DAP slowly reforming under new leadership

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) is gradually reforming itself under the new leadership of its secretary-general Anthony Loke, experts say.

(Sinar Daily) – Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Political Science Professor Datuk Dr Jayum Anak Jawan said however, it would take some time for Loke and his new line-up to convince the Malays that they were driving the old grand party of the Chinese in a new direction with a fresh perspective.

“This persuasion cannot originate from the old guard, who, for over half a century, have been promoting a path and ideology incongruent with the way the Malays engage in mainstream politics.

“New members and leaders of DAP must shed the lingering influences of Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew from the early days of Malaysia,” he told Sinar Daily.

Nevertheless, he said DAP was already displaying signs of change, particularly under the capable leadership of Loke.

Hesitant to accept decorations (honorary title) at first, Jayum said even its leader has mellowed down and accepted one from the federal government recently.

“There was a time when strong condemnation was directed at some party members who received decorations in certain states.

“But the new DAP leaders (line-up) no longer fully subscribe to the arguments and attitudes of the old guard,” he said.

Meanwhile, Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said despite numerous promises made by various political figures during the 15th General Election (GE15), it appeared that only DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng’s adversaries, both within and outside of DAP, have not forgotten them.

“Surprisingly, there seems to be no significant consequences for unfulfilled commitments (by the party).

“DAP continues to enjoy unwavering support of around 90 per cent of the Chinese electorate, a trend that shows no signs of changing in the near future,” Shamsul said.

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Syaza Shukri Political Science Associate Professor Dr Syaza Shukri said she was of the view that DAP did not ignore the promises it made in GE15.

She said the promises made by the party were related to reforms, which it was currently working on as part of the government.

“If it is about Barisan Nasional being the enemy, then yes there has been a 180-degree shift (on the promises).

“But I think the bigger picture should be on how to help the country instead of who their former enemy was,” she said.