Will Dap Work With Umno Post Ge15
On the eve of elections, the opposition Pakatan Harapan is being attacked – not because of PKR or Amanah - but strangely DAP, where questions are being raised over the possible dropping of so-called principled candidates, such as Ong Kian Ming and Charles Santiago, from MP seats.
The argument goes that such “cleansing” of MPs who might cause potential problems to the party leadership is necessary if DAP were to seek an alliance of sorts with Umno Baru/BN if that coalition does not get enough seats to form a government and Harapan too does not get a majority at the 15th general elections (GE15).
As far-fetched as such a scheme appears to reasonable people, far more incongruous alliances have been made in the past - witness that between Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Bersatu then and Harapan which put bitter Mahathir foes, such as Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang, on the same side as Mahathir.
We all know what happened later when the wily old fox played out the younger two and a whole lot of Malaysians were over-excited by the likely alliance - so impossible that any impartial observer had to conclude that a chance of break-up was very high. After all, Mahathir is not in the habit of playing second fiddle.
The current situation in DAP is of course different but not completely dissimilar - if reports are to be believed, the dalliance with Umno is not being discounted. DAP’s new supremo, Anthony Loke, did not deny the possibility when speaking of it previously. I had to occasion to comment on that in this piece titled ‘DAP’s detrimental ambivalence on GE15’.
DAP secretary-general Anthony LokeAt the moment, DAP wants to have its cake and eat it too. If as Loke says it is keeping its options open post-GE15, it has everything to gain except voter support from its base who may be pissed off with their unprincipled stance of possibly working with its sworn enemy, Umno.
So, in the event of a Harapan victory, DAP can go with the flow; become a member of the ruling coalition, take its pick of key ministry positions (this time unlikely they will get the finance minister’s position) and continue from where it left off in 2020 after Harapan was ousted from government.
If that happens, then even Lim Guan Eng’s pending court case for corruption may be withdrawn - there was a precedent when after Harapan came into power in 2018, a pending case already in trial against Guan Eng was withdrawn.
In fact, Guan Eng’s court case has the effect of putting him among those from Umno in the court cluster, and like them, much of the decision-making in terms of the elections and alliances is likely to be born out of desperation to stay out of jail than to see a genuine desire for the long-term viability of the party in accordance with the broad wishes of its support base.
What happens if Harapan loses and there is a hung Parliament? Then DAP may well form an alliance with Umno/BN to form the majority. The payoff for that will be representation in the cabinet for key party leaders and all that comes with it.
And for Guan Eng, it may well result in his case being withdrawn as well as the rest of the court cluster. That’s rather a nice place for DAP leaders in the short term to be in, except that DAP may well be destroyed in the longer term. Who would vote for a DAP which works with Umno?
It’s not just a bad long-term deal for DAP but for Umno as well. They are working with the “devil incarnate” itself, the “most vile party on earth” - that’s the message successive Umno leaders, including Mahathir, have sent out all the time over many decades to Malays.
If Umno and DAP are to work for the benefit of the party and the people they purport to represent, then they have to get rid of desperadoes in their party who fall within the court cluster - that would be Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at Umno and Lim Guan Eng at DAP.
DAP national chairperson Lim Guan EngWhen the personal interests of court-cluster politicians in decision-making are removed, then much better actions can be contemplated and taken. A principled party’s agenda cannot revolve around how to stop criminal action from being taken against its leaders.
But then are Umno and DAP principled parties and have the long-term interests of the people and the party? It may be better to ask who cares about principles and the long term when they want to save their own skins in the short term.
It's not too late for DAP yet. If they want to be fair to their voters, they need to be truthful now. Are you considering working with Umno? How do you reconcile this with your principles of multi-racialism and anti-corruption?
If Harapan should lose and DAP works with Umno to form a government, would either of them last more than one term? And what would it say about both parties?
Let’s forget Umno for the time being. They are a hopeless case with rather dubious, incompetent people in many key positions already who are in leadership roles. They lie, they cheat, they steal and they want to get away with doing that, asking a pardon for convict Najib Abdul Razak to boot.
DAP, won’t you better serve the people by adopting a true multi-racial course which takes into account the needs of all races? Even if you lose these elections, won’t it be better to live and fight another day instead of destroying yourself through a sinful, twisted and ugly alliance which keeps crooks in power?
DAP, won’t it be better for your chances at GE15 if you made an unequivocal stand that you will stand by Harapan and your support base and never do anything to kill your long-term viability and principles? Will you go back to selecting principled and good people for your MP and state seats?
If the answer is “yes” to these questions and appropriate action follows, chances are much better that Harapan will win - and DAP too. DAP leaders need to push and work for that to happen even if one of their top leaders is in a difficult position as a result. - Mkini
P GUNASEGARAM, a former editor at online and print news publications, and head of equity research, is an independent writer and analyst.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.
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