Young and idealistic Malaysians came together fifty years ago to form the Democratic Action Party not because of perks, position or power but because of our common beliefs in justice, freedom and national unity out of our diverse races, religions, languages and cultures in the country and out of our love and patriotism for Malaysia as we believe Malaysia can become a great nation and a show-case to the world for successful and harmonious plural nation building.
We never thought that we would be around for fifty years, but we were engaged not in a battle for a day but for ages, as we are committed in a long-term mission to realise our vision of a great nation founded on the principles of justice, freedom, democracy, integrity and good governance.
The five-decade history of DAP, which will be fully 50 on March 18, 2016, the date of our registration, can be divided into four phases:
Phase 1 (1966 – 1969): Founding of Party.
Phase 2 (1969 – 1986): Establishment of DAP as the first Pan-Malaysian political party with parliamentary representation not only from Peninsular Malaysia, but also Sarawak and Sabah.
Phase 3 (1986- 2008): Consolidation of DAP as a major political party in Malaysia.
Phase 4 (2008 – 2016): Coalition State Government in Penang and Selangor (and for a year in Perak 2008-2009).
We must aim for greater heights to make the 50th anniversary of DAP even more worthwhile and meaningful – to form the Federal Malaysian Government in Putrajaya in the 14th General Election under the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
We must work towards the party’s fifth phase to start with the 14GE when DAP as part of Pakatan Harapan form the Federal Government of Malaysia.
This must be one of three objectives of the DAP post-50th Anniversary.
The other two are:
• Debunk the lies and falsehoods against the DAP, in particular that the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam.
• Further development and growth of DAP as a political party for all Malaysians, both in policy direction and at all levels of party leadership and representation.
DAP needs increasing efforts to debunk lies and falsehoods about the DAP being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, as this is a last desperate attempt to avert UMNO from defeat in the 14th General Election in 2018.
UMNO propagandists are hard at work to spread fear that Malays will lose their political power if UMNO loses in the 14GE, and as a consequence, Islam will also suffer as a victim.
Both of thse are dangerous and baseless fallacies – firstly, that the defeat of UMNO in the 14th General Election will result in Malay losing political power in country and secondly, the defeat of UMNO will result in the defeat of Islam in Malaysia.
If the electoral system had been really “one man, one vote, one value”, UMNO would now be in the Opposition benches and the Prime Minister today would be Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and not Datuk Seri Najib Razak; the country would have been spared the catalogue of political and socio-economic scandals plaguing the country, including Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal; the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal which have caused Malaysia to be ranked third in the world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015”; the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) adding to the hardships of low-income Malaysians already sandwiched between rising cost of living and falling incomes; and horror of horrors, the National Security Council Bill which usurps the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the proclamation of an emergency, the Cabinet and 13 State Governments.
So far, nobody in UMNO and its propaganda apparatus has been able to give a decent reply to the question asked by National Laureate Pak Samad as to how Malays would lose political power if UMNO is defeated in a general election.
If Pakatan Harapan succeeds in winning Putrajaya in the 14GE, one of its top priorities will be to do better than UMNO/BN to look after the rights and interests of all Malaysians, including Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans and Orang Asli as we do not want to be a one-term Federal Government but to have the confidence and support of the Malaysian electorate to continue to enjoy the mandate in Putrajaya in the subsequent general elections.
The Pakatan Harapan Federal Government will compete with UMNO and Barisan Nasional to have a better record in upholding the fundamental features of the Malaysian Constitute and looking after the rights and interests of all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli and the question of Malays or any community losing political rights, or Malays and Islam under threat, will not arise.
Pakatan Harapan will ensure that the defeat of UMNO will not be a threat or disaster for Malays or Islam, or for that matter, for any race or religion in the country.
(Speech at the Penang DAP Veterans Dinner at Starview Restaurant, Penang on Sunday, 3rd January 2016 at 9 pm)