Naturally after the formal presentation, reporters raised the question of the alliance with PKR, and he stated, with a specific reference to Anwar Ibrahim, that the DAP has 'six key principles for co-operation' with opposition parties and other groups. These are:
(1) Acceptance of Bangsa Malaysia
(2) Respecting Bahasa Malaysia as the official language and fair treatment of mother tongue education
(3) Acceptance of the secular Federal Constitution
(4) Acceptance of a needs-based wealth distribution policy
(5) Acceptance of meritocracy in education; and
(6) Ensuring sustainable development
Now, in my previous posting DAP & PKR – blood brothers? I had urged the DAP to wake up from its stubborn belief that, in the principle of meritocracy alone but without considering the unique Malaysian environment, it can't win the hearts and minds of the voters.
Its persistent political credo has thus far allowed it to appeal to only the non-Malay population, but alienated the vital Malay voters. The DAP has to reconsider employing principles that would only be more appreciated in western societies. And while KT’s comments may appear either cynical or reeking of appeasement, the general who fails to consider the terrain is destined for failure and defeat.
One of the factors that Sun Tzu said would be vital to the outcome of war, of death or life of both soldiers and people, is the ground or the environment.
OK then, let’s examine its 'six key principles for co-operation' with potential allies.
No (1), (2) and (6) would not be controversial.
While No (3) appears straightforward and reflects the fact of the Malaysian Constitution, the DAP should have realised that over the last couple of decades the UMNO-led government has been deliberately shifting to the religious right as a political move, to religiously outflank its then greatest political worry, a PAS that was and still is intending on turning Malaysia into a theocratic state.
Dr Mahathir had even declared Malaysia as an Islamic nation. Sure, there are experts who spent time pontificating on the technical differences between ‘Islamic nation’ and ‘Islamic state’ or even ‘Islamic country’ – one might even develop a doctoral thesis from these constitutional hair splitting.
But almost everyone knows that Dr Mahathir’s declaration was aimed at upstaging the PAS core objective. By his seemingly radical announcement, he was in fact conducting a pre-emptive attack and pulling the religious rug from under the PAS feet.
But what has happened has been the belief by many Muslim voters in Malaysia being an Islamic state, which could explain why even some members of the bench, let alone the common people, are very mindful of the religious quicksand. The DAP needn’t sacrifice its principle but should be equally mindful as well – in other words, be sensitive to the Malay concerns.
If the DAP is satisfied at being just a non-Malay party, then that’s OK with its still persistent adherence to principles more suited for and appealing to a Western audience.
But a nice and sensitive touch to avoid would have been to state No (3) as ‘Acceptance of the secular Federal Constitution, and recognising Islam as the official religion’, which in fact is what the Constitution says.
As for No (4) and (5) I have already stated my views in an earlier posting DAP & PKR – blood brothers? It’s obvious the DAP is still rigidly fixed in its own mould that was cast some 40 years ago.
The only analogy I can apply to a person like Lim Guan Eng (and his father) is to recall a current issue in France.
Over there, a debate is raging among doctors over Muslim women who demand operations to reconstitute their hymens before marriage and medical certificates stating they are virgins.
That there should be such a controversy over the repair of a woman’s tissue has been a belief by some doctors that such requests from women, desperate to avoid the horrendous social shame and societal ostracization that would definitely follow the loss of chastity, is an 'unacceptable social regression' (to Western society) driven by Islamic fundamentalists.
Well, bloody 'unacceptable social regression' to their Western-out-of-touch-with-Islamic-reality self-importance!
Jacques Lansac, chairman of the French National College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians, is leading the campaign against what he describes as an attack on the dignity of women.
He has also issued advice against hymenoplasty, saying: "We get more and more women coming in and saying that their brothers or fathers will kill them if they find out they've slept with a man. But it's important to say no, because if we don't we're giving in to the fundamentalists."
"... we're giving in to the fundamentalists ..." - That's how he sees the whole agony (of life and death) of Muslim women.
Now contrast his Western-centric attitude (principle) with that of Jacques Milliez, head of the department of gynaecology and obstetrics at Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris, who said: "I worked in Algeria as a junior doctor and when I was on call at night I saw these young women whose throats had been slit because they were suspected of having lost their virginity. So if someone asks me, I sign the certificate."
Yes, not unlike some of those unfortunate Arab women, the purity (chastity) of the NEP has been raped repetitively over the years.
Given that, shouldn’t its once noble principles be reconstituted a la hymenoplasty (like what Jacques Milliez had compassionately done because he was totally aware of what would be the drastic consequences for those Muslim women), or should Lim still insist on a Jacques Lansac approach, namely stick to the principle of Western-centric ‘dignity’ but tough if the women are murdered by their families on matters of so-called honour?
But metaphorically speaking, it will be the DAP’s political throat that gets sembelih (slaughtered)!
I am not suggesting that he DAP be as super elastically flexible as Anwar Ibrahim who can toss in a “…as a ….. Malay and a Muslim …” when he was addressing PAS members and “wo men do ze yi jia ren” (we are now one family) when with a Chinese audience.
But if a DAP obdurately sticks within its non-Malay perimeter, that will just suit Anwar Ibrahim and PKR fine because they can claim a larger territory for themself.