The latest on the road to PRU13 is the (non) issue of some Malays turning “traitors” by joining DAP. Quite a number of bloggers have taken up this (non) issue, some UMNO politicians have asked DAP to “reveal” how many Malays there are in DAP.
One fact is not disputed – that DAP is a legally registered political party and is in fact the government of Pulau Pinang.
Let me try to understand this carefully.
Why would any Malay joining DAP become a “traitor” or even become a shocking fact? Surely, a Malay like anyone else has the mental ability and decision making skills to decide through which political party he chooses to serve his country. In a democracy, which our political system is, any citizen has the right to join any political party that he wishes.
Are we now saying that one more channel is to be closed to the Malays ie the right to choose the political channel through which he wished to serve his or her country? Surely, the Malays too should be left free to live like thinking adult.
But I am still trying to understand the spin that joining DAP is being a traitor. The question is: traitor to whom?
If the reply is that “being a traitor to the Malay community”, then this gives rise to further enquiries that needs to be addressed. The most obvious question being – since Merdeka until today, has the DAP been responsible for any acts or omission that has caused great damage to the Malay community? For example, has it been responsible for the poverty that still exists among the Malays or has it been responsible for the Malays not been able to cope effectively in businesses, especially at the cottage industry levels? The thinking person can ask many more such legitimate questions.
On another point, if a Malay joining DAP means being a traitor to the Malay community, what about a Malay joining PAS or PKR or even UMNO? After all, we have all heard speeches from political leaders how the Malays are ”split and disunited” by the three parties is PAS, PKR and UMNO. For more than 20 years we have heard that the Malays are split by the “kafir mengakfir” issue between UMNO and PAS.
One may successfully argue that the “split” among the Malays is more real because of UMNO and PAS because of the religious factor involved which has been severely politicised to the detriment of Muslims in the country. Would it then not be “tenable” to argue that joining UMNO or PAS will mean being a traitor to the Malay community? If this logic is to be followed, then to be “loyal” to the Malay community, all Malays should not join any political party! Surely, this cannot be the case.
Let’s get out of the “Malay box” for a while and look at the Indians and the Chinese.
You have only Indians in MIC, only Chinese in MCA, and largely Malays in UMNO (due to bumiputras included who are not Malays). Are we going to argue that the Indian or the Chinese is also being a traitor to their respective communities because they have joined a political party which is not of our preference? It clearly appears that it is a non-issue with the Non-Malay politician which political party they choose to join.
Why is it then an issue with some Malay politicians? What is the real agenda or fear? Surely these Malay politicians are not saying that the Malay polity is gullible or unable to think for themselves?
MCA, MIC and UMNO come together with some other political parties and form a multi-racial political component called the Barisan Nasional. They have recognised that in Malaysia, only a multi-racial, multi religious political grouping will work. You have to be really One Malaysia in Malaysian politics. Let us contrast this with Pakatan Rakyat.
Pakatan Rakyat is mainly made up of PAS, PKR and DAP. Other than PAS which is largely Malay (like UMNO), PKR and DAP is already multi-racial or at least, there is no racial qualification to be a member such as UMNO, MIC, MCA and even PAS (yes I know, you will say Muslim. I will take up that point some other time!). Pakatan Rakyat therefore is not a coalition that comes together because of the “race or religious” factor but for political expediency ie to provide an alternative to the voters in this country.
While DAP may be largely Chinese in terms of its members, the Lion of DAP is a Punjabi – Mr Karpal Singh. The point is that a capable non-Chinese can “rise” up the political ladder in DAP. Such points alone will successfully dismiss the allegation that DAP is a Chinese chauvinistic party in the light of the race qualifications for membership that MIC, MCA and UMNO is saddled with.
As I said in the beginning of this article, the fact of any Malays joining the DAP or any political party is a non-issue as far as national political maturity, service to the Nation or democracy is concerned. In the larger picture, it should not matter which political party a citizen wants to be a member of as long as he serves the Nation well without selfish and parochial ends.
I really, really pray that the politicians will move onwards to issues of substance that is facing the Nation instead of playing child-like games like this. Evan a political spin should be sophisticated and not insulting to the intelligence.
(Note: This article merely addresses the issue of citizens’ freedom (in this instance the Malay’s) to be a member of any political party he wishes and should NOT be viewed as a personal endorsement or otherwise of DAP by this blog.)