By S Pathmawathy | May 24, 11
In an attempt to bolster its image as an all inclusive party and shed its Chinese-centric tag, DAP launched its Malay-language web-portal, Roketkini, today.
The portal, which focuses on daily news and analysis, is particularly aimed at drawing support from the Malay electorate, often described as being antagonistic toward the DAP.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (right), who is also the party’s secretary-general, officially launched the portal and announced that Wan Hamidi Hamid will operate the portal as its editor.
Lim told reporters that Roketkini would serve as a platform to convey and rectify issues that have been exploited by the opposition Umno to undermine DAP’s image.
“The BN media has successfully manipulated a false perception that DAP is anti-Malay. We accept that they have succeeded… so we are making an effort to rectify the perspective.
“This is an effort to prove that DAP’s struggles are for all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion,” said Lim.
PKR, PAS organs to help out
Roketkini will serve as an alternative to DAP’s monthly publication the Rocket and focus on promoting polices of the Pakatan Rakyat government as well as counter reports in the BN-controlled mainstream news media.
It will also be assisted by PKR’s Suara Keadilan and the Harakah Daily of PAS, which has been operating an online news portal for a while now.
Lim said since the opposition managed to wrest power in five states after the 2008 general election, BN has been mounting attacks that the DAP, in particular, is anti-Malay, a community that makes up 50.4 percent of the population.
Even DAP vice-chairperson Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim has commented that the party had failed to attract Malay support, despite the appointment of Zairil Khir Johari, son of Umno stalwart Mohd Khir Johari.
BN’s Umno has of late heightened its offensive against the opposition after word that DAP planned to name Malay candidates in several states in the next general election got out.
According to news reports, DAP is in the midst of identifying suitable Malay candidates to contest seats in Perak, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan.
Umno-linked Utusan Malaysia reported that DAP is focussing its efforts to regain Perak, which BN took back after a coup that toppled the Pakatan Rakyat government, by naming more Malay candidates to widen its chances of winning and naming one of its own as menteri besar.
DAP plans direct engagement
Asked whether the party was targeting to improve on its Malay membership, Lim said this was an ongoing effort and that there were plans to engage with the community directly.
It was also not fair for DAP to rely on PKR and PAS to continuously strengthen the coalition’s base.
“Direct human engagement is the best way. What we want to do is to create hardcore ground support,” said Lim but added that this also required substantial funds.
DAP leaders were recently dragged into a controversy in which they were accused of linking up with Christian leaders to make Christianity the official religion of the federation and to instal a Christian as prime minister.
Lim said the negative image severely impacted the Penang government’s efforts to promote pro-Malay policies.
“It has come to a stage where even the media does not know what we have done for the Malays in Penang… they (the BN) may not have had success in implementing their policies, but they have succeeded in creating this perception against us,” he said.
Roketkini, which is already up and running, is managed by a three-man crew that includes Wan Hamidi (above, right) and Zairil.