DAP should drop the 'principled' party narrative - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Malaysiakini : "DAP's readiness to work with Umno proves two things: that DAP is
magnanimous and willing to put the welfare of the people as the main
agenda. Second, the accusation that DAP is anti-Malay or anti-Islam is
not true at all." - DAP deputy secretary-general and Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming
| Now that Umno has exerted dominance over Bersatu with a horribly
insincere apology for kicking the Perak Bersatu MB to the curb and
attempting to get an Umno political operative into the MB's office, we
can talk about how DAP can work with Umno.
The day will finally
come when Umno realises that this Malay uber alles experiment is a
failure in progress. Make no mistake that there inevitably will be
another occasion, when Bersatu's state and federal power structures are
plunged into another mess.
DAP's readiness to work with Umno proves two things. That after years
of demonising each other, with a good share of the blame falling on the
Umno side, there are some in Umno and DAP who understand that the two
parties with the biggest support of their ethnic communities beginning
to engage in a bipartisan manner is a good thing.
The second is
the reality that DAP has bent over backwards to support pro-Islamic and
pro-Malay policies, not to mention pro-Malay political operatives, all
while being subject to the anti-Islam and anti-Malay propaganda that
they should have tackled decades ago, instead of playing the victim card
while engaging in the same behaviour they accuse the MCA of.
would argue that Umno's propaganda that DAP is "anti-Malay" and
"anti-Islam" was beneficial to the DAP because non-Malays flocked to
their banner under the mistaken impression that secularism and
egalitarianism were the bedrock on which DAP was founded on.
when Naidu says “as a principled party, DAP should not budge from its
stand to not cooperate with any unprincipled leaders”, this is not only
ahistorical but also complete horse manure.
The DAP, by making its Faustian bargain and working with Bersatu at the time under Dr Mahathir Mohamad (above), demonstrated that working with morally-suspect and corruption-tainted politicians was not an impediment to “saving Malaysia”.
when Pakatan Harapan briefly formed the government and Bersatu was
accepting Umno frogs, the DAP bent over backwards, attempting to justify
why Bersatu's acceptance of Umno members was part of the grand plan to
This is all a matter of public record and partisans
should not bandy about ideas like “principles” and “morality” as
justification for the DAP not working with Umno.
Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj rightly points out that a change in
leadership does not necessarily mean a change of policy when it comes to
the most disenfranchised of our political system.
operatives talk of stability, what they mean is the stability of vested
political and corporate interests. What they mean is the horse-trading
that goes on when political adversaries or allies attempt to form an
Of course, the main problem with working with
Umno is that Umno is an untrustworthy ally. This latest fiasco proves
this again. Do not get me wrong. The disposing of Perak Bersatu Menteri
Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu (below) was a good deceptive move by Umno and playing PAS for fools was the cherry on the cake when it came to the fallout in Perak.
may be schadenfreude talking, but the fact that all these Malay parties
with longer political pedigrees and larger numbers in various state and
federal levels kowtowing to Bersatu was grating. As was the way how
Bersatu leaders strutted about normalising their treacherous behaviour.
is not that I think the DAP should not work with untrustworthy
political adversaries, it is just that I do not trust the DAP to convey
to their base what is really going on behind the scenes.
anything, the DAP has demonstrated a remarkable talent for bending over
backwards instead of calling out behaviours and strategies that make
alliances untenable. It is one thing working with an untrustworthy ally,
it is another thing enabling such untrustworthiness.
I know a
fair number of sitting Umno political operatives and none of them has
any reservations about working with the DAP. The same applies to
political operatives from the DAP. They see no real issue with working
with each other, besides the dodgy optics of this kind of
bi-partisanship to their respective voter bases.
understand that after decades of political warfare, what is needed are
“progressive” changes within the context of race and religion to move
this country forward.
Umno, as always, is just too shortsighted to acknowledge the political
advantages of forming alliances with the DAP, especially on a state
level. The DAP has demonstrated that it is willing to play ball with
whatever Malay-centric political and policy decisions that their Malay
“partners” need to maintain power.
Added to that is DAP's level of
competency that eludes most Malay uber alles political parties. This
should be a recipe for political success, but apparently, Umno is too
incompetent to understand that certain compromises need to be made if it
wants to return to the power-sharing formula.
We already know,
from the words of Mahathir, that the DAP was bending over backwards for
the bumiputera agenda during the Harapan administration. That the
non-Malay – read Chinese – community did not get as much from the
government as the Malay community did.
That the DAP was
subservient because it understood that Umno/PAS would use any excuse to
destabilise Mahathir’s government. So there is a blueprint for
cooperation there. Now I assume that the DAP has learnt their mistakes
and Umno has learnt what it means to be in a Malay uber alles quagmire.
the Perak fiasco has demonstrated is that Bersatu and PAS cannot trust
Umno. What Umno did should have burnt bridges, but in a typical
self-defeating manner, the Malay establishment chooses to work with
unstable elements, thinking that the gravy train has enough to offer to
does not. Bersatu is now going to find it more difficult to control
Umno and Umno is going to find it more difficult to manoeuvre with its
faction-riddled party. Not only does Umno have to worry about Bersatu,
but it also has to worry about PAS. The rakyat cannot trust anyone.
is important is that everyone who voted for whichever political party
has a voice in important policy considerations, especially when we are
in a pandemic that is wreaking havoc on conventionality.