PETALING JAYA: DAP central committee member Ronnie Liu has come under attack within his party today for saying it should not “dilute its Chineseness”.
“DAP is for all Malaysians. We need to cooperate with other Malay parties, but we shouldn’t degrade or portray ourselves as a non-Chinese party,” Liu said in his speech at DAP veteran Liew Ah Kim’s book launch in Klang on Monday.
The party’s Damansara MP Tony Pua called Liu a Chinese chauvinist that DAP does not need while Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said Liu’s views contradicted with his concurrent statement that it is a party for all Malaysians.
“For decades, the DAP has been labelled, both with justification, but often unfairly that we are a Chinese chauvinist party,” Pua said.
“This is a direct result of the party focusing its efforts to ensure that the rights of the minority are not trampled by Barisan Nasional’s rule by brute majority.
“The minority in this case was made up overwhelmingly by the Chinese, while the Indians made the bulk of the balance. The unfortunate outcome of this fight is the ease at which the party was tainted as a Chinese chauvinist party, because of the frequency at which Chinese-related issues were raised.”
Pua said the party under Lim Guan Eng’s leadership since 2005 has made a concerted effort to debunk that label and image. After all, it was Guan Eng who went to prison for 18 months for seeking justice for an underaged Malay girl who was raped, he pointed out.
“Despite claims to the contrary by DAP’s political opponents, the party has made great strides in becoming a more inclusive party that is more representative of all Malaysians. In particular, we have many Malay elected leaders at all levels, and nearly all states. We even have our first Murut Member of Parliament in Sabah and Bidayuh MP in Sarawak,” Pua said.
“In addition, we have many more young and progressive Malay leaders who have joined us at the branch and grassroot levels. They have joined the party in recent years as they saw DAP as a party who have fought for the rights of all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.”
Yeoh said Liu does not represent her or the DAP that she joined. “For me, I have stopped listening to Ronnie a long time ago,” she said.
“But this time I cannot stay silent because he has done a great disservice to many of us DAP leaders out there who are working hard to fight off prejudices and stigmas against the DAP.”