In Teluk Intan, DAP’s young Malay candidate hopes to build bridges

The Malay Mail Online
May 18, 2014

TELUK INTAN, May 18 — At Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) where fees for a first degree cost just RM5,000, some Malay students drove luxury cars like Jaguars and Mercedes Benzes, according to Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud.

That made Dyana angry because non-Malay students from lower income families are kept out of the university simply because of their race.

Dyana is DAP’s choice for the Teluk Intan by-election on May 31, picked over more experienced candidates in a bid to boost the predominantly Chinese party’s multicultural credentials.

It is a role the 26 year old UiTM law graduate appears to have slipped into with ease as she looks to represent a constituency that is mainly Chinese.

“We should move on from race-based policies to needs-based policies, and at the same time, the Malays would still gain because the Malays are the majority who need it anyway,” she said in an interview with The Malay Mail Online.

Eliminating affirmative action policies favouring Bumiputeras would only be a problem for well-off Malays who unfairly benefit from race-based policies, she added.

Dyana’s entry in the race against Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong, a veteran politician twice her age, comes at a time when the dust has barely settled over the hudud controversy.

She said she believes that the Islamic penal code cannot be implemented in Malaysia as it contradicts the Federal Constitution, the country’s highest law.

“Not supporting the implementation of hudud in Malaysia does not make me less of a Muslim.”

“We live in a secular country with Islam as the official religion. That is what’s stated in the constitution.”

Dyana, also political secretary to DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, stressed that it was not un-Islamic to fight for secularism.

“I believe that some secular values are also taught in Islam. We fight for justice, we fight for good governance, accountability, speaking the truth, integrity. These are universal values,” she said.

She added that she would reassure Chinese voters, who are wary of her ethnicity, that she stood by the DAP’s stand against hudud, and that PAS has postponed plans to table parliamentary bills in its bid to implement the Islamic criminal justice system in Kelantan.

“It doesn’t matter what my race is; I can still serve the rakyat,” she said.

Dyana said she faces challenges in winning the Malay vote as the candidate from an opposition party that is seen as predominantly Chinese.

“It’s very normal for Malays to join Umno,” she said, pointing out that her mother, some uncles, cousins, and even distant relatives are members of the party that dominates Barisan Nasional.

“Turning my back on Umno doesn’t mean I’m a traitor to the Malays because Malays are not just constrained to Umno. I can still be Malay and not support Umno, because I believe that Malays are larger than Umno itself,” added Dyana who does not wear a headscarf.

She said that her family is supportive of her candidacy and added that she joined DAP in 2011 because she had friends there.

“I was not really comparing DAP, PAS, PKR,” she said.

The Teluk Intan by-election, which is scheduled on May 31, was triggered after DAP MP Seah Leong Peng recently died from cancer.

In the May 5 general election last year, Seah defeated BN’s Mah with a 7,313-vote majority.

The voter base in Teluk Intan is 42 per cent Chinese and 38 per cent Malay and 19 per cent Indian.

  1. #1 by good coolie on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 4:51 pm

    If this Dyana girl get elected it would confirm that we are moving forward to the past, away from Mahatir’s Malaysia to Tungku’s Malaysia. Only, the Malays would now not be supporting a sunken ship or a loaded dacing, but would be giving encouragement to a sincere Malaysian party.

  2. #2 by pulama on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 5:30 pm

    If Dyana gets elected, it would actually be a step forward towards a brighter future . . a Malaysian first future! This young law graduate reminds us of the Tiger of Jelutong, someone who upholds justice and integrity, someone who will fight for good governance and accountability. May Teluk Intan send her to parliament!

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 7:44 pm

    Asking the Malays to believe that the DAP can make all discrimination against all Malays go away is impossible. But the Malays have to and can believe that the DAP is not the lies of anti-Islam, anti-Malay that UMNO says they are and that UMNO betrays the Malay through their corruption and failures which DAP can fix.

  4. #4 by Justice Ipsofacto on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 7:48 pm

    And that people are two changes rolled into one: (1) malay candidate; (2) a woman.

    Try to beat that umno.

  5. #5 by narasimam on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 9:49 pm

    “fight for justice, fight for good governance, accountability, speaking the truth, integrity.” i agree n my vote is for u.

  6. #6 by narasimam on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 9:50 pm

    by the way u learned from the best. next to the great karpal, kit is the best.

  7. #7 by worldpress on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 10:56 pm

    From the beginning, the original gang promote harmony, multi-racial and multi-culture then the fake destroyed the original …raise racial and dishomry

  8. #8 by patriotmalaysian on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 10:58 pm

    Dyana, you actually joined a right party’s. If not, our late well respected YB karpal singh would not join them.
    I hope you would not be ended up like the Tunku spam who condemn the party’s when his senator post expired. You are young & clean and I hope the teluk intan people will give you the chance to make you the youngest woman mp in Malaysian history. I hope the people will not choose an old dog who is dirty and tricky to represent them. The old saying…old dogs can t learn new things.

  9. #9 by Noble House on Monday, 19 May 2014 - 4:40 am

    There is only ONE issue the Chinese voters in Teluk Intan are concerned about – HUDUD itself! Dyana needs to confront this issue “head-on” and leave no rooms for any doubts whatsoever in their minds! Get it right, and you should be on your way to Parliament. Better still, get Mah Siew Keong to answer that question!

    UMNO, as usual, has begun the smear campaign. Expect nothing else besides smut – something which they are good at!

  10. #10 by narasimam on Monday, 19 May 2014 - 9:10 pm

    building bridges means bringing people 2gether 4 peace n harmony. that’s the way forward. looking 4ward 2 the ceramahs from Kit n company. good hunting

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