DAP reaches out to Malays online

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
May 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Unable to shake off its tag as a Chinese chauvinist party, DAP is now hoping to make a splash in the Malay online media landscape with a news portal, a step it says it should have taken “a long time ago.”

Just days after vice chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim’s admission that the party has failed to attract Malay support, DAP will launch a Bahasa Malaysia language website — Roketkini.com — in the hopes of making itself heard among Malays.

“Right now, there is a huge void for us in the Malay media. You don’t hear anything about DAP except for us being attacked,” said political secretary to the party’s secretary general Zairil Khir Johari.

The largely Chinese party has been repeatedly accused by the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) and Malay media of practising racial politics.

The Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia has continually attacked DAP for trying to usurp Malay political power.

It also printed an unsubstantiated report recently alleging that church leaders had plotted with DAP to install a Christian as prime minister and turn Malaysia into a Christian state.

Roketkini, said Zairil (right), will not only be a website, but a “brand for us to hold forums, talks and other events in Bahasa Malaysia to reach this demographic.”

Zairil, who will sit on the board of advisors for the website, added that even though the website would cater mostly to an urban crowd, it was still the best tool for reaching rural Malays.

“DAP does not have grassroots in rural areas. So even though we have a Malay version of our party newspaper Rocket, it is difficult for us to distribute it.

“The website will actually solve distribution problems for us and even though lower-income Malays may not have a computer, most of them still access the Internet somehow,” he said.

Roketkini will launch on Monday and lean heavily on Facebook to market itself and interact with readers.

Editor Wan Hamidi Hamid said that “it doesn’t matter whether they are Mat Rempits, they will still have a Facebook account.”

“Many of them are carrying laptops and using Facebook because they are so cheap now, cheaper than smartphones,” the veteran journalist said.

He said they were able to use mobile internet or WiFi services that are now readily available at cafes and even food stalls.

Party strategist Liew Chin Tong also said that the young urban vote was the future as 72 per cent of Malaysians were under the age of 40 and made up half of all eligible voters.

He added that 65 per cent of Malaysians lived in urban areas.

Zairil said that all content will be in Bahasa Malaysia although the writers would be from different racial backgrounds.

“We have even approached some ‘dissidents’ from across the political divide although none have agreed yet,” he said.

However, DAP is unsure of how much of an impact this would have in terms of votes.

With a general election expected to be called within a year, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is still struggling to reverse a swing of Malay votes.

But Wan Hamidi said that the main point was to place DAP’s views into the Malay language sphere and begin to create a debate within the community.

“We should have done this a long time ago. With the Malay speaking audience, we really have nothing to lose and plenty to gain,” Zairil concluded.

  1. #1 by Not spoon fed on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 8:29 am

    This is really good to have Malay blog Web site.

    Please use a better name to reflect a better movement and image: rocketkini.com could be better if use other domain name like, say demokratikkini.com. This is really to portray a new image of Chinese chauvinist party.

    It is a team work to counter Basisan Nasional. Please have a pakatan.com blog too and allow true Malaysia spirit (Pakatan) Web site to blog regardless of race.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 8:58 am

    Glad to hear that. Go for it DAP!

  3. #3 by wanderer on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 9:34 am

    Give it a shot!..if you don’ try you will never know. Sometimes, miracles do happen…especially, the world is moving for “change”
    Perhaps, the Malays themselves will realize racial politics are the things of the past. Supporting a corrupted and evil regime will be the downfall of a nation.

  4. #4 by mauriyaII on Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 12:03 pm

    A ver good initiative to inform the Malay especially rural populace who do not have access to alternative media.

    Proactive articles written by authors such as Mariam Mokthar should also be included in roketkini.com. Or for that matter anyone who shows that he is aware of the racist, religious and apartheid policies of UMNO/BN to fool the rakyat that the Malays and their rights are at stake.

    Fools like the raja Katak Ibrahim Ali should be exposed to what he is trying to do at the behest of the evil mad man Mamakthir Mohamad Kutty.

    The rural folks have been brainwashed by UMNO even to the extent that other Malays in PAS, PKR and DAP are out to usurp and sell their rights.

    BTN has become an insidious propaganda organ to brainwash even the educated into believing non-Malay citizens are anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

    It is timely that DAP has decided on a Malay website to reach out to the rural and non-committed and gullible Malays.

    I propose that roketkini.com carries a bold banner that declares DAP is NOT anti-Malay or anti-Islam and that it respects the Constitution of the country.

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