DAP leaders’ silence is deafening

Kua Kia Soong, Malaysiakini

The banning of “Superman” Hew Kuan Yau’s comic book on China’s Belt Road Initiative must surely be the ultimate farce under our so-called “New Malaysia”.

Suaram’s annual human rights report has routinely listed banned books since the BN era but this takes the biscuit for absurdity.

Our “cartoon laureate” Zunar has rightly spoken out against this kind of medieval censorship which is a far cry from the “Shared Progressive Vision” we are supposed to be co-creating.

What is astonishing is how the DAP “Masters of the Universe” have not dared to say a word after their decades of breast-beating indignation against BN repression.

How can they wash their hands off Hew (photo) when it was their Secretary-General who had written the foreword to this comic book, the DAP Deputy Education Minister who helped to launch it and the DAP National Chairperson who appointed Hew to be the China-Malaysia Business Council CEO?

For years, Hew had served the DAP well as the “bad mouth for hire” at political ceramahs.

The DAP “Masters of the Universe” had allowed “Superman” Hew to tour the country together with other top leaders and played the role of hurling obscenities at political opponents with the full enjoyment of the top DAP leadership.

Not communist, not socialist, just opportunist

Only one DAP leader has spoken out through this controversy and that is party adviser Lim Kit Siang, who said Hew is neither communist nor socialist as claimed by the Umno detractors.

That is certainly true – there is not a trace of communism or socialism in DAP whose leaders are some of the biggest defenders of neo-liberal capitalism in Malaysia.

Their defence of China is based on bare-faced opportunism since China is today such a world power and they are clearly desperate for Chinese votes in elections.

Did the DAP ever defend China during the days when China was a poor country denigrated by the imperialist West for its socialist policies?

This is not the first time that the DAP “Masters of the Universe” have tried to stay aloof from Hew’s periodic troubles.

Hew’s homophobic comments against a columnist some time ago were rightly condemned by progressive Malaysians.

Diversity, an NGO advocacy group for gender equality was among those who took Hew to task for the serial attacks on the columnist on social media.

Diversity pointed out that this was not the first time that Hew had verbally assaulted others using homophobic language derogatory to the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) community.

While Hew was forced to make an apology, he graciously stressed that “it has nothing to do with the DAP.”

The gallant party saver has even posted his photo with Kit Siang, saying that he will assume all the guilt.

Nevertheless, despite the apology, Hew did not retract the homophobic remarks he had made.

It is time the DAP and Pakatan Harapan stop the theatrics and focus on the reforms they promised before GE14.

This did not include absurd censorship of comic books, cowardly connivance with the Home Ministry nor any of the BN’s repressive policies.

KUA KIA SOONG is the adviser of Suaram.