The moment Malays think that giving their votes to Pakatan is a vote towards Chinese political power, there will be a mass defection to Umno.
I no longer see PKR as the weakest link within the Pakatan Rakyat coalition. PAS has been PAS all along and its interest lies more in what is to come in the after-life than what is done here on this earth.
But what concerns me is DAP. Everything DAP does is too contrived, too slick and too rehearsed to be kosher.
I worry that there maybe truth in the adage that the Chinese, who already have economic power in Malaysia, now also wants political power.
Am I talking as a Malay? For sure I am!
The fact is, the Malays are now being asked to forgo political power but in return for what? Well, it cannot be to give political power to DAP?
And if you ask me by DAP, do I mean the Chinese? For sure it I do. And let not any of you use the “racism” argument to “hantam” me! I am far from the maddening crowd.
I have been away from Kuala Lumpur long enough to not be anything else but a Malaysian.
And as a Malaysian I am troubled by the increasing chauvinistic slant given to all the chatter coming from DAP just as I am troubled by the Ketuanan Melayu chatter coming from Umno.
Why is there a need for DAP to say that no matter how many seats the party wins in the 13th general election, Anwar Ibrahim will be the prime minister if Pakatan wins?
By inference, does it indicate DAP’s growing confidence that more seats are coming its way?
DAP is a Chinese-dominated political party. Just as Umno is for the Malays and MIC for the Indians.
And when one race dominates any single entity the interest of that race will be of paramount importance to those within that party. This is the reality.
I know that DAP is in with PAS and PKR in the Pakatan coalition because it is politically expedient for it to do so – it’s a marriage of convenience.
In recent months the entry of a few high-profile Malays into DAP smacks of opportunism – on both sides.
For DAP it was a deliberate attempt to shade itself in the 1Malaysia colours. But it’s too contrived and too superficial, in my opinion, to hold any substance.
I am sure we Malays would have preferred DAP to be what it has always been – a Chinese- dominated party with a smatterings of Malays sprinkled here and there to give it some semblance of being a “maybe Malaysian” entity.
And there it should have stayed.
Malays are not stupid
I suggest DAP leaders tone down on the rhetoric and allow Lim Kit Siang to be the face of DAP with assistance from Lim Guan Eng (party secretary-general) and Karpal Singh (DAP chairman).
The younger leaders sound too brash and too eager to take on the Barisan Nasional line-up by themselves.
The Malays are not stupid.
The moment they think that giving their votes to Pakatan is a vote towards giving the Chinese political power, there will be a mass defection to Umno by the Malays.
We Malays know what DAP thinks of Anwar. DAP respects Anwar as it does Najib Tun Razak or Muhyddin Yassin and will put up with Anwar if it gives DAP a national platform politically.
What DAP will do with Anwar and how it will “manage” Anwar once he is prime minister is another issue altogether. That is the part that worries me.
What sort of a government will there be if its leaders are not sincere in their attempts at working as an entity with a prime minister they have chosen?
Will it be a case of “give and take” between Anwar and DAP or a matter of “take and take” as DAP consolidates its position within the Pakatan coalition by “managing” Anwar – especially if DAP has more seats than PKR in Parliament.
PAS also using Anwar
The Malays also know that PAS is using Anwar for the same reason and PAS, too, has the same opinion of Anwar as DAP has.
But for the Malays PAS is not only Malay but also an Islamic entity, so the Malays are comfortable with PAS.
What the Malays are not comfortable with is giving political power to the Chinese should they cast their vote for Pakatan in the coming polls.
That fine balance of the Chinese having economic power and the Malays having political power must be maintained.
This is not often spoken of in polite society.
But it must be said here and I want DAP to understand that for Pakatan to get the Malay votes en masse, DAP must understand where it stands with the Malays.
This is an uneasy alliance that must be given time to develop and mature before either side takes liberties with the other.
DAP may have hundreds or possibly thousands of Malays who are vocal and open in their support for DAP. DAP may have Malays who are now in DAP and whose support for DAP is firm and sincere.
But it is the millions of Malays who are passionate about maintaining the political status quo that DAP must now placate and reassure them of DAP’s commitment to 1Malaysia (“Malaysia style” which is that “Malays are first among equals”).
These millions of Malay voters are discerning in their deliberations of deciding what is best for the Malays.
The one thing they will not do is hand over political power to the Chinese even if it means the alternative is giving their votes to Umno.
There is nothing racial about the Malays wanting to have political control over our nation.
Any race with numerical advantage will want that.
What the Malays, who are in political power, must do is to ensure that that power is used for the common good of every Malaysian who call Malaysia their home.
Political power must be used to ensure that all Malaysians, regardless of race, are able to build a life for themselves in Malaysia to the best of their ability.
If the Chinese are good in business, so be it.
Let them stay in business and prosper but they must give a fair share of their wealth to help the less fortunate among us.
There must be that duty of care for those less fortunate than us.
‘Maintain status quo’
If DAP can understand this, then the Malays will be more comfortable with voting for Pakatan.
They understand that Pakatan is a coalition and DAP is part of that coalition, but talk of political power for the Chinese through DAP is making them uncomfortable.
They know that PKR is now in the process of change and it is not the PKR it was just after the 12th general election – it is now weaker than DAP.
This reality may compromise the position of the Malays if Pakatan comes to power.
I am sure I speak for most Malays when I say that a Pakatan government must reflect the current tie-up of three components – one Islam, one predominantly Malay and one predominantly Chinese party.
We are comfortable with that status quo.
A Pakatan government therefore must maintain that status quo for it to have popular Malay and Islamic support.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.