‘DAP not mature enough’


(The Star) – DAP is not mature enough to accept other races into its top leadership, say two Malay candidates who lost their bid for the 20 slots in the party’s central executive committee (CEC).

Johor DAP vice-chairman Ahmad Ton said the delegates had yet to understand the significance of the party’s rallying cry of “Malaysian-Malaysia”.

Ahmad, who has contested six times, winning only once in 2008, said DAP needed time to shed its image as a party dominated by the Chinese.

DAP has about 150,000 members, of which 20% are Indians and 10% Malays. The rest are Chinese and other minorities.

Penang Malay steering committee chairman Zulkifli Mohd Noor, who also lost, said the party didn’t have enough Malay members to show strength.

Even the Indians failed to make any impact, he said.

None of the eight Malay candidates who contested for the CEC was voted in.

Another Malay candidate Senator Dr Ariffin Omar, who was appointed vice-chairman despite losing, said he was satisfied with the number of votes he had clinched during the party election.

“I am a newcomer and yet I managed to get a relatively high number of votes (348). The Malays have an unfounded fear about the party.”

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, meanwhile, played down the significance of the Malay candidates’ failure, saying it had nothing to do with race.

“Racial politicking is Barisan Nasional’s style. Ours is different,” he told the media at the end of the party’s annual congress.

Lim said every DAP leader must reach out to all communities, irrespective of their race.

He said the appointment of Dr Ariffin and Zairil Khir Johari to the CEC was made based on their capabilities and not because they were Malays.

Penang Malay Congress, meanwhile, has registered disappointment at what it claimed was an “undemocratic” election of the CEC.

Its president Rahmad Isahak said: “The failure of Malay candidates to be elected to the CEC is upsetting.

“DAP has failed to transform its-elf into a multiracial party,” he said.