History has shown that DAP can work with 'ketuanan' system - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, May 06, 2021
Malaysiakini : If a political party does not have its foundation in the
determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then
it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
| DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke made a couple of strange points
in the press recently. He said: "The debate on the direction of DAP is
small and concerns only party members” and “While we are pluralistic in
our thinking, we have never said that we must give up our cultural
Both these points are part of a larger narrative that has plagued the DAP for decades and are the talking points of Malay uber alles political operatives.
the direction of the DAP does not only concern party members but should
be of concern to all Malaysians. How DAP’s internal politics and how
members vote will determine the kind of political party that non-Malays -
and let us be honest, non-Malays are the DAP’s base - would be asked to
The internal politics of the DAP would not be an issue
if whoever led the DAP subscribed to the foundational ideas of the DAP
instead of the propaganda and toxicity that has replaced such ideas and
Therein lies the rub. The foundational ideas of the
DAP and such ideas that were once promulgated by the old warhorses of
the DAP, which Lim Kit Siang is perhaps the best example of, are no
longer considered sacrosanct in the DAP.
It became about the
vacuity of saving Malaysia, 1MDB and ejecting kleptocrats by working
with political operatives who the DAP once accused of being the biggest
thieves in the country. Blame shifting has replaced self-reflection any
time the DAP is at a crossroads.
DAP's Honest Broker
I have no idea what “cultural roots” means? Is it the “Chineseness”
that Ronnie Liu was admonished for and how do these cultural roots jive
with the Bangsa Malaysia malarkey that a certain section of the DAP
likes to go on about?
These two points neatly fold into what Umno
veteran Shahrir Abdul Samad said about the DAP not having a history of
working well with “conservatives” because the DAP is intent on pushing
secular values. Now, it is pointless quibbling when politicians use
terminology and concepts that they are not familiar with.
about the terminology for a minute, but what Shahrir said is factually
wrong. The DAP has a history of kowtowing to Malay power brokers and
mixing politics with religion.
They have political operatives who
use their faith as the foundation of their political beliefs and use
religious talking points while campaigning or rejecting egalitarian
policies when it comes to LGBTQ rights, for example, and pandering to
religious policies all the while admonishing the base for rejecting such
policies (in the name of compromise) because, at one time, the DAP
rejected them too.
The reality is 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.
I 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 pursued
This is why no matter what the DAP does, no matter
how much they bend over for the Malay political establishment, it will
never be enough. This is why we have these tensions within the DAP. The
identity politics in the DAP, like most forms of such politics, is
Why? For years, the DAP demonised the MCA for colluding with the “ketuanan types”, only to practice the same kind of power-sharing when it was their turn in the hot seat, however briefly.
DAP set the bar so high that any attempt to navigate through the
corridors of Malay power were futile because the folks who voted for the
DAP as a “secular” alternative to the race-based power-sharing model,
become disappointed by the way how DAP fit so snugly into the role they
politicised for decades.
2012, when debating with MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, DAP
secretary-general Lim Guan Eng claimed: “We should not bow to fate and
have the right to equality. We should not kneel and beg. We should be
brave enough to stand and ask for it.”
Now, remember those words
the old maverick said when defending his Malay bona fides: "We still
have to give them, but what we gave to them was very small (compared to
what the Malays got). But we could not say it then because then the
Chinese would be angry."
Or remember the time when Lim arrogantly
told MCA that its time was up, totally oblivious to the reality that his
government was funding Malay-only institutions, the religious
bureaucracy and Malay-only outreach programmes.
And he, as then
finance minister - a castrated finance minister - was feuding about
giving spare change (compared to what was given to assuage Malay
grievances) to a Chinese educational institution.
politics is part and parcel of the democratic process and the expression
of which takes many forms. What is detrimental to the democratic
process is when political parties do not stand for anything but engage
in personality politics and single-issue campaigns to gin up the base.
is all this talk of not going at it alone, but this is a strawman.
Nobody is asking for the DAP to go at it alone. What the base wants,
what they should want, is a party that, at the very least, attempts to
conform to principles that could very well save this country, instead of
pandering to political structures and all the while gaslighting its
All these issues get conflated and
then expressed as ideas of race (Chineseness) and personality politics
(the anti-Lim movement) and what we end up with is a DAP which is
defined by its political opponents and not by its secular and