DAP’s recent move to field a Malay political novice; Dyana Mohd Daud in the recent by-election had renewed discussions on Malaysia’s change of political landscape. It couldn’t get more dramatic when it turned out that Dyana was a product of UiTM – a predominantly Bumiputera university – in addition to her family’s active ties to UMNO. Many felt that it was a brave and game-changing move by a political party that’s often associated to the Chinese. While the public across the spectrum point this to UMNO losing ground among the young Malays, a significant number also relate this as just another political gimmick by DAP’s top leadership.
In this building momentum of frustration against the flaws of Barisan Nasional, the voting pattern in the past two General Elections had swung across the divide of racial background. However it remains to be doubted if the ideals of multi-racial enigma of affirmative action based on needs is effectively resonated to new generation of Malaysians, or this pro-Opposition tilt was only as a result of common hatred against the ruling party’s abuse of power, crony-enriching policies, incompetent administration and unwise political considerations.
While DAP is hinging upon Dyana’s race in its commitment as an equal, just and democratic party, in the same breath, DAP had selectively ignore public’s outcry that the party has to reform itself from within to adapt to our multi-faceted society. In comparison to the likes of MCA, MIC & UMNO, DAP may have been right to argue that its policy takes no regard of one’s background, but citizenship. Unfortunately, this has not been strongly represented by its alternative framework and its line-up of elected representatives as well as ground members, what more refined understandings in coming up with solutions to issues that are deemed sensitive such as on Islamic matters, inequality in education, urban-rural divide as well as the special position of the Malays.
Bridging the divide of the young Malays’ belief in an unbiased, multi-racial society takes more than one candidate contesting under the Rocket’s logo. The young Malays demand for an alternative framework that’d remedy the insecurity that has been embedded by our older generations. If the Opposition coalition is serious on the existence of a united and equal Malaysia, they’ll then have to prove their commitment into a common goal that’s not necessarily exclusive to toppling Barisan Nasional, but for the betterment of the nation.
The young Malays see no reasons why DAP and PKR should contest as separate entities. What is holding the two parties back-with political framework that is almost identical-from merging?
Is it true that the DAP is meant to be a political platform of the Chinese resentment against the ruling party, while PKR is for Anwar Ibrahim to be the father-figure in fulfilling his Prime Ministerial ambition?
It is important for the opposition coalition’s leaders to ascertain their main goal for the country in order for the young Malays to start believing that no one’s interest will be forsaken upon the realisation of the grand ambition to Putrajaya.
Fielding a Malay candidate will not necessarily build up the trust of the young Malays to vote out their comfort zone. On the assumption that a united, multi-racial political front can be formed, it then becomes the responsibility of such multi-racial party to convince citizens that opportunities and assistance alike will be served to those who are in need. As much as the party wishes to reform the nation, steps must be taken to prove to the people that a non-discriminatory policy will benefit anyone regardless of background; be it in education, employment, economy and even religious tolerance. Essentially, more elaborations are needed to ascertain what exactly is meant by equality in the context of Malaysian society? Does equality mean equitability, or it rests solely on merit?
Although tackling corruption is also important for the nation, the young Malays wish to see how this will be implemented at national level by the party, especially pertaining to enforcement agencies and the judiciary as had always been alleged to be corrupted by Opposition’s members. In addition, the current Opposition’s coalition has yet to commit effective actions to improve the productivity, employability and quality-living for the youth and the people. Be it young Malays or others, we need to envision the implementation of concrete solutions to daily problems of the people, instead of hinging upon the incessant blame on the ruling party for its major flaws.
Pakatan’s ‘Buku Jingga’ was the right move towards such goal and shall further be translated by the political parties’ willingness to work as one entity.
With a closer collaboration between the progressive Malay-Muslims and the non-Malays under one umbrella-which is glaringly lacking in the present DAP-their political leaders will then be able to understand each other better with more refined, concerted view on sensitive issues that have been purposedly propagated by far-right pressure groups such as ISMA and PERKASA. It’s only with such unity that leaders will be able to comprehensively understand the reasonings behind issues that go beyond superficial explanations, such as the use of Allah by non-Muslims, and whether Hudud implementation is necessary for the nation. Dyana’s inability to provide a critical response to her party’s rejection of Hudud (aside of the Constitution’s legal limitation) had only proven that the DAP’s leadership by itself does not understand the nature of Hudud’s extension for an elaborative justification to be given by its party members.
In such situation whereby young Malays are contended that our rights to quality education, employment, constitutionality, and business opportunities aren’t restricted, but with merit, it does not matter who the candidate is in fighting for a just and equitable cause on a political platform so long as it’s one that’s representative of a Malaysian identity.
Now tell me if an aspiring young Malay who despises UMNO would not be equally turned off by DAP’s mudslinging approach in its political combats, as though the Malays are their common enemy instead of the flawed policy and political outlook represented? Furthermore, it is not appealling for young Malays to believe in DAP’s aspirations when the dominant language used by the DAP leaders themselves in public is not the national language. If DAP’s political leaders at the highest level and grassroot members are said to be not representative of a diversed Malaysia, how can they then blame their critics for who they are?