In my posting at BolehTalk yesterday I queried whether there could be a secret war in Machap?
Of course I was talking about the by-election as one between the DAP and the Chinese element in the PKR, rather than between the DAP and the MCA.
Since 2004, where the Chinese component of PKR, led by Tian Chua, vigorously sought a greater role in Malaysian politics, they inevitably came up against the DAP. ‘Twas a case of two opposition parties (comprising mainly Chinese members) struggling to position itself as the voice of the Chinese constituency dissatisfied with the policies of the ruling party, the Barisan Nasional (BN).
As the Chinese said, there cannot be two tigers on one mountain.
Though both claim to be multi-racial parties, and no one disbelieve them to be so except those taken by BN propaganda, the reality is both depend heavily on Chinese supporters.
If we ignore for one instant that we are discussing the Chinese section of PKR, certainly PKR as a party has more Malay (former UMNO) members led by Anwar Ibrahim and some socialists by Dr Syed Husin.
DAP has very few Malay members but on the plus side to its multi-racial claim, has a history of many Indian Malaysians holding prominent positions in the party. Malays shunned it for the reason of BN propaganda. Even some Malay bloggers who are anti BN are equally anti DAP.
There was already bad blood between the Chinese section of PKR and DAP in the 2004 elections because they were scrambling over only so many constituencies favourable to their Chinese candidates. DAP could only support PKR by surrendering its hold over what it considered to be its traditional or potential strongholds.
Regarding Machap, PKR had voiced the possibility of Tian Chua standing there, but as DAP felt it was their traditional area, it quickly declared its candidature despite opposition policy to avoid costly by-elections in order to husband their meagre resources for the Big One.
DAP knows that if it doesn’t stake its claim in Machap now, even if it faces defeat, it can kiss that constituency goodbye comes the general election. PKR gave in reluctantly and ungraciously, demanding that it should be given the seat to contest when the general election is held.
Basically, both know they would face defeat in this by-election but had to run a furturistic red ribbon around Machap to say, “Hey, this seat is ours”, not unlike a doggie (or a tiger) peeing around the peirmeter of its territory to delinate its claim.
True enough, before I could say 'Machap', malaysiakini reader Umar Mukthar (whom I suspect to be a PKR bloke or at least a supporter) wrote in to say that DAP is damn selfish to present itself as the opposition candidate in Machap. Despite knowing it “will be rolled over by BN, [it still] … does not care for as long it can appear as the champions of the Chinese.”
Umar claimed that through the action of the DAP, “… the racial divide gets more and more cemented.” He stressed that this “is no way to build a country for our children.”
He lambasted the DAP every which way, making me wonder whether he was from the BN … or … yes, the PKR!
He sneered at the DAP getting a total of 1,285 votes in 2004 in an electorate where 4,518 Chinese votes were available [now who's the racist?]. He exclaimed that that’s pathetic, considering all of DAP's communal rhetoric.
OTOH, he declared that, sayang saja, it’s such a pity multi-racial PKR [though we know comprises mainly of UMNO rejects] is not contesting in Machap. This should have been the case because the PKR in 1999 had done better than the DAP in 2004.
Alas, Umar Mukthar conveniently didn’t mention that in 2004, the PKR was virtually annihilated nationwide, save for a few crucial votes in Dr Wan Azizah’s constituency of Permatang Pauh, while the DAP surged forward when it discarded the association with PAS.
In other words, today, like now, the DAP is way way ahead of a moribund PKR. Oh, incidentally, who's the current Opposition Leader? Not surprisingly, Umar forgot to mention this.
Nonetheless, Umar pursued on, voicing his pity for those voters of Machap because with the absence of most wonderful PKR in the by-election, those Machap-ians have been deprived of an opportunity to at least peer beyond the wall [meaning racist walls like the DAP’s] and enjoy a wonderful marvellous view of a colour-blind Malaysia for their children.
Wow! But then, what happened to the colour-blind PKR in 2004? Could it be because of its blindness it lost its way when it abdicated its party's independence to TaiKoh from Kelantan? Why would the voters' lack of sympathies for PKR be any different today?
Didn’t I say there’s a secret [cold] war going on – expect more sabotage against the DAP from PKR.