FRANCIS PAUL SIAH
COMMENT I guess many of my DAP friends will be unhappy with the subject of this piece. That is understandable.
I speak up when I feel that things are not right, and it really doesn’t bother me if politicians, friends or not, think that my criticisms against them underline an ulterior motive on my part.
To my DAP friends, let me put it up straight today, to all of you, without malice or other ill-intent.
The Dong Jiao Zong congress fiasco has made it very clear – once as ferocious and aggressive as a tiger, DAP has now been reduced to a docile and obedient puppy.
And that is a big, big letdown to Malaysians, to the Chinese community in particular.
If DAP cannot even handle a simple matter like a three-page Jawi khat fun subject, then I must pose: Where are your balls, DAP?
For the past 19 months since Pakatan Harapan came into power, many have ticked off the DAP for their weak and ineffective role in the government.
The party did not appear to have made any significant contribution despite being the second largest partner in the coalition. I cannot recall any notable achievement about the DAP. That’s being upfront and honest.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (photo) has proudly declared that Harapan has fulfilled 60 percent of its manifesto, after a year-and-a-half in government. But there was no euphoria over that – no one is jumping up and down.
I didn’t even bother to read the finance minister’s announcement on the matter. To me, what was promised to the people must be kept – 100 percent of it.
Don’t expect me to accept the lame excuse that “it is very difficult to fulfil all our promises because we didn’t expect to win”. That does not mean anything to me.
The people’s expectation of the DAP is high. Going into GE14, the Chinese community, in particular, placed their hopes in the party and expect DAP leaders to deliver once they are in power.
It has been said that only when you have the power, then you are able to deliver. In DAP’s case, their leaders seem powerless, even when they are in power.
DAP: Out of place in the government
What does that say of the DAP? My conclusion – DAP is only effective as an opposition party. It is out of place in the government.
Perhaps, we should seriously consider putting DAP where it rightfully belongs – back in the opposition again. That is an option worth exploring, come GE 15. So DAP, just don’t say that you have not been warned.
DAP leaders might claim that it is unfair to blame them for the Dong Jiao Zong congress imbroglio. They could easily reason that other factors beyond their control were also at play.
Let me answer that. DAP can claim that by its constitution, it is a multi-racial party. But it is known as a Chinese-based party and it still is. If not, why is the DAP still contesting the Chinese-majority urban seats? Are not the majority of party members Chinese?
Wasn’t DAP always in the forefront in the past on Chinese education? Didn’t DAP court Chinese educationist groups like Dong Jiao Zong for a good part of its existence? Were not some former DAP strongmen and lawmakers Chinese educationists?
What? If DAP is unable to help resolve the Chinese Organisations Congress issue, who can we expect to resolve it? PKR? Amanah? Bersatu is clearly the problem here, if I can be blunt.
What is the point of DAP leaders coming out to blame the police or other groups after Dong Jiao Zong was forced to cancel its Dec 28 event? It is too little, too late.
The Jawi khat introduction was deemed a cabinet decision, so we were informed. What were DAP ministers’ reaction and feedback on the matter when it was first discussed in the cabinet? Did none of them realise the storm it would create when it was slated for implementation in vernacular schools for Year Four students?
At times, I wonder whether Chinese and Indian ministers from the DAP ever dare to challenge the prime minister at all in the cabinet. Have they all turned pussycats in front of Dr Mahathir Mohamad? (above) I believe so.
In the Jawi khat issue, I was actually shocked when DAP leaders came out in support of its implementation, even in vernacular schools.
It is foolhardy to think that SJKCs will be the ones to decide (according to the Education Ministry) because we are only too familiar with various unseen mechanisms at play, which will force its implementation in all schools, eventually.
How is it that none of the DAP ministers questioned its necessity or relevance among non-Malay students in the first place?
DAP leaders, being part of the coalition government in power now, are probably trying their best to be tolerant, thinking that is a fair deal. Credit to the DAP leaders if they think that adopting the spirit of give-and-take is the best option. Only that they have been hoodwinked.
DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang has cautioned that Vision 2020 will not be achieved next year, unless the people resolve the crisis over the Jawi issue in a “peaceful and consensual Malaysian manner”.
To dear Kit Siang (photo) and my many DAP friends, let me say this: it is very clear to me that with Mahathir at the helm, there is no Malaysian way, it is Mahathir’s way or no way.
As for the give-and-take spirit, Mahathir does not give; he only takes.
I am also aware that right from the beginning (in May 2018), when Mahathir chose his cabinet members, several DAP names slotted for cabinet posts were shot down by the prime minister.
Mahathir chose the people he wanted; he couldn’t care less about the list from the DAP. DAP top brass, although dejected, chose to be subservient. That was their first folly, the beginning of many more to come.
When I wrote that Mahathir has turned “instigator” over the Dong Jong congress, I had expected Malay NGOs to be emboldened by the prime minister’s warning.
That was proven to be true. What is worse is that among the Malay NGOs lodging police reports against the Dong Jong congress, one was led by a Bersatu Youth exco-member.
There are racists in Harapan, even among the younger members. It is quite clear that Bersatu will be the main obstacle for the New Malaysia that is envisioned by many.
DAP will likely sink deeper into the cesspool with Harapan if it does not take urgent steps to quell the fears of the people – that of a government still pursuing racist policies and allowing religious bigotry to flourish.
Immediately after MCA’s demolition in GE14, then party president Liow Tiong Lai gallantly put the blame squarely on Umno, declaring that “Umno was the cause of our defeat”. That was too little, too late for MCA.
Come GE15, will a similar scenario loom, with DAP suffering the same fate as MCA in GE14? In politics, believe that the impossible is always possible.
Right now, I would have difficulty in supporting a puppy. I am looking for a tiger, a thinking and aggressive one.
FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.