Historians cannot view regional maritime disputes from a narrow perspective such as patriotism, according to Hew Kuan Yau.
The DAP member was responding to criticism that he was being unpatriotic for stating that the South China Sea belonged to China in a Facebook posting.
"As a Comparative History PhD graduate, I have my own historical view on South China Sea. This is my own view and does not represent DAP's view.
"I look at the issue from a geopolitical aspect in comprehending the role of US hawks and Japanese rightist behind the Philippines," he told Malaysiakini via a text message.
"Historians cannot narrowly look at the problem from purely a patriotism perspective.
“We should understand and resolve the dispute from the height of defending regional and global peace," added the DAP member, who is popularly known as ‘Superman’.
The ruling on Tuesday denied China the right to resources within its "nine-dash line," which extends hundreds of miles to the south and east of Hainan and covers some 90 percent of the disputed waters.
Earlier today, Youth group Challenger spokesperson Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman urged DAP to discipline Hew, whom he described as a “super stupid superman”.
“His defeatist, unfounded and unpatriotic statement undermines Malaysia's sovereign right over the disputed islands,” he said.
Meanwhile, DAP vice-president Teresa Kok said she was surprised by both Hew and Syed Saddiq’s remarks since the latter advocated freedom of speech.
"I was surprised by Hew's comments also, I supported the international tribunal in The Hague," she said.
"DAP never authorised Hew as its foreign affairs spokesperson. He made the comments in his personal capacity, it is up to him to say what he wants on Facebook.
"So, do you want us to terminate and suspend his membership? If we do that and not allow room for freedom of speech, then this is a party ruled by one voice," she told Malaysiakini.
"This is his Facebook, his own view, and merely a two-liner posting," she added.