The DAP Malays

Ariff Sabri | 16 December 2012

UMNO and its supporters are making cannon fodder of the unsuccessful attempts by 8 Malay DAP members to get placement in the 20-person CEC. I wrote this article before the appointment of 2 Malays into the CEC.

Lt Colonel Rosli a former serviceman who is now practising as a lawyer in Seremban said it best. The next person sitting to me asked for my name, told him and he didn’t even know I was contesting. I wasn’t going to campaign to him there and then.

Which means, the unsuccessful bid for places in DAP’s CEC is more a case for being relative unknowns. Malay DAP leaders if they wish to get into the CEC must catch the attention and imagination of DAP delegates. Which means the Malays in DAP must earn their keep and keep their peace. Don’t go doing a Tunku Aziz stunt.

The worse thing any Malay DAP member or leader can do is to read what has just happened at the 16th DAP National Congress with an UMNO mindset. Yes, we shall continue to talk about UMNO- because UMNO stands in our way to form the next federal government. We must continue to expose the rotten system that UMNO leaders have built up and that has caused misery to this country, especially to Malays.

The UMNO mindset is that you deserve to get something just because you are UMNO. UMNO is built on the idea, which says you can get ahead by cutting corners, leveraging on politics, exploiting inherited status and so forth. The world does not operate on the terms of a world by which UMNO operates. The world moves on, driven by people’s abilities and on the basis on what they can contribute. That is NOT the UMNO mindset.

Applied to the present case of the absence of elected Malays DAP leaders- it means that you come into an organization with its own internal dynamics, expecting to be served, expecting to get ahead by way of cutting corners. Recognition, respect and appreciation must now be earned instead of demanding into being accepted because of perceived stature.

All of us, not only Malays must now begin to think if we have not already done so, that we move on in life being assessed by (1) what we can do rather than who we are. That would depend on our abilities, resolve and single-mindedness. (2) We must believe that anyone and not just specific persons with specific surnames can do specific jobs. Today it’s Guan Eng who is SG. In a few years, maybe another person with a another surname, judged by his peers as having the qualities and abilities to do the job as SG will replace Guan Eng.

We must first of all congratulate all those who earned their places in the 20-person CEC.

Maybe I have missed out the news- but I have not heard any complaints yet from the Malaysian Indian candidates. More Indians offered themselves in the contest but only Kulasegaran got in. if they did not grumble and got gruffly, Malay DAP members must learn from them one thing or two.

A few friends called to ask, did you lose in the DAP elections? I said I did not lose nor did I win. I did not contest. When the results were announced late evening, no Malay candidates won any place in the 20-strong central executive committee (CEC).

A total of eight Malay candidates contested for places in the 20-person CEC. These included Zairil Khir Johari ( CM Guan Eng’s polsec), Zulkifli Mohd Noor (216 votes), Senator Ariffin SM Omar (748), Johor DAP vice-chairman Ahmad Ton (347 votes), Pahang DAP deputy chairman Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji (121), Desa Manjung DAP branch chairman Solaiman Op Syed Ibrahim (98), Roseli Abdul Ghani (39) and Harun Ahmad (28).
The DAP leaders who won were:-

  1. Lim Kit Siang

  2. Lim Guan Eng

  3. Karpal Singh

  4. Chong Chieng Jeng

  5. Loke Siew Fook

  6. Vincent Vu

  7. Tan Kok Wai

  8. Gobind Singh Deo

  9. Tony Pua

  10. Teng Chang Khim

  11. Fong Kui Lun

  12. Nga Kor Ming

  13. Chong Eng

  14. Chow Kon Yeow

  15. Liew Chin Tong

  16. M Kulasegaran

  17. Boo Cheng Hau

  18. Teresa Kok

  19. Teo Nie Ching

  20. Ngeh Koo Ham

Many friends text me saying the results were disappointing because not a single Malay candidate made it into the 20- person committee. Why didn’t any of them get selected? Perhaps it’s the fault of the candidates and the delegates and also the DAP leadership.

How do we explain what happened? First let’s set aside one issue first. This is not an issue of the DAP leadership abandoning its agenda for inclusiveness. But it has revealed some weaknesses in translating the agenda into practice.

It shows that the leadership hasn’t done sufficiently in its efforts to educate the delegates and DAP members of the importance of inclusiveness. Unless the DAP leadership has resigned itself to forever be an opposition party as opposed to a party that can be a partner in governing, then, the will not make efforts to cultivate Malay DAP members.

I was at the congress and listened to the speech given by party secretary general, Lim Guan Eng. It was a as a matter- of- factly speech which did not require enthralling the delegates with histrionics or banshee-like screaming. It would have been better if he had left out bashing the UMNO/BN government and talking like an opposition party at the periphery. He can speak as government now that PR has control of 4 states and will likely evict UMNO from the seat in Putrajaya.

I thought there was a little misreading of the mood of delegates. The majority of the delegates were not accustomed to adjusting their thinking after years of being perceived as Chinese chauvinists. It comes by as second nature if the majority of the delegates felt it wasn’t necessary to be inclusive. If this mood was read correctly, maybe secgen Lim Guan Eng could have applied some moderating influence.

This kind of thinking, conditioned over the years by the baneful influence of race-centric thinking could be have been moderated. The secgen missed the opportunity to apply some leavening influence in his speech. If the secgen had mentioned that in line with our agenda to evolve into a multiracial party for all Malaysians, he would very much liked it if delegates in the convention also reflect that agenda with their voting.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 - 6:23 pm

    Sure not bcos of MONEY politics aaah?
    Or is it bcos of d bad experience with TAA I Bra Him?

  2. #2 by john on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 - 9:11 pm

    As it is now, the multi-racial setting is met halfway by the make-up of individual component parties – PKR, DAP, PAS for PR. Just ponder, it is possible to merge these three into ONE PARTY, then, truely multi-racial. Same, Umno/bn into a single entity – possible ?
    Maybe it’ll take many, many,.. moons but as it is now all these are distractions on G13.

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