DAP has become the favourite punching bag in the current UMNO General Assemblies, which is a reflection of the loss of direction and the sense of purpose of the UMNO leadership which have strayed far from the UMNO founding principles to serve the Malay community and the multi-ethnic country.
Today, we read of the UMNO representative from Terengganu declaring that PAS should not be perceived as the main enemy of UMNO, and that it is the DAP which is UMNO’s “main enemy” because PAS is an Islam-based party with the members comprising the Malays.
By this logic, UMNO should declare the majority of the parties in the Barisan Nasional, including MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak parties which are not exclusively restricted to Malays or Muslims also as UMNO’s “main enemies”.
Is this the direction UMNO is leading the country after some six decades of nation-building?
What has happened to the 1Malaysia concept which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had proclaimed on becoming Prime Minister in April 2008 and on which he spent so much public funds on 1Malaysia propaganda and gimmicry in the run-up to the 13th General Election in May 2013?
It is not only wrong and un-Malaysian and anti-Malaysian to regard non-Malay parties and parties not restricted in its membership to Malays or Muslims as “main enemies”, it is also an unMalaysian and anti-Malaysian mindset to regard PAS as an “enemy” though not “main enemy” category.
Except for the five years from 1972-1977 when PAS was in Barisan Nasional coalition and increasingly in the two years after the 2013 general elections, UMNO had regarded PAS as its “main enemy” for close to six decades since the formation of PAS in 1951.
Suddenly, overnight, DAP, which will soon be celebrating our 50th anniversary, has catapulted into the position of replacing PAS as UMNO’s “main enemy”.
What has changed for this sudden perception for the first time in 50 years for some in the UMNO leadership to regard DAP as UMNO’s “main enemy”
DAP has not changed as from the first day of our inception some 50 years ago, DAP had never been anti-Malay or anti-Islam.
Right from the beginning during DAP’s formation in 1966, DAP had pledged itself to pursue a Malaysian Dream, not a Chinese Dream, an Indian Dream or a Malay Dream.
This is why from the first general election in 1969 contested by the DAP, the party had always put up a multi-racial and multi-religious slate of candidates.
In the 1969 general elections, two Malay State Assemblymen were elected, one in Perak and the other in Negri Sembilan. In the past 11 general elections, DAP had elected Malay Members of Parliament and State Assembly representatives in Peninsular Malaysia.
As in the 1969 general election, DAP has now more Indian MPs than MIC. It is because of the DAP that there is an Indian Deputy Chief Minister in Penang and the first Indian Speaker in the Perak State Assembly after the 2008 General Election.
DAP has a Kadazan State Assemblyman in Sabah and we hope to have the first Iban State Assemblyman in the Sarawak State Elections expected in the next 100 days.
DAP is in fact the first political party in the country to be Pan-Malaysian, establishing branches in Sarawak and Sabah before any other political party in the country.
All through the past five decades, DAP had been accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam by UMNO, because of UMNO fear that the DAP will be able to make inroads into UMNO spheres of influence with our Malaysian political appeal, transcending race, religion or region.
No political party seeking support from all Malaysians can be anti-Malay or anti-Islam, or for that matter, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Dayak, anti-Kadazandusun or anti-Buddhism, anti-Christianity, anti-Hindiuism or anti-Sikkhism.
DAP has never wavered from our mission to be a Malaysian political party, representing all races, religions, regions, classes and age-groups in the country, and this is why the DAP has grown from strength to strength in the past fifty years.
But UMNO has changed.
In 1950, the UMNO founder president, Datuk Onn Jaafar proposed that UMNO should open its door to non-Malays so as to build a united multi-racial nation.
Datuk Onn was too ahead of his times and he had to leave UMNO.
Today, UMNO has not only failed Datuk Onn’s vision to be party for everyone in the country, it has forsaken its original objective to be a party for the Malays as it has been reduced to a party for Najib, his hulubalangs and UMNO-putras exploiting not only Malaysians but ordinary Malays as well.
This is why former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri MuhyiddinYassin recently warned that Malay support for UMNO is down to 30 per cent, while 78 per cent of the people are unsatisfied with the present state of the economy.
This is why UMNO is now afraid of DAP and perceives DAP as its “main enemy” – not because the DAP, Chinese or non-Malays will dominate and exploit the Malays and Muslims, but because UMNO is losing support of Malays and Muslims as it is not prepared to stop the rampant corruption and injustices of its policies, like Najib’s RM2.6 billion and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.
DAP does not categorise Malaysians in different political parties or with different goals into “enemy” and “main enemy” classifications.
I want to stress that DAP does not regard the three million UMNO members and one million PAS members as “enemies” but only as Malaysians with different political inclinations and we are always prepared to engage with them for the common purpose and objective to save the nation and all Malaysians comprising different races and religions, as this is the Number One political challenge facing the country – to save the nation and not just to save individuals or even political parties.
(Speech at the first of six whistlestop “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” campaign in Johore in Chaah on Saturday, 12th December 20145 at 9 am)