Monday, May 07, 2007

DAP & PKR - blood brothers?

What do I mean in my title for this posting? Am I referring to the DAP and PKR as blood brothers a la the native American practice of blooded brotherhood (in Penang Hokkien, brotherhood is termed 'keat pai', meaning I think wakakaka, 'united as sworn brothers before the gods', which is a very serious sacred sacrosanct vow, not unlike 'sumpah dengan potong ayam putih'), or ...

... ‘brother’ opposition parties that will eventually bathe themselves in each others’ blood? Wakakaka.

In my posting post Ijok - Quo Vadis DAP?, visitor Anon commented:

I agree with you the key DAP weakness but I am not sure I agree with you on a few other points:

1) Its true that Chinese vernacular schools issue is about quality education first and foremost but the added dimension now is that many Chinese see Chinese education as a right toward what will be a huge economic factor of China. Even highly anglicized and westernized Chinese parents in international schools and in US and Australia make their Children take Chinese lessons now.

2) Why is having two lions on the mountain not a good thing? The more lions roaring, the louder the noise. You can still be different and have the same roar. I don't agree.

I’ll deal with Anon’s 2nd query in this posting and answer the first in a further posting.

For a start, I didn’t mention ‘lions’ (which are tribal animals) in referring to the ancient Chinese aphroism – it was ‘tiger’.

The striped feline is unlike its mangy cousin as it does not live as a pride (or tribe) but rather as a solitary operator and is extremely territorial, which may explain why the ancient Chinese used that saying.

For a better understanding of what the Chinese mean by that saying, please read my earlier posting The Master & The Disciple that I posted one year ago, wakakaka.

But disregarding big cats’ behaviour, let’s look at the DAP and PKR and their claims of being multi-ethnic Malaysian parties with multi-ethnic Malaysia political ideologies and thus multi-ethnic political aims and polices.

The DAP may have partial claim to their avowed multi-ethnic credentials – for example, they have put up Indian (eg. Karpal Singh, Kulasegaran) and even Malay candidates candidates (Che Rose in Perak in earlier years, and Zulkifli Mohd Noor in 2004 and the successful DAP's 1st Malay MP, Ahmad Nor), where many of the former (Indians) have been successfully elected to both federal parliament and state assemblies though unfortunately only one of the latter had.

Leaving aside Ahmad Nor, mind you, Zulkilfi standing in Bukit Bendera (Penang), a Chinese majority federal seat (Malay:13.82%, Chinese:73.97%, India:11.07%, Others:1.14%) won nearly 18000 of the 47000 votes, and that’s no mean feat if we look at the ethnic breakdown.

Even if all 14% Malays in that constituency had turned up to cast their ballots for Zulkifli, he wouldn’t get more than 5000 votes.

I believe the reason why he didn’t make it could be due to three factors:

(1) he was exposed/introduced to the locals a wee too late in the game. Though the DAP is a powerful brand the party must not assume that is the magic key to winning. If Zulkifli is not the fire-brand like Lim KS or the medium level battler like Karpal Singh, then he must be another Lee Lam Thye, in order to win the people’s support.

(2) the Gerakan wasn’t exactly sleeping in Bukit Bendera. Though tarnished in recent years by Raja Bodek, the Gerakan is still a reasonably popular brand, especially with the Chinese senior and middle age population.

(3) the then freshly minted ‘Mr Clean’ or Bao Gong.

The sum of it was that Zulkifli did well in a Chinese majority, and that's because of the DAP brand. Under a program of continuous political investments ( and not just campaigning on the eve of the election) Zulkifli could be a winning candidate to become the DAP's 2nd Malay MP.

But that in itself ironically means that in Malay majority area the DAP brand will suffer the opposite, which has been why I have urged the DAP to rethink its Malaysian Malaysia ideology (which is afterall a policy that had originated from Lee Kuan Yew when Singapore was part of Malaysia), and to also reconsider its campaign to abolish bumiputra privileges and establishing a socialist state in Malaysia.

Thus, the DAP needs to look at three things:

(1) develop a new political vision to replace its Malaysian Malaysia that will ameliorate the fears of the Malay.

(2) develop a fresh strategic policy to accept the NEP but one that will be managed fairly and exclusively for bumiputera interest. This does not in any way disregard the currently marginalised Indians or the less fortunate Chinese. Preserve the NEP exclusively for the needy Melayu and other bumis.

Forget about Anwar Ibrahim’s claim that he would get rid of the NEP or that the policy has outlived its usefulness. As Ong Ka Ting said, Anwar would speak in human language to humans, and spirit language to spirits. I have heard of allegations that he hadn’t been very ‘kind’ in his remarks about Parthiban and the Ijok Indians in certain ceramahs.

I personally believe that the NEP still has use for a large segment of the Malay and Sarawak/Sabah bumis. It’s the misuse of this apparatus for affirmative actions that’s the problem, not the NEP per se.

(3) get rid of its socialist label – most Malays don’t understand what it stands for other than it must be a part of the Satanic communist diabolical plot.

To be continued …

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