COMMENT | This is in response to the comment piece entitled ‘ The Real DAP Dilemma ’ by MCA’s Eric Choo and Kong Len Wei.
While we welcome constructive debate, their malicious lies against DAP MP Zairil Khir Johari's family was nothing but a desperate and disgusting attempt to further project MCA-BN's ideology of race and religion on Malaysians.
I have known Zairil my whole life since the 1980s. We grew up together in the suburb of Pulau Tikus in Penang. We attended the same kindergarten and went ' mengaji ' together. To question his biological parents is despicable, to say the least.
Growing up, I had the privilege of knowing not only Zairil but also his father, the late Khir Johari, and his mother.
Today, we are both members of DAP fighting for clean governance, social justice, and a Malaysia for all Malaysians.
Let's focus on the matter at hand. From its inception, DAP is committed “to be guided by purely Malaysian perspective and aspirations” and “we uphold as incontestable the fact that success in the nation-building process must depend on the adoption and implementation of the principle of racial equality at all levels of national life and in all fields of national endeavour - political, social, economic, cultural and educational.” (Setapak Declaration, 1967)
Despite facing the enormous propaganda machinery of the Umno-BN government, DAP has proven ourselves to be multiracial and Malaysian.
By 1986, not only do we have membership from all races, and fielded them and won, we are also the first truly pan-Malaysian party to be represented, not only in Peninsula Malaysia but also in Sabah and Sarawak. Today, 60 percent of DAP membership in Sarawak are bumiputera Dayaks.
MCA an irrelevant partner
Nevertheless, we acknowledge that winning the hearts and minds of the Malays is still a major challenge for DAP.
In fact, Zairil’s article , which the two young MCA leaders unfairly compared to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘Malay Dilemma’, was precisely to lay out these challenges and our weaknesses in a frank and honest discussion not just for party members but also for all Malaysians.
DAP does not need to talk about how MCA has failed the very community it purports to fight for. This is because we trust the voters' intelligence in seeing through BN’s charade of racial politics to cover up abuse of power and grand corruption.
MCA is not only an accomplice in helping to solidify Umno’s racist administration, successive leaders of MCA have also soiled their own hands in various scandals as well.
In the midst of dealing with the heat of 1MDB, have the two MCA young writers conveniently forgotten about the RM12 billion PKFZ scandal and MCA leaders’ role in it?
Thus, instead of resorting to personal attacks and malicious claims, perhaps these MCA young leaders should do some soul searching and ask themselves why they are nearly an irrelevant party today.
Look at the tone of their article. To blame the voters of Gelang Patah and DAP for BN’s loss in that seat is both immature and arrogant.
Again and again, in the past two general elections, Malaysians of all races have shown that we are ready to change.
In fact, the political tsunamis of 2008 and 2013 demonstrated that despite Umno-BN’s continued racialist politics - helped no less by MCA as a major partner of the ruling regime - Malaysians are able to unite on the twin values of clean governance and social justice.
States run by the federal opposition coalition have shown how even without resorting to the racist framework of MCA and its partners in BN, we are able to achieve greater results than ever through these twin values.
The successes in Penang and Selangor under DAP and our coalition partners are well-documented and have received both domestic, as well as international praise, including commendations from federal agencies.
MCA leaders, however, in cahoots with Umno, continue to find ways to stifle this development and drag the country back to its racist framework.
Little wonder then, that the well-written article by these two upcoming MCA leaders was produced from such racist perspective and framework.
Such is MCA’s own dilemma: to find relevance within a Malaysia eager for change or to continue to be Umno’s accomplice and help Umno resist the people’s call for change
MUHAMMAD SHAKIR AMEER MOHIDEEN is DAP Youth’s national executive secretary for publicity and MBSA councillor.