Born to an Umno family, but now a DAP rising star

Ahmad Fadli KC & Lee Way Loon | 12:16PM Sep 1, 2013

INTERVIEW For many years, the Aidilfitri festive period saw Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud visiting open house functions as a custom. But this year, things are a little different.

Now her visits have an official air to it, as she is a representative of Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang.

Dyana, a UiTM law graduate who hails from Ipoh, is serving full time as Lim’s political secretary since the general election in May.

She first came to prominence in early 2012, when Lim held a press conference to announce her entry into DAP.

Interestingly, one of the her reasons for joining DAP was her experience in UiTM, the sole university in the country which is exclusive to bumiputera.

“While I managed to get into UiTM, some of my (non-bumiputera) friends who had similar results were not accepted into public universities. They couldn’t get any scholarship.

“So I think that’s not fair. What would happen to my friends? Do they have to spend a lot of money to get into the private university?” she said during an interview last month.

UiTM for non-Malays

Looking back at her experience in UiTM, Dyana opined that a public higher education similar to UiTM should be established for non-Malays.

She was disappointed that some of her non-Malay friends, regardless of whether they had good results, were denied the opportunity to further their studies at public higher education institutes.

“The non-Malays should have equal opportunity as Malays. A higher education institute that accepts the enrollment of non-Malays but at the same time only charges the same amount as UiTM is necessary.”

She believes that the time is ripe for the education system in Malaysia to go beyond racial lines and instead be based on needs.

Even though she is now active in DAP, Dyana was born into a family that was very active in Umno.

“My mother is still a Umno member until today. She is also the first division secretary for the party women’s wing in Malaysia. In fact, my uncles are also involved in Umno politics.

“They would discuss politics when the family meets. I heard their stories and grew up with them,” she further said.

Dyana said that her mother was understanding and blessed her choice to become a DAP member instead.

“She said that if we believe in something, we should go ahead and do it, that sometimes it is good for us to swim against the tide in order to make a statement,” said the young lawyer who has her own law firm in Cyberjaya.

Conversation with Zairil

But what strengthened her resolve was a conversation with Zairil Khir Johari, the political secretary to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and now the Bukit Bendera MP.

“It was a multiracial meet up with about ten people that included Zairil (left) and (The Rocket’s editor-in-chief) Wan Hamidi (Hamid). I asked him why should I join DAP?

“He told me what the party fighting for. And I can see that he is very comfortable with DAP,” she recalled.

After joining DAP for more than a year, Dyana said she was indeed comfortable in the party although most of its members are Chinese.

“I felt I was welcome everywhere. When I want to perform my prayers, I can just go to the surau. It’s like me going back to the primary school days.

“I just believe in what Zairil said. Sometimes they speak a language that I don’t understand, but I just tried to understand it,” she said, with smile.

Like Dyana, Zairil too was born into a family that had active Umno members.

‘Traitor’ label

Despite facing some harsh criticisms from her members of her own race, the young girl’s spirit always remains high.

“I don’t feel hurt by the ‘penghianat’ (traitor) label,” she said, adding that she always sees herself as a Malaysian.

Dyana is also faced by challenge of handling the stigma that some Malays in Johor still have about DAP, which has been portrayed time and again as being an anti-Malay party by the ruling government.

She and two colleagues from the Gelang Patah parliamentary office were once chased away from a village in June even though they were there to gather details about the problems faced by the residents there, on behalf of Lim.

“After winning (the constituency), we received a call from some residents at the village who wanted to complain about the status of the land where they were residing.

“But when we reached there the village chief came to meet us and pulled my hand and asked me to go back. He pointed right at my face and said, ‘we have our menteri besar and we don’t need you’,” she said.

However, Dyana said she will keep going to these Malay villages “because they need me.”

“I will feel guilty of I don’t go and meet them. Their willingness to call us there in the first place is already good progress. Little by little, they will surely come forward to hold discussions with us,” she added.
The interview was conducted by Lee Way Loon, Ahmad Fadli KC and Mohd Azudin Shah Mohd Hidzir.

  1. #1 by rjbeee on Sunday, 1 September 2013 - 10:20 pm

    Apa Bumiputera mahu……semua ada lagi mahu..mamak tongkang did it

  2. #2 by bennylohstocks on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 5:58 am

  3. #3 by Bunch of Suckers on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 8:05 am

    Be vigilant!!! UMNO CIA/KGB aboard???

    • #4 by Di Shi Jiu on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 10:43 am

      Bunch of Suckers,

      You, sir/madam, are either an absolute moron or a thinly disguised UMNO plant or a misguided Malaysian.

      You seem little different from those you claim to despise.

      You do not seem to believe in giving other Malaysians an opportunity to prove their worth.

      You appear to have no belief in meritocracy, in equality, in a Malaysia for Malaysians.

      But, I don’t blame you for the way you think. You are a product of the politics of racial divison, racial hatred and racial suspicion which BN has championed all these years.

      If you say I am wrong about you and that you do believe in a Malaysia for all Malaysians, you, sir/madam, should learn how to hold your hand out in friendship towards those who want to share your views of a united and strong Malaysia.

      • #5 by Bunch of Suckers on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 1:30 pm

        I’m moron; you’re sucker or mother-topper!!!

        You misinterpreted my comment as you want to show off you’re pretty smart using your scientific background!!! Did I say I am against meritocracy??? Please decipher and elaborate to me my comment!!! Otherwise, Mama topper, back off to top your mama or papa !!!

        The fact is, “I’m one of the best loyalty and supporter for DAP and opposition party!!!! I’m against corruptions, cheating in powers and etc-etc.. The comment: “Be vigilant!!! UMNO CIA/KGB aboard???” is obviously advised DAP to be careful as UMNO suckers are good in cheating and swindling… They often play dirty and all sorts of tricks to win and stay powers…

        Back off, sucker! Don’t try to show your genius in science to misinterpret other’s comment!!!

      • #6 by Bunch of Suckers on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 1:37 pm

        Sucker! I will never be BN member and supporter even the opposition party is BN, MCA or UMNO!!! I knew they are true suckers like you…

        So, mama-topper, you can RIP after topping…

        • #7 by Di Shi Jiu on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 2:39 pm

          Bunch of Suckers,


          That got your goat, eh? :)

          Firstly, I am no genius in science and I am not sure what science has to do with this.

          In fact, if you knew me in real life, you will find that I am probably no smarter than you :)

          Secondly, it would seem that you do believe I am wrong in what I thought you were.

          Thirdly, I see your comment as a snide remark in an article about Dyana Sofya who comes from an UMNO family.

          I am extremely sorry to say so, but the tone and tenor of your comment implies that Dyana Sofya may be an UMNO spy.

          I would be extremely disappointed if that was what you were trying to suggest.

          Perhaps you may wish to clarify your comment.

          Fourthly, I don’t doubt the passion you seem to have in supporting DAP.

          If you are a die-hard DAP supporter, I would counsel you to be more cautious with your words and even more so when you are commenting on Lim Kit Siang’s blog.

          You and I are not the only two persons reading this.

          I am not going to pretend that I may or may not have misinterpreted your comment.

          Consider it a fortunate set of circumstances that I am taking a very relaxed approach to your rather strident protestations and personal insults about me and my mother :)

          I am just going to put YOU in the hot seat and let you clarify yourself in a rational and adult manner.

          Let me caution you again to think carefully before you respond to this, OK? :)

          BTW, no matter how you respond, I don’t intend to make this a big deal, so it is very likely you will have the last word on this matter.

          Over to you, Bunch of Suckers. :) And pls think carefully how you respond, I beg you.

          • #8 by Bunch of Suckers on Tuesday, 3 September 2013 - 9:29 am

            Di Shi Jiu

            Who did the personal attacks first???? Please answer me sincerely!! You think the word MORON can be thrown freely to anyone??? There was nothing wrong with my comment that needs not you to warn me repeatedly. After all, you’re neither a moderator nor the owner of the website as LKS was not even took action to brush it off!!!

            My comment was so simple (“Be vigilant!!! UMNO CIA/KGB aboard???”), and it should be without your intention to show off your genius in deploying scientific methods for reasoning by adding unfavorable spices and artificial flavors. Please get back to review what you had written in responding to my comment; you would realize how other’s feeling. Not only has the word Moron alone; you also added sarcastic sentences deliberately that were completely out of contexts based on your assumptions!!!

            The reason for me to praise your genius in scientific knowledge as you claimed that you were brought up in science backgrounds in your past post when someone suggested consulting Chinese medium for finding out the real murder of Mongolian beauty. You bragged much about your disbelief in old and obsolete way; but you fully believed only in science!!! You even attacked BN and UMNO for believing in old fashion ways without scientific proofs that causing all sorts of messes and etc…

            Rather than you warn me how to comment; I must warn you to be careful in response to others’ comment!!! If you did this with your personal attacks and sarcastic words or sentences deliberately on someone, who is hot-temper, on face-to-face basis; your nose and eye would be broken with black eye… That’s fact!!!

            Take it from there! If you often think that you’re always smart with geniuses, as you often do so, in highly scientific thinking and knowledge for adding “unfavorable spices and artificial flavors” in responding to someone’s comments, be careful!!!!!!!! If you did this on face-2-face conversation, make sure, you have medical fees ready or medical insurance cover…

  4. #9 by Di Shi Jiu on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 10:00 am

    Dyana Sofya,

    As one Malaysian to another, I bid you welcome you to the struggle against an unjust and corrupt BN government.

    I, for one, sincerely hope that you will rise to great heights in your own personal struggle for equality amongst all Malaysians.

  5. #10 by Winston on Monday, 2 September 2013 - 10:11 am

    It augurs well that more and more young, capable and forward looking Malays are joining the DAP.
    Hopefully, they can try to change the mindset of the other Malays, especially those in the rural areas.

  6. #11 by on cheng on Thursday, 5 September 2013 - 3:24 pm

    just don’t understand why some people (party) thinks that Malaysia can become a developed nation by separating their people into 2 groups, and for past 44 years (and still does)

    and govt help one groups (60%) greatly in all aspect (economically, education etc),
    and troubled, stops, hinders, blocks the other groups (40%) in all aspects.
    cannot find one such examples among developed nations !!

  7. #12 by on cheng on Thursday, 5 September 2013 - 3:26 pm

    UITM is also unique in the world ! No similararity ?

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