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Thursday, September 24, 2020

DEMOCRATIC VALUES BANISHED?

Sin Chew Daily
OPINION CORNER BY  TAY TIAN YAN
16-5-2012

Lim Kit Siang said: My heart’s broken!

Anyone who cares about DAP will be equally broken-hearted.

I received a text message from a senior DAP leader, telling me Tunku Abdul Aziz’s departure dealt a serious blow on the party. It took DAP a whole lot of effort to inch towards a multiracial entity and now all the transformation effort has gone down the drain.

Sure enough the liberal and democratic image the party has championed over the years has now become widely questionable.

I replied his text message: The damage has been wrought. If lessons could be drawn and flaws fixed, a bright future is still beckoning ahead, but if the party remains recalcitrant, it may some day lose all its people.

He replied: Your view is noted. Hopefully the party will wake up!

Indeed this friend of mine has taken note but not majority of DAP leaders and supporters. Many are still in the dark what has actually happened to the party, in fact a rather serious thing.

Some might think it would be alright just by calling Tunku names, accusing him of being bribed by BN.

No way! If DAP goes on this way, it will only find itself sink deeper and deeper into the quagmire.

Tunku joined DAP all because of an aspiration, thinking his move could propel the nation’s democracy and progress. Lim Kit Siang can testify on this.

When this party begins to lose its ideals to favouritism and utilitarianism, its culture begins to recede.

Tunku’s resignation could be just a blasting fuse, a more profound factor being the populism and fanaticism that are beginning to take shape within the party in recent years. These people are eager to drfit with popular sentiments, and lose the rational thinking and democratic traits the party enshrines.

As if that is not enough, DAP has found itself infiltrated by a bunch of mundane folks lacking in both democratic qualities and political ideologies.

As these people ascend the leadership ladder, they begin to create issues and foes while engaging themselves in all sorts of seditious and provocative tricks, causing the moderate thinking to feel disgruntled and disenchanted.

Under the spell of populism and fanaticism, the party surrenders its capacity to think and debate logically, rendering it less tolerant to criticisms.

While the Tunku incident might appear on surface as an aftermath of the Bersih 3.0 rally, or even some may say he acted on the spur of the moment, similar incidents would still get exposed and erupt anyway if not for the Bersih rally or Tunku.

Having won unprecedented triumph in the last general election, DAP has since failed to entrench its cultural connotation and ideologies, basking instead in public cheers and a sense of well-being. It has tripped into the trap of its own victory.

In the short term the party can still win the hearts of people chronically unhappy with the BN government, but bear in mind that politics is a marathon race, and the real race is just about to be flagged off when its rivals shift strategies.

That is when a party’s objectives and ideals will have the say on its eventual competitiveness.

The departure of Tunku Abdul Aziz signifies the banishment of DAP’s ideals, and once these are gone, the party will be left with nothing but a hollow shell.

Guan Eng might have missed the opportunity to keep Tunku, but if he realises what has gone wrong and is ready to bring back the party’s ideals and put it back on the right track, chances are still on his side.

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