KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16, 2016:
DAP should work harder to shed its “Chinese image”, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.
He said that as the party claimed to be a multiracial party, DAP needed to further showcase that contention with more than just adding a “handful of Malay” members and candidates in the upcoming general election.
“Malaysia is demographically 60% Bumiputera with about 50% or so Malays, so unless the support base of any party reflects this, it cannot yet claim to be a party for all Malaysians.
“But then it is a Chinese-based multiracial party and whether it can legitimately claim to be a true Malaysian party (meaning not Chinese-based) is a matter that is still open for discussion because of the lack of a strong presence of Malays in the party
“Umno can field Christian candidates in Sabah or PAS can field Hindu candidates in Kedah, but that does not take away the fact that Umno and PAS are still Malay parties.
“In that same context, just because DAP fields a few Malay candidates in the next general election, that does not take away the fact that it is a Chinese party,” said Salleh on his official blog today.
He added that the formation of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition by the late former Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein was in order to form a new multiracial coalition alliance and that the notion to create a true non-race-based Malaysian party was in essence the rational behind the existence of BN.
“Umno does not claim it is not a Malay party, just like MCA and MIC do not claim they are not Chinese or Indian parties.
“But for Umno, MCA and MIC to agree to form a coalition party with about ten other parties demonstrates that what used to be called the Alliance Party wanted to give birth to a party or coalition that is non-racial in nature.”
Salleh also claimed that DAP had no chance of attaining victory in electoral areas dominated by a Malay-based community.
”The current discussion in the social media is about DAP not being able to attract enough Malay support. The discussion is centered on DAP fielding more Malay candidates in the next general election, especially in those seats that PAS currently ‘owns’.
“Of course, they mean the seats that PAS owns in the urban or ‘mixed’ areas and not the seats in the Malay heartland, where the voters are 90% or more Malays and, therefore, DAP would not stand a chance of winning,” he noted.