DAP mustn’t be seen as multi-racial

ArticleDAP Malays

Do you judge a party’s multi-racial image on the policies it champions or do you put it down to the racial composition of its support base and its leadership?

Eddie Hoo, The Heat Malaysia

It is in the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) interest that the DAP isn’t seen as a multi-racial party. Two BN single-race based parties, Umno and MCA, are putting as much effort into denying the Opposition party that image as the DAP is in trying to portray itself as one.

Is the DAP a multi-racial party or is its Malay representation a mere window dressing to mask a Chinese-dominated party which is essentially parochial in approach? DAP’s Malay representation has been dismissed as token, and these representatives have been denounced as traitors.

MCA’s contention is that DAP has always depended on Chinese support and it has always ridden on Chinese sentiment and resentment of racial bias in the system.

The party’s Youth Young Professionals Bureau chairman Eric Choo Wei Sern has recently chided DAP Socialist Youth executive secretary Muhammad Shakir Ameer for “trying too hard to portray DAP as a multiracial party”.

Choo has a point about the unacceptable speech made by Hew Kuan Yew on the eve of the Sarawak State Election as a truly multi-racial party would censure its politicians for making such a remark.

He also highlights the racial make-up of DAP’s 51 candidates for Parliamentary seats and 118 candidates for state seats in the last General Election. “Only three of them were Malays. In fact, of these three candidates, two were elected as Member of Parliament and state assemblyman,” he says.

“At such success rate, why is DAP not fielding more Malay candidates? Is this to maintain certain hegemony within the party? One Malay Member of Parliament in the last General Election is certainly a poor return for a self-professed multiracial party like DAP.”

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