Raja Petra urged the DAP to work with the Malays

Malaysia Today editor, Raja Petra Kamaruddin urged the DAP to work with the Malays, not against them, if they really want to get things done and corrected. He made this call at the Citizen Think T@nk Talk Series I “Walk The Talk”, which was held on Saturday night, at Widuri Restaurant, Aman Suria, PJ Utara.

Raja Petra’s talk was focused on the Oppositions’ current situation and flaws. Slightly over 100 attended, of which almost 80% of them were of Chinese ethnicity. He gave an analysis of the political situation, past and current and also the electoral system, which had been and still is not too favourable for the Oppositions.

He explained in details how the Oppositions failed co-operate and work together, time and again. Although they have a common enemy since the Gagasan Rakyat, formed in 1990 and after Semangat 46 was dissolved and members brought back into UMNO, Barisan Alternatif, formed in 1999, but they have very adverse goals and destinations. They also attracted different segment of voters and the failure of a formidable working formula practically cost the Oppositions to gain substantial grounds, each time there is an election, be it by-elections or the general election. There are cases where members of the Oppositions’ coalition got into a three cornered fight against the BN, even when they agreed not too. Seats allocation is something the Oppositions never managed to resolve.

Raja Petra also admitted that the UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) at the moment were too powerful. When Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over this country through a seamless and smooth transition of power on 31 October 2003, within six months he managed to get BN win 90% control of the Dewan Rakyat. This was the biggest mandate BN ever achieved since it was formed, August 1973. He also explained that the Malays ratio within the population had grown from slightly over 45% in 1957 to 60% in 50 years. According to him, within the next 50 years, the Malays would be more than 80% of the population.

He also said that the people could petition the HRH Malay Rulers for electoral reforms but doubt the petition could achieved substantial grounds as it had been done before. The ruling ‘power-share’ government of the day is too powerful and will remain powerful as the power base of the majority of voters is actually expanding.

Therefore, he stressed that it is important that the DAP shed its ‘Chinese chauvinism’ and change strategy to work with the Malays instead. The only way what ever the grouses and dissatisfaction of the DAP supporters and sympathizers can only be met by DAP joining the BN and create a ‘Unity Government’, because as is, the Malays would never support the DAP to gain substantial position in the Parliament, let alone enough power to even a simple majority government.

As is, Raja Petra explained, the Oppositions will never get anywhere. At best, PAS will only be able to get 25 seats, DAP 20 seats and PKR (doubtfully), 5 seats. In total, 50 seats against BN’s 169. BN will still be in power with over 75% control of the Dewan Rakyat, well in the comfort zone of the 2/3 majority to get things done through the Parliament. The fact that more than 150 of these constituencies are in Malay majority areas, will make the Oppositions’ position far worse. This is because the needs and requirements of these rural majority voters are far different from the middle-class and internet savvy voters of the urban and suburban constituencies.

He came to terms that what ever things that needed to be corrected, fixed and change, must be done through the Prime Minister, which is almost ‘carved in stone’ for the UMNO leaders. Therefore, it is important that DAP shed its chauvinistic policies and approaches and instead sought a compromise to work as part of a ‘Unity Government’, as once Tun Abdul Razak Hussein managed to form with Oppositions like PAS and Gerakan getting involved, as well as the minority parties of Sabah and Sarawak, as a solution to propel economic development after the bloody 13 May 1969 racial riots.

This is a very important call by a highly controversial editor of the most influential and largest readership political online portal in Malaysia and voted second most progressive Asian by World Business.

Published in: on September 9, 2007 at 23:43  Comments (2)  

Tun Dr. Mahathir is able to sit on a chair

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is progressing well, after the landmark second coronary by-pass on Tuesday. Despite at his age, the progress for his recovery is very encouraging. He is able to sit on a chair and do physiotherapy and breathing exercises, part that will make the healing process faster.

This was confirmed by his son, Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir this morning, fifth day post-surgery.

Special prayers have been organised and offered by different group of Malaysians, all over the country for a statesman who is much loved, by old and young. A multifaith prayer service will be organised at the All-Blogs Bloghouse this evening. Service will start at 7.00pm and a light dinner will be made available later.

All are welcomed.

Published in: on September 9, 2007 at 13:09  Comments (1)