Thursday, 3 March 2011

Zairil Khir Johari's entry into the DAP.. one swallow does not make a summer

"The DAP not only wants Malay votes, it is now faced with the stark truth that they need Malay support to be in power in Putrajaya and they know that they cannot get reliable support from PAS or PKR"

"The DAP wants Malay votes but it appears the Chinese-centric party lacks sincerity with its game of double face"

"Catching a glimpse of a Malay in DAP is like spotting a polar bear that has strayed into the Malaysian jungle"

The following article from the FMT by Sdr. Sharifuddin Latif is a fair view of what I envisage many Malays from both sides of the political divide think of the  the Chinese chauvinist Democratic Action Party:

Malays find it hard to trust DAP
March 2, 2011


By Sharifuddin A Latiff

There was some brouhaha last week over the appointment of Zairil Khir Johari as “the first Malay political secretary to a DAP secretary-general”. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had called a press conference to introduce Zairil, son of the late Mohd Khir Johari who held various Cabinet portfolios under Umno.

If the new staff had been a Chinese man or woman of identical merit, DAP would never have bothered with generating the publicity. Any young aide who’s Chinese would have just assumed his job without fanfare.

It’s evident that young Zairil was fast-tracked to the top because of his Malay name and this a mere four months after joining the party. Similar to how Tunku Abdul Aziz parachuted into the party to straightaway become vice-president.

Like Tunku Aziz, Zairil, who obtained his degree from a prestigious university in London, is not a grassroots man. Both are elitist window-dressing to lend a veneer of multiracialism to DAP. Their presence is to hopefully paper over the party’s lack of depth concerning Malay participation.

Where are the Malay card-carrying members who can lay the groundwork as genuine rank-and-file?
Granted, the party has had to contend with its image of being Chinese-centric and this portrayal is constantly reinforced by Utusan and the government propaganda. But still, has there been any real effort to make DAP more appealing to Malays?

Looking past the DAP rhetoric, one can easily evaluate the DAP reality. Its Selangor central committee comprises Jenice Lee, Hannah Yeoh, Charles Santiago, Teng Chang Khim, Ng Suee Lim, Ean Yong Hian Wah, Gobind Singh Deo, Tony Pua, Lau Weng San, Teo Nie Ching, Teresa Kok, Tiew Way Keng, S Ramakrishnan, Lim Soo Hong and T Kannan. Not a single Malay in sight.

Another major party branch is DAP Perak. Its top line-up: Ngeh Koo Ham, V Sivakumar, A Sivanesan, M Kulasegaran, Nga Kor Ming, Ong Boon Piow, Lim Pek Har, Teh Hock Ke, Wong Kah Who, Paul Yong Choo Kiong, Teh Kok Lim, Chen Fook Chye, Yew Tian Hoe and Leong Mee Meng.

The Penang DAP leadership is represented by Chow Kon Yeow, Prof P Ramasamy, Jagdeep Singh Deo, Lim Hock Seng, Ng Wei Aik, Lim Hui Ying (Guan Eng’s sister), Wong Hon Wai, Teh Yee Cheu, Harvindar Singh, Lay Hock Peng, Chong Eng, Gooi Seong Kin, Law Heng Kiang, Koay Teng Hai, RSN Rayer, Phee Boon Poh, Lau Keng Ee, Tan Hun Wooi and Lim Siew Khim.

Catching a glimpse of a Malay in DAP is like spotting a polar bear that has strayed into the Malaysian jungle.

As tokenism, Zulkifli Mohd Noor – son of the late Ahmad Nor (a notable DAP leader) – was last December appointed to the state committee in Penang.

The Star reported: ‘“For the party to attract more Malay support, we must ensure more representation in the party and state government. Malays account for 46% of the population in Penang,” [Zulkifli] said in reference to the fact that there was no Malay in the state committee line-up.

Has DAP made any sustained effort to encourage and integrate Malays into future leadership roles? After all, the party has been touting “Malaysian Malaysia” since the 1960s, so please don’t give us the flimsy excuse that DAP has not had enough time to carry out recruitment and other measures.

Be that as it may, let’s return to Zairil.

A number of the press reports heralding his recent induction into the party inner circle carried the tag “Malay” (political-secretary/aide, etc) in their headlines, including Malaysiakini’s ‘KM Pulau Pinang lantik setiausaha politik Melayu’. The media unanimously highlighted “Malay” as the news-worthy factor because it was the party itself that had taken great pains to emphasize Zairil is Malay, despite his Chinese features.

Does anyone see how DAP’s “Malaysian First” posturing is incongruent with Zairil’s Kodak moment? In view of its loud sloganeering, DAP could have simply introduced Zairil as its “Malaysian” talent who is injecting the much desired new blood. But no, DAP had to trot out Zairil as its new Malay face.

Yet, we can still remember how the very same party went for Muhyiddin Yassin’s throat when our deputy prime minister prided himself on his Malay ethnicity. Talk about double standard and hypocrisy.

This most recent stunt by DAP indicates that it is no different from Umno or MCA and MIC for playing the race card. At least the BN component parties are willing to be forthright about their communalism, unlike the Pakatan Rakyat chameleons.

And DAP even goes one up by playing the Islam religious card. In trying to out-Islamise PAS, Guan Eng and his protégés have really gone overboard to the extent that the Penang chief minister became the hottest target for doctored photographs displaying him in various pious Muslim guises.
Now championing Islamic state?

DAP since March 8, 2008 has been pandering to Malay-Islamic sensibilities (read: fishing the Malay-Muslim vote bank) and abandoning its long-time principle of secularism.
Rather ironically – and it would be funny if it were not at the same time so dire – DAP has set about promoting Islamisation with such gusto as to intimidate those of us Malays who are born Muslim.

One ought to bear in mind that the Malay establishment has traditionally put the fear in us that if we don’t watch out, the Chinese will take over and control everything, and leaving us floundering on the sidelines.

And guess what DAP has been up to of late? It is doing the “Islam thing” with the breathtaking efficiency usually associated with highly competitive Chinese firms. Forgive us for mistaking that DAP Chinese intend to outperform us in Islam too.

Take, for instance, the historic doa recital at the Penang DAP convention which lends to the conjecture: Will the party soon be setting up a Dewan Ulama wing ala PAS?

Does Penang with its Jawi street signs desire to rival Kelantan as the Corridor of Mecca? In the eagerness for politicking form over substance, DAP’s good governance policies (if any) fail to be heard above its copycat Islamic chants. Does DAP believe that Malays are not interested in these aspects of substantive democracy?

But here’s the real clincher why Malays find it hard to trust DAP. We are politically savvy enough to look at your actions, not easily beguiled by your sales pitch.

Especially online where the DAP cybertroopers proliferate, we see the amount of venom spewed against the Malay race. This denigration of us may be couched as comments aimed at Umnoputras but nonetheless we kena tempias juga whatever our own ambivalent feelings about Umno.

It is public knowledge that Guan Eng maintains a “powerful media department” whose Penang state officers in the CM’s office prowl Facebook and Twitter to defend the party as well as viciously attack detractors. The online attacks are ostensibly against “Umno Malays” (“PAS Malays” are treated as separate and spared) and against Umno Islam (“PAS Islam” is treated as separate and with kid gloves).

This game of double face that DAP is playing can only go so far. Even in the near future, the fed-up ordinary Malay might well just heed the call for Malay unity, at which time the political stratagem of DAP will backfire and splatter on the party’s own face.

The party wants Malay votes but it lacks sincerity. On Feb 27, the Indians had rallied against their stigmatisation in the novel “Interlok”. Yet not one Pakatan or DAP Chinese leader has come out to condemn the book even though the Indians have continually voiced their distress the last three months.

The writer blogs at Hartal MSM, read the full FMT article here.

I don't know about the DAP's latest move to sort of deChinese the DAP so to speak, they had all of forty years to do it but they have not done it for reasons best known to their aging leader Lim Kit Siang, but, last I heard Zairil's name is Zairil Khir Johari bin Abdullah, some says that he is Puan Sri Christine's son from a previous marriage before she met the late Tan Sri Khir Johari. 

I am not debating whether Zairil is a Malay or Chinese, if he considers himself a Malay then what ever will be will be. Let me tell the DAP that the Malays are not as gullible and naive politically as they like to think we are. The Brits, a great colonial power they once were found out too late that the Malays cannot be taken lightly when they tried to introduce the Malayan Union into the then Malaya.

Zairil's express entry into the upper echelon of the DAP leadership is just window dressing and would not easily change the Malay perception of the DAP as a Chinese Centric Party and it will still need PAS and PKR if it will ever realise its dream to occupy Putrajaya. 

For sure, one swallow does not make a summer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pada hemat saya, Melayu kalau di bawah DAP akan ditatang bagai dulang minyak penuh. Bukan kerana mereka benar-benar ikhlas tetapi sebagai percaturan politik untuk dijadikan umpan - pasti dihebohkan nanti: "Hah, tengoklah betapa prihatinnya kami terhadap kaum Melayu dan melambak-lambak peluang yang disediakan bagimu" (ruj. kes baru-baru ini, negeri Pakatan Selangar yang biasiswa kerajaannya rata-rata diberikan kepada penuntut Melayu sementara budak Cina dan budak India dipinggirkan). DAP cukup faham mereka mengkehendaki undi Melayu untuk melebihkan jumlah kerusi yang bakal diperolehi. Kawasan majoriti Cina sudah mereka bolos semua dan DAP mungkin yakin para pemilih Cina tidak akan lagi berbalik kepada MCA. Pada kaum India pula DAP tak pandang kerana difikirkan mereka bahawa masyarakat India tiada ada apa-apa yang boleh menguntungkan mereka. Di situlah DAP tersilap langkah; agar yang dikendong (undi India) tercicir, yang dikejar (undi Melayu) tak dapat ... baru padan muka. - .P.