Sunday, August 29, 2010

DAP Strengthens Relations with Malay-Muslims; Umno Edgy

Mosque visits reflect deeper PAS-DAP ties, makes Umno edgy
By Neville Spykerman August 29, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — The furore over Lim Guan Eng’s name being mentioned in Friday sermons and now the visit of a DAP MP to a surau is a reflection of deeper PAS-DAP ties that has made Umno uncomfortable ahead of the next general elections, say analysts and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians.

PAS has stoutly defended both incidents and point out that only Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and state news agency Bernama are championing the issues but not by others on the ground.

“Umno is afraid of deeper PAS-DAP ties so the only way is to wreck it where possible,” Harakahdaily website editor Zulkifli Sulong told The Malaysian Insider.

He pointed out that PAS leaders see nothing wrong with the twin issues, adding even PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat has backed the outreach to non-Muslims.

“There is nothing wrong except in the eyes of Umno and Utusan,” said the editor of the PAS news portal.

Klang MP Charles Santiago agreed with Zulkifli’s assessment of the issue that began at the onset of the Ramadan fasting month.

“The uproar in the Umno-owned press are calculated moves to drive a wedge between DAP, PAS and the Malay community,” Santiago said..

The DAP MP described the issue as “high level bigotry” and said Umno was concern by the party’s growing acceptance by PAS and the Malay community.

His sentiments were echoed by Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua who pointed out that DAP was working well not only with PAS but PKR.

He added Umno was wary because DAP has been breaking down the perception it was a Chinese chauvinist party concern with only Chinese or Indian issues.

“Umno is clearly worried,” said Pua.

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