PETALING JAYA: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has defended the party’s decision to give up seats to Muda in the coming Johor polls, saying it would help strengthen the opposition.
He agreed that some might find it “unusual” for him to focus on strengthening another party instead of DAP. “But if you only look at strengthening yourself, how does that help to promote your big tent?” he told FMT, referring to a concept espoused by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim aimed at strengthening the opposition bloc.
DAP and Amanah had earlier this month made way for Muda to contest in six seats: Puteri Wangsa, Tenang, Bukit Kepong, Parit Raja, Machap and Bukit Permai.
The decision to allow Muda to contest the Puteri Wangsa seat irked PKR, which said that “easy-to-win” seats should not be given to parties whose loyalty to the opposition was untested.
Lim said the decision by Amanah and DAP was made on the principle of winning together, “knowing that if we fight separately we will lose miserably”.
“Winning that seat is not the purpose. Winning seats sufficient to form a government should be the ultimate purpose,” he said.
Looking back on the party’s losses at the recent Melaka and Sarawak state elections, even in Chinese-majority seats, Lim said the defeats were by small margins.
DAP managed to win in only four of eight seats it contested in Melaka and two of 24 seats in Sarawak.
He attributed these losses to the inability to mobilise voters to come out and cast their ballots. DAP must overcome this by communicating better with voters, he said. “We also have to address problems that are important to the people.”