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Zaid concerned about DAP losing its shine due to fear

Former minister Zaid Ibrahim is concerned that DAP risks losing its decades-long shine, claiming that fear has dimmed the party.

“The distinguishing mark for DAP for many years is its consistent advocacy on issues that have long been neglected.

“To be suddenly silent on Lynas, to be vacillating on UEC (United Examination Certificate) and, for some strange reason, to embrace Jawi khat (calligraphy) puts the party on a different terrain,” he told Malaysiakini this afternoon.

Zaid, who joined DAP in 2017, was elaborating on his earlier tweet that his party is in for a “rough ride.”

“That is what happens when fear overwhelms you,” he had added.

Zaid told Malaysiakini he is concerned that DAP might change course, making it no different from other political parties.

“If the party in its wisdom decides to change course because politics is always changing, then I worry it might not be able to reclaim the long-standing brand as a progressive, principled party.

“It might just be one of many parties which voters will have difficulty choosing,” he added.

Zaid also did not discount the possibility that DAP leaders could have been seduced by power and positions and therefore are willing to make concessions and compromises.

Since Pakatan Harapan's historical win in the last general election, DAP has found itself caught between a rock and a hard place.

Umno and PAS often accuse the predominantly Chinese DAP of being the real power behind Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's government and that Mahathir is nothing more than a puppet.

DAP's arch-rival MCA, on the other hand, claims that the party is subservient to Mahathir and had turned its back on safeguarding non-Malay interests.

Its detractors have also labelled DAP as MCA 2.0, drawing a comparison between the current state of DAP with MCA's compliance to Umno when BN was in power.

However, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has denied that DAP would morph into MCA.

In a statement following Harapan's crushing defeat in the Tanjung Piai by-election last month, Lim said this is because DAP and Harapan are committed to resetting nation-building policies to build a New Malaysia.

On the same note, he conceded that Harapan allowed itself to deviate from the moderate centre and is fast losing ground because of it.

"In the past 18 months, we have deviated from the moderate centre, seeking to compete and better those who resort to hatred and intolerance in the politics of race and religion.

"As a result, Harapan has fallen between two stools – we lost the Malay and non-Malay ground for contradictory and opposite reasons (in Tanjung Piai)," Lim added.