Sunday, May 12, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

If the DAP, PAS and PKR are excellent political parties, with a long history, how come they are not able to get someone to work on his doctorate thesis on any of these parties especially of DAP and PAS which have been around for too long, compared to PKR, which is a greenhorn in Malaysian politics?

In fact, there is no serious work on the history and struggles of any of these parties that have been written by local as well as international historians and scholars.

Compared to Umno and even MCA and MIC which have many books written about it and its leaders.

There are even memorials constructed for the top leaders of Umno, MCA and MIC.

Yet, DAP and PAS do not see it fit to establish even one memorial for its founders.

Are they afraid that such memorials will cause their leaders and parties to be scrutinized by sober scholars?

The United Malay National Organization or Umno was formed with a noble intention, which was for the country to wrest independence from Britain. And their leaders who cooperated with the other two major racial-based political parties, the Malayan-Chinese Association (MCA) and Malayan-Indian Congress (MIC).

So no wonder each of the three parties has their leaders acclaimed as national heroes of independence. It is a fact which could not be erased.

The only thing that they could do and had erased were the names of many of the roads bearing the names of former British colonialists who had earlier governed the country, so now instead of Mountbatten Road and Campbell Road, and so on, we have Jalan Dang Wangi and Jalan Maharajalela instead.

But the DAP or Democratic Action Party, earlier and sometimes known as Parti Tindakan Demokrat is an offshoot of the Parti Tindakan Rakyat or People’s Action Party (PAP) based in Singapore, has a strange and weird history.

It was formed under unusual circumstances; it was to ensure that Umno and the two other coalition parties, MCA and MIC failed and were rejected by the voters and people.

This is certainly not a noble intention, especially since Umno, MCA and MIC were the parties that had evicted the British out of the country so the country could become independent.

And there is no point for DAP, PAS and now PKR to want to evict those parties, especially when its leaders could not fit into the Umno, MCA and MIC molds to change them from within.

They are insistent that they offer a better choice for many or most Malaysians, using the legitimate and legal political platforms and mostly the pseudo-political and psychological platforms that they can create.

The DAP is championing for the Chinese to claim more rights than they deserve, while PAS claims to be more Islamic while PKR insists that Anwar should be the next prime minister, through street protests and sometimes at the polls, if these have proven to be ineffective.

DAP which claims to be multiracial and agreeing with the ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ slogan in the end only champion the cause of the Chinese. So they should rephrase their slogan to ‘Chinese Malaysian’ instead, and be fair and truthful to everybody.

None of their leaders have stood out to champion the cause of the Melayu and Indians and of Islam, only the Chinese.

They want the government to give more land and money for the Chinese schools. But they have never demanded the government to continue to develop the other schools, such as the ‘sekolah kebangsaan’ and ‘sekolah Tamil’ including Native Sarawak and Sabah education.

However, one thing for sure is that even if they are able to do that, they can never be allowed by anyone to replace the names of road bearing the names of the early freedom-fighters of Malaya or Tanah Melayu and those related with it, such as Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan H. S. Lee, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Kampung Tunku, Putrajaya, Jalan Tun Razak and so on, replaced by names such as Jalan Lim Kit Siang, Jalan Anwar Ibrahim, or Bandar Nik Aziz and so on.

One of the founders of PAP is Lee Kuan Yew, who chose the slogan of ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ when the state was part of the Federation of Malaysia, when it was established on 16 September, 1963, which by sheer coincidence happens to be Kuan Yew’s birthday, a fact which is not generally mentioned or wondered.

When Singapore was expelled from the Federation in 1966, Kuan Yew could not shout ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ anymore now that he had to create Singapore into a country from a state.

However, with Singapore in his tight grip, he did not bother to create a new slogan to shout, which is: ‘Singaporean Singapore’.

I am sure if one were to do that, one would definitely sound quite strange if not odd.

Malaysian Malaysia has a ring to it and it sound eerie, whereas Singaporean Singapore quite ridiculous.

And DAP of Malaysia, which is a direct off-shoot of PAP, thought they could carry on and try to shout the slogan of Malaysian Malaysia, but over the years, they sounded coarse, so much so that their leaders especially Lim Kit Siang had to put the slogan aside.

Unfortunately, without the slogan DAP cannot claim to have any real political struggle in Malaysian politics of today, as the real and only mission of the DAP was to create Malaysian Malaysia.

But what they do not know is we already have Malaysian Malaysia. Malaysia cannot be for foreigners like American Malaysia or British Malaysia, and so on.

So it was such a ridiculous slogan and I did not know why Kuan Yew had to bother creating it in the first place. He would have been appreciated better if he had coined the slogan of Singaporean Malaysia like Melakan Malaysia or Johorean Malaysia and so on to indicate that a person from the different states in the Federation, yet, a citizen of the country.

One could also be described as a Nesbraskan American or Bostonian American and so on, and it still makes sense.

But Malaysian Malaysia simply does not make any sense at all. And it is not politics, but simple English.

Yet, the DAP now wants to pursue an agenda which is to displace Umno and Barisan Nasional, as their only goal.

The history of Parti Islam SeMalaysia or the Islamic Party of Malaysia or PAS in short, on the other hand has another strange history.

First of all they were created by accident, when a small group of Melayu ulama thought they were more Islamic than those in Umno, the United Malay National Organization.

So till today they do battle with Umno who they have charged to be ‘infidels’ or ‘kafir’ again and again like it is their mantra.

Unfortunately, what PAS has failed to accept the fact is how they could easily settle this dispute without ever dragging it into the political arena where many Melayu and Muslims have become collateral damage and victims.

PAS must insist that a national referendum be held for the Melayu and Muslims to decide if they prefer Umno or PAS, and if Umno loses, their members and leaders have to become members of PAS.

Or if PAS loses, their members and leaders must join Umno.

And in the end the One Melayu Party can decide who will be their new line of leaders.

In this way, the dispute on terminology and religious acceptance can be settled outside of the political arena.

But PAS is not about to propose such an idea. The reason being, they know they can’t get the full support of the Melayu throughout the country.

They can only capture the hearts and loyalty and imagination of a small group of like-minded Melayu and Muslims to join them, so that with the collusion of DAP and now PKR, they can form a formidable political force and be Umno Party and Barisan spoilers.

PKR or Parti KeAdilan Rakyat on the other hand has an even more weird history.

No doubt that it is an off-shoot of Umno and Barisan Nasional. It could very well be a wing of Umno and by default of Barisan, too, if Umno and Barisan had allowed for such a wing to be created from amongst those who did not see eye to eye with the party and coalition anymore.

And their only political agenda however, is quite obvious and well-known, which is for Anwar Ibrahim to become prime minister of the country, no matter how that such a thing can be done or happen.

His desire to become prime minister stems from the fact that he was a former deputy prime minister, therefore, he thought it was his right to rise a step further and succeed Dr. Mahathir Mohammad as prime minister.

But what Anwar did not seem to realize or did not want to realize is that the post of the deputy prime minister was not an elected one, but one which was not even mentioned in the Constitution of the country.

It is the prerogrative of the prime minister to appoint his deputy and if he chooses, he can also sack him.

And sack, he did. Malaysia had seen how Mahathir had Musa Hitam sacked as his deputy. Next came Anwar.

Yet, Musa did not complaint. Only Anwar did.

When Ghafar Baba was chosen to succeed Musa as deputy prime minister, it was the same Anwar who had complotted to get rid of him. Ghafar had to accept it as a fact of life.

But Anwar could not accept it as another fact of life when it was time for him to be sacked by Mahathir who had all the authority to do that.

So Anwar took the matter to the courts and lost.

But his personal dilemma did not end there. He still wanted to pursue it in the streets at the same time as in politics.

The general elections held every five years prove to be the only recourse that he has to bid for the prime ministership of the country.

He thought he came close to getting to Putrajaya, but somehow the road he had to take was diverted to Sungai Buloh where he got stuck there for six years.

Malaysia has not had anyone who had been in prison who later became prime minister. Maybe Anwar could be the first.

But the sad tale of this essay is how the history of DAP, PAS and PKR can be said to be so weird more so when one sees how the three of them could not trust each other when they did not dare to officially register their coalition Pakatan Rakyat in order that they contest in any election under this banner.

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