Pushed to the wall, DAP sees new way forward


Kit Siang’s bold idea of a coalition of moderates should have come long ago, but better now than never

Scott Ng, Free Malaysia Today

It’s amazing what people can come up with when their backs are against the wall. The DAP knows that it got played by PAS. It got into a stalemate with PAS’ political games and its own ardent defence of the Islamist party during the campaigns for GE12 and GE13, when it reassured the non-Muslims that PAS would not trample over their rights. It helped present PAS as an Islamic party with modern sensibilities.

It was because we trusted DAP that we in the more urbanised areas decided to give PAS a chance. That trust should weigh heavily on DAP’s leaders.

In hindsight, perhaps PAS was not the best choice of partners even though its grassroots support is arguably the strongest of any non-BN party in Malaysia. In fact, hindsight being a given, perhaps Lim Kit Siang’s stunning proposal that MPs from Pakatan and BN band together to form a new coalition of moderates should have been thought of before DAP decided to get into bed with PAS.

Nevertheless, Lim’s idea is one of the most intriguing and revolutionary in Malaysian politics in a long time.

There are moderates on both sides of the fence, and while their ideologies may differ to some extent, their involvement in politics is very much driven by a desire to create a better tomorrow for Malaysia. It must be said that moderates in BN get the short end of the stick, put into important sounding but ultimately hollow initiatives. Such is the plight of men like Saifuddin Abdullah, who is one of the most promising politicians in Umno today. Because the party has decided that it must match PAS blow-for-blow on Islamic matters, moderates like Saifuddin are pushed to where their voices cannot be heard.