Party veteran criticises DAP over strained ties with PKR, working with ‘crocs’

INTERVIEW | Political relationships are based on mutual respect. It’s a two-way street, says Liew Ah Kim.

DAP veteran Liew Ah Kim is unable to comprehend how the party had contemplated forming a working relationship with Umno to form the Perak state government.

As for the strained ties between PKR and DAP following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan federal government, the 83-year-old former lawmaker stressed the importance of mutual respect.

As for the strained ties between PKR and DAP following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan federal government, the 83-year-old former lawmaker stressed the importance of mutual respect.

“In the past, you described them (Umno) as kleptocrats, but now they have become your companions?” he said in an interview with Malaysiakini.

When conflicts arise within a political alliance, Liew, who is planning on contesting in the upcoming DAP polls after a 20-year hiatus, said discussions must be held to resolve the problem.

When conflicts arise within a political alliance, Liew, who is planning on contesting in the upcoming DAP polls after a 20-year hiatus, said discussions must be held to resolve the problem.

According to the octagenarian, collaborating with Umno should not be considered as this would be for short-term gains.

“Working with Umno is not a good thing unless there is new blood in Umno. Otherwise, they are all ‘crocodiles’ that will swallow them (referring to DAP and its Harapan allies),” he added.

The political situation has remained turbulent and fluid after the fall of the Harapan government last year.

When Perak Umno ousted Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu with support from the opposition, Umno and DAP had expressed willingness to cooperate.

However, Umno eventually reconciled with Bersatu and PAS to govern the state.

Following pushback from the grassroots, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang was forced to assure them that the party remained true to its principles.

On the same note, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim is purportedly courting the support of Umno lawmakers to secure a majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

Dr M did as he pleased, DAP and the rest kept quiet

With internal conflicts and tension in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government still raging, both the ruling parties and the opposition have raised the idea of forming respective “grand coalitions”.

However, Liew is not convinced this would work.

The veteran said a “grand coalition” without a consensus on political ideology would still be unreliable and unstable.

Liew then reflected on what transpired during the 22 months Harapan was in power and noted how the parties failed to provide a check-and-balance mechanism on then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

As a result, he said Harapan parties, especially DAP, strayed from their principles.

Although the lion’s share of the blame for the collapse of the Harapan government rests on Mahathir’s shoulders, he added that the leaders of the other parties are also responsible.

According to him, the former premier did as he pleased such as holding the ‘Malay Dignity Congress’ and refusing to extradite controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik.

“Mahathir’s motives were clear. He wanted to build his own kingdom.

“The smallest party (Bersatu) wielded the greatest power, and yet DAP, PKR, and Amanah were listening to Mahathir and were afraid to speak out,” he added.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Liew reiterated the controversy surrounding the introduction of Jawi in the Bahasa Malaysia syllabus for vernacular schools.

He accused DAP leaders of failing to defend vernacular education, which is a right enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“DAP did not stop him (Mahathir) and just let the ‘old man’ do whatever he wanted. You (DAP) did not do what should have been done and (instead) changed your position.

“This (vernacular education) is a basic right. You (DAP) should have firmly defended it… But you did not care,” he lamented.

By : WONG KAI HUI – MALAYSIAKINI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s