Malaysiakini Letter

It’s our Malaysian Dilemma

Rebecca Khoo
Published:  |  Modified:

This is response to the piece written by Eric Choo and Kong Len Wai titled ‘The Real DAP Dilemma’ on Feb 1, 2016.

First of all, politicians from both sides of the political divide should focus on issues, agenda or strategy instead of zealously indulging in ad hominem attacks when he or she is losing the debate or discussion. Both Eric and Kong should clearly point out to members of the public why they think DAP is wrong instead of riding the wave of petty political stance.

Harping on the family background of anyone - let alone that of Zairil Khir Johari - is not something head chiefs of a respectable organisation should be doing.

Secondly, regarding the number of Malay representatives in the central executive committee (CEC) or number of Malay candidates fielded during the last general election, I think Malaysia needs an equal platform for all regardless of age, race, religion or gender.

A quota system is never fair. For example, the 30 percent quota in the New Economic Policy (NEP) is a prominent exemplar why the quota system should not be implemented: Over a period of time, it will gradually end up as a social crutch for those who benefit from it. Should the people cling to quotas, it will undoubtedly cripple people’s competency.

Besides, the 30 percent quota for women in top positions is also unfair. Assuming that male members fare better than the female members, it is ridiculous to drop some male members off the list just because an organisation or a political party has to allocate a certain number of positions to the ladies. This shows us that it is imperative to establish an equal platform for all.

Back to DAP, why did DAP not field more candidates? Perhaps they did not manage to find suitable candidates to be fielded. By a few do you mean too few? Well. It is tough to choose from since the numbers of Malays are limited. But hey, DAP still has Malays and people of other ethnicities in the party.

It is unfortunate that Malays seem under-represented in DAP. However, DAP is certainly not unaware that they need to recruit more Malay members. During the party retreat last month, Liew Chin Tong, the national political education director who is also the Kluang MP, had stated the Malays are conservative Muslims and the party must work along these lines to capture their support.

So, MCA can worry less about this; DAP is and will continue to be multi-racial. Talking about the general election, race and religion of the candidates do not bring any purpose of he or she is incompetent.

As to why DAP is portrayed as a Chinese chauvinist party, both Eric and Kong should know the answer but they are succumb to a state of denial. Don’t you know that it is the mainstream media that plays around with fear- and hate-mongering, painting DAP as the ‘all-Cina’ party, which in fact isn’t true? DAP does have a larger proportion of Chinese members, but it certainly is open to people from all walks of races.

Mentality problem among Malaysians

Why did Malays in the CEC not garner adequate support from the grassroots? This boils down to the mentality problem among Malaysians again. The ‘Malay-Chinese’ rivalry problem leading to Malay and Chinese anxiety or racial anxiety shall not be shouldered solely by DAP because the party didn’t initiate that. Ever since independence, it was BN’s national education policies that have been implemented and executed all this while.

If you want to deal with this mentality problem, first revamp our education system first. Why cry foul over the incident where the former Johor menteri besar, Abdul Ghani Othman, lost to Lim Kit Siang for the Gelang Patah seat?

You reap what you sow. Our education system has failed us badly; there is no critical and rational thinking. You should not be complaining if Kit Siang had harped on how MCA betrayed the Chinese to gain Chinese support because the ruling coalition first painted DAP as a Chinese party (there you go, even though it is wrong but sadly, has become a norm). Yes, even after gaining independence for more than half a century.

To sum up, it is neither a Malay dilemma nor a DAP dilemma, but a dilemma of all Malaysians. There is something seriously wrong with the mentality of the people and such a problem cannot be resolved overnight. Only with education can we have a better Malaysia without fear and hatred towards one another, be it due to race, religion or political differences. Bear in mind, we are all Malaysians.

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