Gerakan and the MIC, which have all failed miserably.

The DAP’s chauvinist label, principally given by Umno, stems from its failure to oppose Umno and defend Malay-Muslim interests at the same time. Until 2008, it failed to show how “anti-Umno” and “pro-Malay” were reconcilable. This is ideologically a challenging task – the most successful “anti-Umno-yet-pro-Malay” position so far is the Islamist one held by PAS.

Theoretically, two other possible positions would be “Malay-left” and “Malay-liberal”, but neither of these constituencies can be easily cultivated. Even Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is not hugely successful in this sense.

Liew

For party strategist Liew Chin Tong, the DAP’s future lies in defining itself as an urban party rather than a Chinese Malaysian party. This means it will need to cultivate a pro-urban-Malay position and image. In the long run, it is the only way for the DAP to survive because the urban population is increasingly multiethnic. Thanks to the administrative power and resources in Penang, and earlier in Perak, the DAP is now slowly building its pro-Malay/Muslim credential.

It, however, faces a new challenge: the PR is now trapped in an ethno-religious division of labour that mirrors the Barisan Nasional: PAS in the Malay Malaysian heartland, PKR in mixed areas, and the DAP in urban Chinese Malaysian centres. So, some DAP leaders may be reluctant to water down its Chinese/non-Malay/non-Muslim appeal. Also, ambitious Malay Malaysians may not be keen to join the DAP because of the perceived limited opportunities. So, Liew’s far-sighted direction may not be able to materialise.

In their answers to The Nut Graph‘s MP Watch project, DAP MPs were arguably the most principled and consistent in their answers on issues of democracy. Are DAP members better trained in democratic issues compared with other political parties? If so, why?

Yes. Among the major opposition parties in West Malaysia, only the DAP and PAS have veteran oppositionists, but PAS’s language is more coated in Islamist discourse rather than a democratic one.

Inclusive democracy is a new language to even the many open-minded PAS leaders because their constituents are used to a more monolithic worldview. They worry that explicit commitment to a plural democracy – for example, over whether Malaysia should be an Islamic state – will lead to accusations of them abandoning the faith and community.

Meanwhile, many PKR leaders are new kids on the block in opposition politics or in politics, being former BN leaders or politically inactive prior to the last elections. Like PAS, an outright defence of civil rights and democratic values is something many PKR leaders have yet to learn. While this is not new for former non-governmental organisation activists in PKR, these former activists still worry that the more conservative segment of their constituency won’t buy it.

In contrast, the DAP can speak principally on most issues because both their leaders and constituents have been speaking in this language for decades.

What kind of second-echelon leaders are emerging in the DAP? Who are the young leaders that we can be hopeful about? Is the party doing enough to cultivate and develop its young leaders?

Yeoh

Yeoh

The shining second-echelon leaders emerging in the DAP share some characteristics: well-educated or professionals, articulate and media-savvy, able to cross different ethno-linguistic constituencies. Among the parliamentarians, Tony Pua, Liew Chin Tong and Teo Nie Ching are the names to watch. Among the state assemblypersons, Hannah Yeoh is perhaps the most shining one. Dr Boo Cheng How in Johor Baru is another first-term lawmaker with a lot of potential and far-sightedness, but he is an old party member and is not so young.

The DAP is keen to cultivate young leaders. And the senior leadership, from Lim Kit Siang to Lim Guan Eng, is generous in giving opportunities to young blood.

However, many young talents leave when they find themselves playing the role of party dissident and attracting the hostility of loyalists. In that sense, Teng Chang Kim, Boo Cheng How and Ng Swee Lim are great assets to the DAP because they prove they are able to survive well in the party even though they are not from the party’s mainstream.

Wong Chin Huat is a political scientist by training and a journalism lecturer by trade.

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32 Responses to “Uncommon Sense with Wong Chin Huat: Spotlight on DAP”

  1. Dr Syed Alwi says:

    Dear TNG,

    The DAP can never attract the Malays. Why? Because the Malays have a different aspiration, a different value system and even a different world view from the Chinese.

    Malays place a high premium on Islamic matters because the Malays are mostly conservative Muslims. But the Chinese are mainly secular in their outlook and the English-educated Chinese are rather Westernised too.

    Therefore – this divergence of aspirations is responsible for the lack of Malay support for the DAP.

    Only Umno and PAS caters towards Malay taste-buds !

    • Dr Syed Alwi says:

      By the way, the PAP in Singapore also faces the same difficulties in attracting suitable Malays to join its ranks. You see, the Malays cannot be separated from Islam. For as long as the DAP and the PAP are secular, they will have problems in attracting the Malays.

      • Ashraf says:

        How come Umno lost all 3 seats in 1963 election?

        • Dr Syed Alwi says:

          Dear Ashraf,

          It might interest you to know that we are now living in the year 2010. 1963 was 47 years ago. In that 47 years, the PAP has changed much. I suggest that you visit the Singapore Cyberspace and read about what Singaporeans actually think of today’s PAP. Try The Online Citizen or The Temasek Review or Singapore Surf etc etc. Stop living in the past.

          • Kong Kek Kuat says:

            @ Syed Alwi

            But you said, “by the way, the PAP in Singapore also faces the same difficulties in attracting suitable Malays to join its ranks. You see, the Malays cannot be separated from Islam. For as long as the DAP and the PAP are secular, they will have problems in attracting the Malays.”

            Well, it´s obvious that you were already wrong about the PAP, because by your admission, the PAP did attract the Malays 47 years ago when the Malays and Islam were inseparable.

            So, if the PAP did it when the Malays were not separated from Islam, DAP can also do it today where the Malays are still not separated from Islam. This means your opinion is not reliable.

            Can you make a statement here to all TNG readers and editors here that the PAP does not have any Malay members?

            I can make a statement to all that UMNO not only does not have any non-Malay member, it doesn´t even have ALL the Malay-Malaysians as members.

        • Kong Kek Kuat says:

          Yes Syed Alwi… why ah?

      • koala says:

        I feel Malays can never be separated from Islam because it is a fact of law. But pretend we were like Indonesia where faith isn’t governed the way it is here, it possibly could mean a different outcome.

    • Malaysian says:

      Dear Syed Alwi,

      History will show you that in this world everything changes. Whether it is culture, religion, human right and what not. EVERYTHING CHANGES.

      Perhaps, the best person that could educate you would be our own [previous prime minister of mixed heritage, Mahathir]. Remember his book. Melayu mudah lupa. The book was crap but the title is useful in your case.

      In politics, everything is about strategy. Ask any white supremacist whether they would have thought that Barack Obama would have won and become the president of America, they would laugh at your face. Yet today, Barack Obama is the President of America.

      Its all about strategy and approach, Syed Alwi. In the information age, one needs brains.

    • farha says:

      “Malays place a high premium on Islamic matters because the Malays are mostly conservative Muslims. ..”

      Yes but there are an increasing number of Malay moslems who realize that the brand of Islam in Malaysia is administrative Islam powered by JAKIM, JAIS and all other JA’s put together.

      Lack of Malay support for DAP happens because some politicians choose to highlight racial sentiments (doesn’t matter which political parties they’re in!).

      No one party will gain the support of one particular race and get away with it! One day, Malaysians will realise that one needs to look beyond race and go back to the spirit of Perlembagaan Malaysia. )Only in Malaysia, mate!!!

  2. Bad Rabbit says:

    People have to remember Barry Goldwaters statement that in Politics “perception is reality.” Now there are upsides to this and as the DAP has proven, there are very difinite downsides to it too.

    The DAP reacted to this situation DEFENSIVELY, their first response was to defend both the party and the members. In doing so, when faced with hostile government controlled media, they lost pace with the news cycle. They lost control of the discussion.

    The sacking of Tee Boon Hock looked as if it had been forced on to them, not decided on based on any evidence. Ronnie Liu continues to look like he is being protected by vested interests inside the DAP.

    To reap the benefits of the Upside to perception is reality, they must destruction test their own party, representatives and policies.

    The first thing they need to do is review all aspects of their internal rules and policies, not from the DAP’s persepective, but from the perspective of BN. They must look to try and destroy themselves.
    - What aspect of their internal policies are against transparency?
    - What aspect of their internal policies may well allow corruption?
    - What aspect of their internal policies are usable against us and why?
    Once these are identified, they can put the fixes in place. Do not assume you are bulletproof until you’ve fired every bullet you can at yourself.

    The reality is that when the press and news media in Malaysia would report Lim Guan Eng breaking wind as an insult to the Agong, you cannot be defensive. You must have a media team which is wargaming worst case scenario’s continuously, who have a response to all situations ready and approved by the Party Leadership. The can then be pulled out at a moments notice, adjusted to the particular situation and then delivered to the press on an OFFENSIVE basis.

    The DAP should have immediately announced a review to start within 24 hours led by a non-DAP lawyer (or maybe even a British/Australian QC). The party does not and will not condone corruption whether for Billions of Ringgits like the PKFZ case or RM 30 duit kopi at the road side.

    If the results of this inquiry prove criminal actions, then they will hand over the results of their inquiry over to the Police/MACC. If they are not criminal, the person will be dealt with by their own internal disciplinary process. However, the results will be published publicly, including all evidence.

    They can then remind the world at large that their opposition who are braying for blood have still yet to settle X number of similar cases and that people in glass-houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    The fact that BN, I’m sure LS will disagree violently, are so desperate to damage DAP shows that this is the one party that scares them the most. Penang is basically being run effectively and more efficiently than it was under BN and BN has zero credibility at this point.

    UMNO can only offer a politician who is smeared by his own racist statements and can only appeal to UMNO faithful. Gerakan politicians are smeared by shady deals done in the past. The MIC is a spent political force who cannot be voted in unless the PM baby sits them; until Samy is finally toppled they have zero credibility. PPP used to be a political party, now they are merely the Kayveas fan-club.

    The only way they can win is by causing the DAP to implode, if they cannot, they will not win back Penang. Knowing this, DAP must be whiter than white, they must be more transparent, more democratic, and cleaner than anyone, PKR and PAS included. They must remember that Offense is the best Defence. They’ve been caught with their pants down on this, they cannot allow it to happen again.

  3. TooMuch says:

    Dear Prof C H Wong, Your perspective on the current issues within DAP is highly interesting. However, allow me align your commentary regarding the issue of ethnicity of Malaysians. I think this debate have been “flogged to death” since a current Minister in our country first claim that he is his “race” first and a Malaysian second. He is worried that he will lose support from the ethnic group concerned if he claims otherwise. However to many Malaysians, we are and we want to be proud of being Malaysians first. May I suggest that people of Malaysia remember to acknowledge ourselves as Malaysian Malays, Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians, Malaysian Ibans, Malaysian Kadazans from now. Otherwise we continue to hear some empty vessels blabbering for Malaysians to go “home”? These clowns continues to have amnesia and forget that Malaysians’ “home” is here and not in some circus.

    • siew eng says:

      Then it should be “Iban Malaysians”, etc. a la “Native Americans”, with “Malaysians” as the noun and “Iban” the adjective. The way to remember the correct order of words is to remember that the name of the political party that claims to represent Chinese Malaysians is as ‘salah’ as the party’s raison d’etre.

  4. m.k. says:

    Compared to all the other Pakatan component parties, I still hold DAP in high esteem due to its sound policies and consistency.

    For Malaysia, the only way ahead is to put Pakatan Rakyat in Putrajaya at GE13. BN has outlived its usefulness and is actually a spent force that is only good at sloganeering!

    • Dr Syed Alwi says:

      Dear m.k.,

      What is your view regarding PAS and its refusal to back down on the Islamic State issue ? If Pakatan takes over Putrajaya – will you still support a PAS that is determined to make Malaysia an Islamic State complete with Hudud laws ?

  5. Bad Rabbit says:

    Sorry Dr. Alwi,

    Joining a political party is one thing, sometimes voting for it is more meaningful.

    There may be many Singaporean Muslims who do not join PAP, but there are many who do. The vast majority of those who do not join still vote PAP.

    Singaporean Muslims may not be separated from Islam, but they don’t want to be separated from improvements to their HDB blocks either. So they’re quite intellectually capable of separating Church and State when it comes to voting patterns.

    Furthermore, without Malays in Malaysia, it would have been statistically impossible for the DAP to have gained as many votes as they did. The DAP may not attract Malay voters to join its ranks, (because it’s secular,) but why then did such a large proportion of the Malay population vote for them?

    Could it be that many Malays in Malaysia are also intellectually capable of separating church and state when it comes to voting too? Just like in many parts of the hated West, where Muslims vote for Political Parties which are not openly and avowedly Muslim? Why do I have greater faith in the capability, honesty and sincerity of Muslims in democracies than you do?

    • Dr Syed Alwi says:

      Sorry to you Bad Rabbit,

      I do not think that the Singapore Malays are especially fond of the PAP. Singapore is a one-party state where the Opposition is crushed into oblivion. In many constituencies – we have walk-overs. And besides, Singapore has racial quotas in HDB estates. These estates cannot have more than a certain number of Malays etc.

      My thesis regarding Islam and the Malays stands. That is precisely why – just a few days ago – the DAP and PAS had an open argument regarding the Islamic State and Hudud.

      Whether Singapore or Malaysia or Indonesia – Malays within the Nusantara have become much more Islamically conscious – whereas the Overseas Chinese in the Nusantara have become more Westernised.

      This is what is tearing the fabric of our society. It’s the same even in Singapore.

      • Gloria Ayob says:

        Dr Alwi, are the Malays afraid of so-called ‘Western’ secularism because they are becoming more ‘Islamically conscious’, or is it the other way around: are they becoming more ‘Islamically conscious’ because they are afraid of ‘Western’ secularism? That is, is it a growing intrinsic appreciation of Islam that is the force driving the Malay voting patterns you allege, or is it a fear of the Other (Western/Chinese/etc) that is causing Malays to rally around a politically charged conception of Islam?

        Until not so long ago, a common enough view in Malaysia was that you could be both a good Muslim and live in a democratic society that values human life and liberty by upholding pluralism. The politically charged conception of Islam we are faced with today is a relative newcomer on the Malaysian scene, which suggests it is malleable. For this reason, I think the DAP would not be engaged in a futile attempt if they continue to try to engage moderate Malays on the grounds of toleration and a shared respect for civil & political rights for all. The politically charged conception of Islam that is currently predominant is neither a theological nor a historical inevitability.

        Taking the TNG article above at face value, I’d suggest that the DAP aren’t offering us a non-Muslim alternative; they are offering us an alternative way of thinking about the relation between being a practising Muslim/Hindu/Christian/Buddhist and being a member of a multi-cultural polis. And there’s all to play for: as the ongoing worldwide debate on this question shows, there is no universally accepted ‘correct’ interpretation of Islam according to which Muslims have to live in a theocracy in order to be good Muslims. New ways of thinking about this question are being proposed as we speak, and the more points of view, the better off we all are.

      • Cadraver says:

        It’s a little bemusing to why Dr Syed Alwi would think that Singaporean Malays are the only group against Singapore’s PAP. For the record, opposition rallies in the island nation seem to be highly popular amongst all communities there, particularly that of the Worker’s Party.

        Even if they don’t win all the votes, it would be premature to say that only one race doesn’t tie in with PAP policies. But that’s a separate issue, and I do believe we’re talking about Malaysia, and not Singapore.

      • Kong Kek Kuat says:

        @ Syed Alwi

        You mean like the Malays who stomped on the Malaysian flag which was smeared with faeces in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta?

        Kononnya, “whether Singapore or Malaysia or Indonesia – Malays within the Nusantara have become much more Islamically conscious.”

        Not very Islamic and united with Malaysia, if you ask me.

        You can “try” to sell your fantasy of a united Nusantara to everyone here by talking about the Malays as if they are the same across the Nusantara. But I doubt anyone is fooled.

      • Anak Malaysia says:

        Bad Rabbit is spot on in his/her comment.

        Things are really shaping up in Malaysia whereby more Malaysians are no longer voting for race-based parties anymore. March 8 was a true wake-up call and I truly think things would change dramatically in the 13th GE.

        One more thing, please remember that there were so many non-Muslims who voted for PAS and PKR in the 12th GE!

        And PAS knows that it will never be in control without the votes of non-muslims. The same goes with the DAP!

        The situation in Singapore is very different because the P** has kept the people in a lull — dissent is non-existent, zero corruption, almost zero crime, everything is super duper efficient, and most importantly, economic growth and progress is there, and they encourage people to immigrate to Singapore by giving them PR status to ensure these people will continue voting for them.

        Just use Singapore as a mirror image of Malaysia, Singapore has a non-muslim population of 70 plus percent (estimate). In Malaysia, Muslims make up close to 60 percent (not including bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak who are Christians)

        So what if there is a racial quota for HDB flats in Singapore? In Malaysia there is also a housing quota and even discount for bumiputeras. Also, a 7% discount for bumiputera buyers (it doesn’t matter even if you are millionaire bumiputera, you still get a discount!).

        Hmmm, some food for thought…

      • SunnyOoi says:

        Dr Syed, I sincerely hope muslims in Malaysia take Islam more seriously than you have implied. Then there is no excuse for any of them to continue voting for UMNO whom obviously practices corruption. Of course I also do not expect them to vote for DAP.

      • Ashraf says:

        Syed,

        Why did UMNO lose all 3 Malay-majority seats to PAP in the 1963 election?

      • Ellese A says:

        Chin Huat’s justification for nepotism is nebulous. The question is, had their fathers/relatives not been in such a position, would they have arrived to such stead?

        In all cases of nepotism, people justify [it by saying the person's] capability supercedes family ties. After all weren’t these the same words Pak lah used to justify Khairy? How was it the same argument was previously rejected for UMNO, yet justifiable now for DAP? The logic doesn’t follow. If you are against nepotism and cronyism, why is it wrong for your opponents to practice it, but right for your allies? Puzzling…

      • Oh Malaysia says:

        To Syed Alwi, please do not speak for the Singapore Malays(SM) for they are a breed of a different kind compared to Malaysian Malays. The SM are capable of differentiating religion from politics and they think in terms of universality.Not like Malaysian Malays for whom they and their religion should be accorded the highest order.

        They don’t think in entirety but always attach racism and religion into any effort done or to be done by any party. The Malaysian Malays, including you, do not subscribe to the universal truth and adaptability, for you look through the eyes of religion and race.

        • mnz says:

          Hi Oh Malaysia,

          How many Singaporean Malays do you know? Only the elite, or only from newspapers? And oh, by the way, Dr Syed Alwi is a Singaporean.

  6. Bad Rabbit says:

    I never said they were overly fond of the PAP Doctor, I simply said they were not so dogmatic in their world view that they could not separate religion from electoral decisions.

    Why the obfuscation?

    Your thesis only stands because, (as is becoming increasingly common with you,) you stepped around arguments you cannot refute. You completely avoided the increased Malay votes for the DAP in the last General Election in Malaysia. Or were these simply the wrong kind of Muslims for you Doctor and therefore beneath your notice?

    Also, please for everyone’s sake, not least your own, it is way past time to ditch sterile, vapid words and epithets such as “The West” or “Westernised.”

    The Chinese have NOT westernised, either in China or the diaspora; how insulting to an entire race; they have simply modernised. As have other Asian countries such as Korea, Taiwan and Japan. All are countries which value and keep their traditions and cultures alive and would be likely to get very upset if you described them as “Western.”

    As for the argument over PAS’ plans to introduce Hudud, frankly, so what?

    It has been the plan of PAS to introduce Hudud since their inception. Not only DAP opposes this plan, even UMNO, the true defender of Malays, (in their view,) despite having had powers to change the constitution for years never did.

    If implementation of Hudud was the desire for all Muslims, how did this not happen, unless UMNO themselves are opposed?

    And how could that be when UMNO members are Muslims themselves?

  7. Spiritual realist says:

    I wonder if an agreement can be struck by adhering to what I call universal principles. That one does not use force or coercion. That the spirit and not the letter of agreements be respected.

    If this becomes the fundamental tenet then it must be left to the muslims to convince the other stakeholders in the country that they have something we all want. I think there are reasonable grounds for non-muslims to fear Islam.

    Since we are all currently not free to choose with so much disinformation, and given the current atmosphere of threats and counter threats, It is better to just stick to the general agreement arrived at by Pakatan.

    Whether Malaysia should be an Islamic State or not is an argument for the next phase. When we are free to choose, when we have the relevant information to make thinking choices.

    To try and impose it now will only cause more alarm. If Islam is that good, why fear peoples’ choices?

    I agree with many writers that we need to put first things first. The corruption is blindly robbing our people of their riches. If the internal bickering continues there will be no cake left. For the Bumiputras or any other Malaysian.

    I think for now it may be better to agree to disagree but without any preconditions. I know many Malay friends who are just as anxious not to live in a Islamic state as non-muslims. Let them and non-muslims voice out their concerns when there is the freedom to talk without fear. Not now. Not in this climate of fear and distrust.

  8. mnz says:

    Hi DAP,

    Here’s a few tips on how to win over the Malays:

    1. With regard to your bent to do away with affirmative policies, offer the Malays something better in return: set up a DAP Business Advisory unit, a unit that helps Malays and other underrepresented ethnic groups to participate more effectively in small businesses. The unit will provide free consultation, and guide and help any makcik/pakcik interested in running a shop lot. Tell them that the Malays will do better that way, as the DAP has the capacity to channel useful expertise from the Chinese business community, and the they won’t have to rely on jobs in government department anymore.

    2. You need an in-house Malay culture/Islamic advisory unit. Hire any ustaz who can tell you a thing or two about what to say or not to say.

    3. Look for or groom Malay leaders to act as stooges (or [sycophants]) within the party. You can learn a thing or 2 from PAP here.

    4. If you implement the above, you may not need PAS anymore; you can then stay true to your secular principles, cut off your partnership with PAS, and you can count on secular Malay-Muslim like me to vote for you.

  9. Ellese A says:

    If DAP wants not to be seen fighting for Chinese [Malaysian] only, they must not be hypocritical. It cannot condemn a Malay [Malaysian] fighting for it’s constitutional right as racists, but protect the Chinese who fight for their cultural and language rights. It cannot condemn NEP as racists, but not the cause of it (ie the racists business practices of the Chinese clans). It cannot claim to fight for Malaysians first when it supports segregation of our young kids via vernacular schools.

    It should not also conduct their meetings in Chinese rather than the national language.

    Until DAP has the nerve to criticise these Chinese groups as racists, why is it so difficult to see why people see it as a race-based political party?

    • Eric says:

      Dear Ellese;

      what “constitutional rights” are you referring to exactly? Would you mind quoting the article(s) in the constitution and the phrases?

      Thank you.

    • Eric says:

      Dear Ellese A;

      talking of vernacular schools, I have to agree with you. Unfortunately, segregation does not stop at young kids and vernacular education. Just to be clear then, please confirm you support the following:
      1) the integration of SJKC and SJKT into normal SK
      2) likewise for Sekolah Agama
      3) similarly all MARA tertiary institutions should be open to ALL Malaysian citizens, irrespective of race and religion
      4) same goes for MRSM (which by the way are unconstitutional anyway)

      I personally do. Thanks in advance.

      (same comment as in http://www.thenutgraph.com/the-parade-of-%E2%80%9Cmuslim-sensitivities%E2%80%9D-where-is-it-taking-us/#comment-20477)

  10. truth says:

    We vote [for] PR just to teach BN a lesson…nothing more, nothing less.


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