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Mar 13, 2008

DAP its own worst enemy

The Malays are prepared to accept a Chinese Menteri Besar. The Malays are prepared to accept a Chinese Menteri Besar even if that Chinese is from DAP. And the Malays left it entirely to Tuanku to decide if Tuanku wants a Malay or Chinese Menteri Besar, never mind from which political party he may be from.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The last few days, while everyone was still in euphoria and celebrating the recent 'victory' in the 12th general election, a few Malays who can be regarded as from amongst the elite, intellectual, progressive and privileged-class were busy meeting and planning preparations for the next general election due in 2013 if this government goes the full five-year term. Yes, even before the Perak and Selangor state governments could take their oath of office, this handful of people were already hard at work contemplating the next election in five years time though most of these 'concerned' Malays do not even know if they are going to still be alive five years from now.

The plan was simple. Leave PKR to its own devises and allow it to sort out its affairs. After all, PKR has Anwar Ibrahim and who better than this one-time Finance Minister cum Deputy Prime Minister to sort out the party that was born out of his six years incarceration. DAP and PAS, however, would need some weaning. And they would have to be cajoled and coaxed into a massive image makeover from the present Ketuanan Cina or Chinese chauvinism and Islamic fundamentalist or extremist/Taliban baggage that they are currently carrying.

The make-up of this group of Malays was quite a mixed bag. There were Umno die-hards, civil society movements types, revolutionary wannabes; basically not the usual Malays you would meet in a mosque or government department. But they were Malays and Muslims nevertheless. The only difference about these Malays as opposed to the 'usual' Malays was that they all shared one thing in common -- they would like to see emerge in Malaysia a single 'race' that no longer carried the label of Malay, Chinese and Indian and who were no longer separated by religious differences and intolerance.

I woke up early this morning to start updating Malaysia Today and after a ten-hour stint left for a 6.00pm meeting followed by a dinner appointment. I returned home at 1.00am and thought that I could at last jump into bed and get a good night's sleep. Twenty hours is, after all, a long haul and a 57 year old man like me needs as much beauty sleep as he can get. But sleep eludes me. I have been told that there are problems with forming the Selangor and Perak state governments and the problem appears to be DAP.

There goes our plan of transforming the Chinese face of DAP. There also goes our plan of transforming the Taliban face of PAS. It now looks like we shall have to go back to the drawing board and rethink our entire strategy.

The 'secret agenda' we hatched was to build up a group of Malays who share the same aspirations of seeing a one-Malaysian race emerge from the ashes of Barisan Nasional's 'defeat' in the last general election. Barisan Nasional is about race and was founded on race. It also needs to make race the main issue to stay relevant. If race no longer becomes the issue, then Barisan Nasional becomes irrelevant. And this can only happen if DAP is no longer perceived as a Chinese party and PAS a Taliban party.

It is now past 2.00am and I am still not asleep. I might as well stay awake and make it a 24-hour 'shift'. So, instead of hitting the sack, I am writing this article because if I don't then I can't sleep anyway so it makes no difference.

The PAS problem is simple. We are already talking to various non-Muslim Chinese to moot the idea of them joining PAS. We have of course not spoken to PAS yet so we really don't know if PAS will want non-Muslim Chinese as members. We hope they will though, as this will show the non-Muslims that PAS is not the enemy and that an Islamic party poses no danger to those not of the Muslim faith.

DAP is more dicey. They will of course not turn away Malays, as in the past Malays have even held key positions in the party. The question would be whether DAP would accept Malays as equals the same way they rant and rave that Chinese must be accepted as equals and that there should not be any first-class and second-class citizens. It is easy to dispense medicine but not that easy to take the same medicine you dispense others.

How wonderful to see Indians and Chinese not of the Muslim faith running around in PAS. How equally wonderful to see intellectual, progressive, elite and privileged-class Malays 'infesting' DAP. The mobilising would take over two or three years. Then, in 2010 or so, the exodus of non-Muslim, non-Malays into PAS and the Malays into DAP would commence in time for the next general election in 2012 or 2013. In one swoop, PAS and DAP would be transformed into true multi-racial, multi-religious parties and, together with PKR, Malaysians would have three 'Rakyat Malaysia' parties to choose from.

DAP says, never mind whether it is a black cat or a white cat. The most important thing is that the cat catches the mouse. DAP says, there must be a one-Malaysian race and not Malaysians labelled as Malays, Chinese and Indians. The Malays are ready for this. At least the intellectual, progressive, elite and privileged-class Malays are. And they are also ready to see the end of the New Economic Policy and a policy that considers deserving and needy cases, plus merit, as its replacement.

It takes two hands to clap though. The Malays are ready to take that one step forward. But if DAP keeps taking one step backwards, then that bridge can never be built and the divide will never be eliminated. Why must it always be Malays who are asked to sacrifice? Malays are prepared to sacrifice. But why must it be only the Malays who are asked to sacrifice? Should not nation-building be everyone's duty and not the duty of just one race.

The Malays are prepared to accept a Chinese Menteri Besar. The Malays are prepared to accept a Chinese Menteri Besar even if that Chinese is from DAP. And the Malays left it entirely to Tuanku to decide if Tuanku wants a Malay or Chinese Menteri Besar, never mind from which political party he may be from. But DAP won't accept a Malay Menteri Besar regardless if the Malay is from DAP, PKR or PAS. It must only be a Malay Menteri Besar who is not from PAS.

DAP says, this is people's power. DAP says, the people are the boss. This has been DAP's rallying call and battle-cry from one election to another. The 2008 general election was about people's power. The people demonstrated who is the boss in the 2008 general election. But DAP does not respect people's power nor regard the people as the boss in its decision to defy Tuanku by boycotting the swearing in of the Perak state government.


Anonymous said...

To all the DAP leaders,

Because of one man do not demolish what the rakyaat wants. Our past and present BN Prime Minister (M & Pak Lah have done this.)
To most of us,the past few days have be the happiest day of our lives.

On behalf of the rakyat of Malaysia, Mr Lim and the rest of DAP leaders esp. in Perak, please, please attend the ceremony. You are not doing it for us but to our future generations.

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