Chinese voters will still back DAP despite spats, say experts

While Malay political parties are finding their support on the ground being diluted by a split among their leaders, analysts say spats within DAP will have no impact on Chinese voters.

(FMT) – Political analyst Azmi Hassan said almost all political parties are facing a split.

“What’s happening in DAP is also happening in PAS and Umno,” he told FMT, referring to a recent public spat among DAP leaders.

In PAS, he said there was a split between professionals and the ulamas while Umno is seeing a fight between the old timers and the younger generation.

Yesterday, analysts said DAP was facing a split between the English-educated and Chinese-educated leaders.

This emerged after DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh and Damansara MP Tony Pua ticked off party colleague Ronnie Liu over his remarks that DAP should not “dilute its Chinese-ness” and cannot depict itself as a “non-Chinese party”.

Azmi said DAP’s strength was that up to 80% of Chinese support the party as they feel the party can go it alone.

“Unlike MCA that needs Umno, DAP can contest on its own,” he added.

The strong grassroots support meant that internal turmoil was not likely to have a great impact among voters. “The Chinese will still vote for DAP instead of MCA,” he said.

As for Malay politics, Azmi said any spilt weakens the parties as they are all still fighting for ground support. “They are not as strong as DAP and because of that, Malay politics differs from DAP,” he said.

Oh Ei Sun, a fellow with the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said DAP’s unity was not a prerequisite for victory in elections as the people would vote against overt racism, extremism and corruption.

DAP’s biggest problem would arise if a large majority of Chinese do not come out to vote in the coming general election as a mark of objection to the Sheraton Move, a move that saw the collapse of Pakatan Harapan in February 2020.

“It is not so much due to DAP’s internal power struggle but because of the successful Sheraton Move which reversed the progressive direction for the country,” he said.

Oh said he believed there might be a poor Chinese voter turnout at the next general election.