Friday, January 27, 2012
I read with bemusement and disappointment not for the first time, MP for Rembau, Khairy Jamaluddin asking DAP to declare its number of Malay members to prove our 'multiracial' credentials.
It is unfortunate that Khairy is not able to rid himself of the UMNO paradigm of race-based ideology and politics. The DAP has never denied the fact that Malays form a small proportion of our membership base, and this "weakness" has been exploited by BN politicians stuck in the racial mindset to the hilt to frighten the Malay community into submission.
Khairy and his fellow BN leaders subcribes to the quota-based "multi-racial" definition where it can only be multi-racial if 70% of scholarships are awarded to Malays or if 30% of corporate wealth is in the hands of bumiputeras (excluding Government ownership).
The DAP's political ideology is based on social justice, democracy, freedom and equal opportunity and not based on race. Hence we are multi-racial because we do not ban membership based on the colour of one's skin, unlike the key BN parties of UMNO, MCA and MIC. The DAP accept all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or geography as members, as long as they believe in our struggles and subscribe to our political ideals.
There is no question that we face the uphill task of convincing the Malay community to join our struggles over the past decades, especially in the light of UMNO's use of racial arguments to fan sentiments, attract and retain members. However, our leaders have never been dismayed by the uphill battle and have no intention of sacrificing our ideals by doing a "Perkasa", just to attract more Malay members. The means will not justify the ends.
Instead we believe that over time, the principles of social justice, freedom, democracy and equal opportunity will emerge victorious against race-supremacist ideologies. Increasingly, we can see greater dissatisfaction among the Malay community of UMNO's antics of hiding corruption, cronyism and abuse of power under the guise of the New Economic Policy. We are happy that there are an increasing number of leaders and activists in the Malay community who have joined DAP recently because they believe in our cause.
The numbers will only increase once the Malay community, and Malaysians at large see past the lies printed in BN-owned mainstream media, and understand that the DAP causes will benefit all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and geography. Hopefully Khairy, of all people, will be able to rid himself of his preoccupation with race by then.