Malaysiakini

DAP's multiracialism still a work in progress

YOURSAY 'It is difficult when Umno-BN, BTN (Biro Tatanegara) and Perkasa have painted the DAP as the enemy of Islam and the Malays.'

Malay delegates still hoping for true multiracialism

your sayAnonymous_4030: This election is proof that DAP's ‘Malaysian Malaysia' or its projected image of a multiracial party is all but nonsense. You can talk all you like, but your actions prove otherwise.

B Selvadurai: I strongly disagree with those who say "DAP delegates have yet to accept the concept of a Malaysian Malaysia which promotes a multiracial leadership." If that was the case we would have had 100 percent Chinese members elected in the CEC (central executive council).

We did not get that result, but one where members voted according to who in their view were the best candidates who will guide and strengthen the party. It is about ability and not race, that is and should be the guiding force in their choice of candidates.

DAP should be congratulated for having a system where a third of the members of the CEC are co-opted to represent the minority views of those segments the CEC feel will contribute to their collective leadership. This is democracy at work.

JooGuan: I concur with B Selvadurai. If we ask anyone who is not close to DAP to name any Malay candidate who should be elected into their CEC, I doubt many would be even able to provide a name of such a DAP member at this moment.

I feel that those elected have been working hard and deserved to be elected. For those who lost, it does not mean they are not good, just that there are better candidates than they, which is something everyone should be happy about, isn't it?

EugeneT: Senator Ariffin Omar hit the matter on the spot. Trust and confidence works both ways.

The Malays also need to win the confidence of and trust of DAP delegates - that they are indeed subscribing to its ideology and won't turn into a Trojan horse or ‘katak' when offers are made from Umno.

Fair Play: Change comes in baby steps, not giant strides. For over 50 years, BN could not change. I hope Pakatan Rakyat would take a much shorter time to do so.

Gerard Lourdesamy: I agree. It will take time, perseverance and patience. For example, PKR has more Indian than Chinese members and yet the Chinese have more representation in its supreme council than Indians. So what?
What is important is that the interests of all ethnic groups are represented and not the size of the representation.

The DAP Malay membership is very small but it is making efforts to broaden its base. It is difficult when Umno-BN, BTN (Biro Tatanegara) and Perkasa have painted the DAP as the enemy of Islam and the Malays.

Once there are more Malays in the party then the issue of Malay representation in the CEC will be solved by itself.

Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan are also race-based parties. In the case of Umno, a non-Malay bumiputera from Sabah or Sarawak can never become the president although he may be a Muslim. Can PM Najib Razak explain this?

Why is it that the Umno supreme council is dominated by Peninsular Malays/Muslims despite the majority of seats to form the government come from Sabah Umno?

Proarte: We must not succumb to our latent racial prejudices. The fact remains that Malays represent less than one percent of DAP members. Malay membership is a relatively new phenomenon and they have yet to make their contribution felt in the DAP.

Malays must not think they are in DAP for a free ride. There is not going to be 'hak istimewa' or a quota of Malay membership in the CEC. The CEC is an august body who have been elected by the delegates democratically.

Are the disgruntled Malays who were not elected feel they are entitled to a position simply because they are Malay? DAP does not want members who join with an Umno 'ketuanan Melayu and Islam' mindset.

Malays who join must believe in the struggles and principles of the DAP. DAP delegates want to be convinced Malay CEC contenders are active members who believe in a secular Malaysia and who reject an Islamic state, and by extension hudud.

The reality is the Malay candidates have not unequivocally declared their stance on these fundamental issues.

Onyourtoes: I think we have missed the forest for the trees here. I suppose preferably we would like to see multiracial leadership in a multiracial party, but is this a must especially during the interim years, given the history of polarisation in the country?

Ultimately when judging a political party, it is its policies in words and actions that count, not the race of those making them. It is a baloney to hold a notion that only people of your race can protect your interest.

Let me give you a scenario: If Umno opens its door today to all Malaysians, would the party overnight have multiracial leadership at the top? I suppose it will not.

But is this an important factor for me to judge and decide whether the party is still racist or chauvinistic? No, I will not judge Umno solely based on Malay leadership at the top. I will judge Umno on its policies and actions, got it?

Those who demand that the leadership of a multiracial party be chosen based on racial representation are unwittingly racist.

Anonymous#007: The first step towards sincerely accepting multiracialism is to stop demanding for any rights based on race, which is exactly what Zulkifli Mohd Noor and Ahmad Ton are promoting.

As Albert Einstein said, "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."

These two veteran DAP members are also a bad role model for other Malays who truly believe in DAP as the champion of true democracy, because they have indirectly shown disrespect to the party's new leadership by making such remarks although they had been voted in by the members in a transparent manner.

As Senator Ariffin Omar correctly said, DAP wants principled members, which means members who sincerely share the party's vision for a Malaysia without any race-based policies.

Perhaps Zulkifli and Ahmad can start by actively calling for an end to the NEP and educational quotas, for a start.

Fairplayer: Indeed, DAP needs principled Malays and principled non-Malays, so that Malaysia will be run by principled Malaysians.

NH Gong: Everyone has to prove their worth to be elected. The next batch of young leaders are impressive - Malay, Chinese, Tamil, Kadazan, Iban and even Eurasian.

Hear them speak and you will have hope for the future. The representative from Felcra Pahang is a courageous young man - he should be in the CEC at the next convention.


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