DAP’s Johor campaign begins, with loud cheers from Chinese for PAS

By Leslie Lau
The Malaysian Insider
April 21, 2013

JOHOR BARU, April 21 — That 72-year-old DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang was feted like a rock star by thousands of people cheering and blowing on air horns last night on the first day of campaigning here for Election 2013 was no surprise.

What was striking at a rally here for the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency was the sight of the predominantly Chinese crowd holding aloft PAS flags along with those bearing DAP’s rocket logo.

And Kit Siang captured the mood of the thousands gathered here and perhaps that of the Chinese electorate throughout the country over the perceived fear of the Islamic agenda of PAS.

“They say a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS. Is that true? Yes it is. That is because a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS, PKR and Pakatan Rakyat.

“I say here tonight. This is the battle between the past and the future,” he said as the Chinese crowd cheered enthusiastically.

The Barisan Nasional (BN), he said, represented the politics of the past, and to underscore his point, he surprisingly offered praise for his opponent, outgoing Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

The DAP candidate for Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang addresses the crowd — Picture by Saw Siow Feng“Ghani Othman is a good man. I admit he has brought development and progress. But he represents the past.

“He represents the model of BN development that is stuttered with corruption, cronyism, abuses of power and injustice.”

PR, Kit Siang argued, represented the future and a new Malaysia.

But the crowd’s enthusiasm last night was not restricted to Kit Siang.

When PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayub, who is contesting both the nearby Pulai federal seat and Nusajaya state seat, addressed them earlier, the crowd cheered and waved PAS and DAP flags.

“We are making history tonight,” he said.

“The Chinese are wearing PAS shirts and holding PAS flags. PAS members too are wearing DAP shirts.

“If the Chinese can wear PAS shirts this means that Umno can fall.”

Cooperation between the secular DAP and the Islamist PAS has always been a delicate issue for the Chinese, but conventional wisdom has been turned on its head due to developments in the past 48 hours.

Members of the audience hold a DAP flag. — Picture by Saw Siow FengAfter the Registrar of Societies (RoS) had thrown into doubt the legitimacy of DAP’s office bearers on the eve of nomination day, the secular party had considered using PAS’s logo for its candidates.

But the Election Commission allowed the DAP to continue using its rocket logo at Nomination Day yesterday, but the offer by PAS to DAP to borrow its logo appears to have brought the two parties closer together.

And a widespread perception among the Chinese that the DAP was victimised has also help break the community’s lingering distrust of PAS’s Islamic agenda.

This new spirit of togetherness between the two parties comes even as MCA launched a major advertising blitz attacking DAP for allegedly backing PAS’s Islamic agenda.

It remains to be seen if MCA’s campaign will work, but DAP-PAS cooperation did not seem to temper the enthusiasm of the thousands of Chinese gathered for Lim last night.

They matched their cheers with a massive cash donation of more than RM90,000 for the party’s election machinery.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 8:05 am

    For years Mahathir and his UMNO said that the Chinese are practical constantly citing that they could be won so long as there is business – what they really meant was Chinese were materialistic and money-minded.

    What Chinese being practical means that its not the vision of Islamic Agenda the Chinese oppose but the real practical aspect of it. Chinese support secularity but not absolute separation of religion and state. So long as PAS sticks to justifying its Islamic Agenda with results in this world, the real world, the Chinese have no problem with it. Its when the justification for doing something is ONLY AND JUST the religious text and tradition that the problem will arise..

    This cooperation between PAS and DAP is only possible because the real world problem is so obvious because of UMNO/BN rule, there is no debate of spiritual kind whatever the religion..

  2. #2 by sotong on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 8:13 am

    Race and religion are not issues…..everyone rights are protected by the Constitution.

    For decades grossly unprincipled politicians, together with bad and weaked leadership, were able to expliot these non-issues to divide the people for self interest at the great expense of the country and ordinary people.

    These ‘ leaders’ misled the ordinary people and made themselves fake ‘ hero’ or ‘ champion’ of the respective community.

  3. #3 by jjjesu on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 8:23 am

    Great to strategy to frame it as the future versus the past, rather than undermine Ghani directly. Keep praising Ghani but depersonalize it by saying its about a broader process. I hope you get a chance to work the Malay ground, which will be vital. They need to understand that their own futures are bound up with regime change while existing approaches will actually hurt them, despite all the scare-mongering rhetoric about preserving race and religion. The requirements for Malay mobility are plain and simple high skill acquisition and top-notch institutions, and no longer affirmative action. Remind them you have been an advocate of ICT and high-tech development for decades. I think Malays are more receptive to the idea that institutions, from education to security cannot be particularistic and cronyisitic. So there may be less need to go on to much about corruption and more pressing to point out real future challenges. It will be hard to swing Indians too much. Understandably, they will take immediate gains because they are not wrong to distrust the general political system on its ability to deliver to them. They encounter difficulties with the other races all the time, so many of them will take what they can on a short-term basis. So better to put equal effort with the Malays and Chinese. I hope some prominent Malays come campaign for you — Samad Ismail?? Nik Aziz, Anwar, Hadi Awang. Best wishes, James J

  4. #4 by bruno on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 8:47 am

    The DAP juggernaut has arrived in Johor with Kit Siang in the driver’s seat.Come May 5th 2013,it will surely be a tsunami of all mothers of tsunamis.

  5. #5 by Winston on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 9:31 am

    Yeah, instead of the action of the devils in the Devils’ Party driving a wedge between PAS and DAP, all their devilish acts have done exactly the opposite!!!
    And their touting of new faces as their GE candidates will not help them at all.
    Because of the simple reason that the Malaysian electorate has long been aware of the fact that these newbies although starting with a fresh slate, are being manipulated by the devils behind the scenes; these new candidates are just puppets!!!!
    Even the long retired and one-foot-in-the-grave devil master Mamak has now become the chief puppeteer!!!!
    One can be sure that the newbies will very soon be as tainted as the old devils themselves!!!
    As the Chinese saying have very aptly stated: Those near the ink-pot will be stained black!!!!!
    Reflect on that!!

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 9:54 am

    Great start BUT still NOT ENUF!
    Must get d support of more Malay voters 2 push PR 2 P’jaya
    Kali ini lah 2 TERMINATE MMK, NR, UmnoB/MCA/Gerakan/BN

    • #7 by kg on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 11:02 am

      Yes, slower response from Malay areas. PAS, PKR and DAP need to put in more. People, do your appropriate part.

  7. #8 by Winston on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 10:17 am

    Malaysians, don’t get angry!
    Get even!!
    This GE13!!!
    Now’s the time to get rid of ALL the devils in the Devils’ Party!!!!
    Once and for all!!!!!
    JUST DO IT!!!!!!

  8. #9 by Taxidriver on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 10:38 am

    During the 12th GE, I visited a Pas operation centre. I told them Pas could win a few state seats and they did. Now I say to PR/DAP this: Gelang Patah Malay voters will not hold back their support for LKS. Many Malays are saying Ghani has chosen the wrong place to contest, that he will be in for a shock. So, good luck to you bro. Lim.

    • #10 by kg on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 11:07 am

      In principle, yes, GPatah Malay voters will not hold back their support for LKS. But the response in Malay areas are slower than the Chinese areas. PAS, PKR and DAP need to put in more. People, let’s do our part to help!

  9. #11 by Taxidriver on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 10:38 am

    During the 12th GE, I visited a Pas operation centre. I told them Pas could win a few state seats and they did. Now I say to PR/DAP this: Gelang Patah Malay voters will not hold back their support for LKS. Many Malays are saying Ghani has chosen the wrong place to contest, that he will be in for a shock. So, good luck to you bro. Lim.

  10. #12 by PR123 on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 10:57 am

    The crowd at DAP’s campaign indicate a ground swell of massive support for Pakatan, a strong formidable coalition.
    Spirit of unity amongst all Johoreans will help propel Pakatan to Putrajaya.

  11. #13 by yhsiew on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 11:13 am

    That is clear evidence that the Chinese want change after having been oppressed under BN rule for 56 years!

  12. #14 by patriotmalaysian on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 12:00 pm

    Gelang patah is the stronghold for the BN. I hope gelang patah will fall to the opposition this time. When the gelang patah break… its mean the end of Barisan Najis / Sekman.

    Let us all (rakyat) united together & vote for a change and end this BN corrupted govt’s. Govt’s in any countries been in power for more than 50 years in a roll without CHANGE will become inefficient no matter how good they are.

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