I fully agree with Sin Chew columnist Ng Miew Luan who in her article today gave three reasons for UMNO’s strong reaction to Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud as DAP candidate for Teluk Intan by-election causing the Wanita Umno leader, Datuk Shahrizat Jalil, UMNO Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin and even former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to open fire on her.
These three factors are firstly, UMNO stagnates in the struggle of mono-racial politics and paternalistic leadership and has not been able to change with the times; secondly, UMNO equates itself with the government; and thirdly, UMNO equates itself with the nation; and it is this inability to differentiate party from nation in its political operations which have caused negative consequences.
There is today a very perceptive opinion piece “Arise, the Malay that Umno fears” in The Malaysian Insider by Umran Kadir, who wrote:
“The entry of Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud onto the political scene has been met by an unprecedented and sustained attack by some of the biggest guns in Umno: an Umno Supreme Council member, the head of Wanita Umno and none other than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself.
“But why is a political novice like her deserving of so much attention by the powers-that-be?
“I would argue that it is because she represents everything that Umno does not want the Malays to be – capable, confident and unshackled.
“Unshackled from the unhealthy culture of dependency that Umno has created and reinforced through a constant stream of propaganda and paranoia – all with the cynical aim of perpetuating Umno’s hegemony.
“The unshackling of the Malay psyche spells the beginning of the end for the gravy train called Umno because it means that Umno can no longer take for granted that Malays will vote for them.
“This is why they are so desperate to kill off Dyana Sofya’s political career before it has even begun.”
“She is, it would seem, a product of Umno’s largesse. A comfortable life would surely have been in store for her had she opted for the default path so well trodden by many before her.
“However, she rejected that path in favour of a harder one. Today she stands on a DAP ticket and speaks out against the injustices perpetrated by the Umno-led government.
“She does this not because she is ungrateful but because she recognises that her gratitude should be directed to all Malaysian taxpayers and accordingly to the Malaysian people as a whole.
“This is something Umno’s leaders simply cannot fathom or accept because they remain stuck in their feudal mindset. And it panics them.
“It scares them that there may be other Dyana Sofyas out there. Malays whose conscience cannot be bought and who will not be cowed.
“Malays who choose to live by the ideals of truth, equality and justice and who wish to build a better Malaysia hand in hand with their fellow countrymen.
“It is time we showed Umno that they are right to be scared.
“Arise, the confident, capable and unshackled Malay.”
The Malaysian Insider carried a perceptive commentary two days ago, entitled: “Why is Dyana Sofya a threat to Umno?” which gave four reasons why UMNO is so afraid of the young UiTM graduate, whose member is an Umno members, viz:
* Firstly, Dyana Sofya’s candidacy on a DAP ticket shows that Umno is not the only party for Malays, apart from PKR or PAS. Particularly when more Malaysians are seeing themselves as Malaysians and not identifying themselves along racial lines.
* Secondly, Dr Mahathir is right, the younger generation have forgotten the hard work of the early Umno members and leaders. Perhaps that is because the old Umno was de-registered under his watch.
The Umno today is Umno Baru, a pale shadow of the Umno of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein that fought for Malaya’s independence in 1957. The Umno today believes in keeping everything for itself, and only sharing the crumbs with others.
And every day, Umno gives Malaysians a reason to detest them. Every day.
* Thirdly, Dyana Sofya’s candidacy shows that there are political parties out there willing to gamble on youth and idealism rather than just rely on the tried and tested or the experienced politician.
Malaysia’s future belongs to Dyana Sofya’s generation, not the ones who have already tasted power and want to keep it for a while more.
* Fourthly, Dyana Sofya’s candidacy shows that young graduates, even from local varsities, such as UiTM, have the intelligence, mettle and leadership skills to strike their own path instead of following what their parents want them to do.
The commentary concluded:
“If more Malaysians, especially Malays, follow Dyana Sofya’s footsteps, then a party like Umno will come to an untimely end.
“Umno cannot allow that to happen and it has to demonise, castigate, heckle and humiliate Dyana Sofya so that others will not follow her footsteps and join parties willing to take a chance on them.
“Her success and victory in Teluk Intan will be more than just DAP keeping a seat in parliament or another young Malay becoming a DAP MP. It also means that Umno cannot assert itself as the only platform for the Malays to keep power or run Malaysia.
“That is the sad state of Umno these days, that it has to fight a young woman just to keep power. “
I would only refer to the first reason in another article, “Five reasons Malaysians should be grateful to UMNO”, viz:
“1) We must be grateful to Umno because they have blurred all the lines between right and wrong; and wiped out the offence of corruption. There is no more moral quandary thanks to Messrs Najib, Muhyiddin and Mahathir.”
This is why I had said that the Teluk Intan by-election contest is a battle between the future and the past; between politics of the new versus the politics of the old; and whether the politics of race which had blighted the country for over five decades could be given a “sent-off” and be replaced by the politics of Malaysian nationalism based on the issues of justice, freedom and good governance and not on communalism.
National Laureate Pak Samad summed up the moral choice before Malaysians in Teluk Intan when he wrote following stanza on the Teluk Intan by-election:
“Letak Melayu didakwa hiasan;
letak Cina dikata perkauman.
Diletak apa pun kurang selesa,
eloklah diletak bebayang saja!”
The DAP leadership has been accused of being over-protective of Dyana Sofya.
There is no doubt that there is a concerted, systematic and devilish campaign to destroy Dyana’s political will and fighting spirit for justice, fair play and good governance in Malaysia, with the sexist attacks on Dyana, the politics of hooliganism to obstruct her campaign and the lies and falsehoods which had been peddled by hate-mongers and extremists both before and after Dyana’s nomination as Teluk Intan by-election on Monday.
I have continued to this day to be the target of lies, falsehoods and calumny, whether on the social media, the Internet or in the UMNO/BN campaign trails.
They have been trying to destroy my political will and fighting spirit for the past 48 years but they have failed, despite detaining me twice under the Internal Security Act and prosecuting and persecuting me in court.
Other DAP leaders, including Lim Guan Eng and Karpal Singh, had been the target of such dastardly attacks to break our political principles and commitment.
By and large, they have failed, as the DAP had grown from strength to strength in the past 48 years, despite the many trials and tribulations of party leaders and the party.
But there had been a few casualties, mostly in the 70s but also in the eighties, nineties and in recent times when a few DAP leaders succumbed to the campaign to break their political will and fighting spirit.
Now they are focussing on Dyana.
The DAP leadership does not apologise for being protective of Dyana and all young DAP leaders from the wicked campaign of lies and falsehoods whether on the social media or during the campaign trails.
In fact, I want to make a special plea today to the people of Teluk Intan, the fathers and mothers, the grandfathers and grandmothers and the young generation to help protect Dyana from the wiles of UMNO/BN who want to break her political will and fighting spirit with lies and falsehoods in the way they have succeeded in destroying a few DAP and other Opposition leaders in the past.
The Barisan Nasional candidate for Teluk Intan and Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong has told the Star that young outstation Teluk Intan voters returning to vote in the by-election will hurt his chances of winning.
Clearly, Mah would not want young outstation voters to return to Teluk Intan to vote and he would like to see the young generation from Teluk Intan to abdicate from their responsibility to help determine the future of Malaysia.
I do not agree. I call on every young outstation voter of Teluk Intan who is outside the town, whether in Perak, Johore or elsewhere in Malaysia, or even in Singapore, to make a special effort to return to vote in the by-election on May 31, for they must not allow Malaysia to regress to become a failed state by default.
(Media Conference Statement at the DAP Teluk Intan by-election operations centre on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 12 pm)