‘DAP is a multi-racial party. The party need not dilute its Chineseness just because of the criticism from our political enemies.’
Conflicts in DAP are starting to resurface as the party prepares for its national congress and the central executive committee (CEC) election in June.
DAP central committee member Ronnie Liu (below) said the party should not belittle or degrade itself just to gain Malay support.
“DAP is a multi-racial party. The party need not dilute its Chineseness just because of the criticism from our political enemies.
“We have to safeguard the culture of the party, as well as the party’s constitutional spirit, pluralistic and democratic political struggle,” he added.
“DAP is for all Malaysians. We need to cooperate with other Malay parties, but we shouldn’t degrade or portray ourselves as a non-Chinese party.
“You would not get Malay support by these approaches,” Liu said in his speech at DAP veteran Liew Ah Kim’s book launch in Klang yesterday.
Citing the voice of party grassroots and supporters, the Sungai Pelek assemblyperson urged the present leadership to take the responsibility to restore the party’s reputation.
Liu stressed the need for the party to regain support and play its role in Pakatan Harapan to unite the component parties.
He said DAP should work with multi-racial NGOs that wanted a better Malaysia in order to defeat the Perikatan Nasional “Malay government”.
Liu expressed that Harapan’s 22 months in power was disappointing and the party-hopping among politicians may cause supporters not to vote in the coming general election.
“It’s worrying. DAP and Harapan must take it seriously and find a way to make a difference.
“At the moment, I don’t see Harapan engaging or educating the new voters. This is something that all politicians need to focus on, we can’t wait until the election comes,” he added.
Harapan should not work with Dr M again
While praising Harapan’s resolutions to nominate PKR president Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister candidate and be open to cooperation with any group, Liu said the coalition should not work with Parti Pejuang Tanahair (Pejuang) and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Unfortunately, some of our leaders mentioned that they are willing to work with Pejuang. Pejuang is led by Mahathir. How can Harapan work with him again? Our supporters will leave.”
In his speech, Liu apologised for defending Mahathir before GE14 and urged other Harapan leaders to follow suit.
Meanwhile, former DAP member Hew Kuan Yau said the party should not flip-flop in order to please the right-wing Malays.
“Some leaders, when in power, said we can survive longer if we do not trigger the ‘Malay anxiety’. As a historian, I would say this is a big mistake. You have lost your own identity.
“When (Harapan) gained 95 percent of the Chinese support and majority of the Indian support, we forgot about the ones who helped us, but feel grateful towards Mahathir.
“We are a multiracial party, we should focus on the anxiety of the oppressed groups, not just the Malay anxiety,” said Hew, who is popularly known as “Superman”.
Two different election strategies have emerged in DAP since GE13 in 2013.
At that time, DAP won most of the Chinese-majority constituencies. However, the then Pakatan Rakyat failed to take power due to the lack of Malay support.
Hence, some DAP leaders believed the party should be more open by engaging the Malays.
Another group opined that DAP should not abandon its core values, such as upholding Chinese education, racial equality, opposing the New Economic Policy (NEP) and so on.
The arguments between these two groups have been ongoing and are expected to resurface as DAP holds the national congress and CEC election on June 20.
As secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is in his third and final tenure, the party election is expected to be more intense compared to previous years.
By : FION YAP – MALAYSIAKINI