KUALA LUMPUR, 13 April — Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu was insulting DAP with his inference that it must “out-Chinese” the rival MCA, Damansara MP Tony Pua said.
Responding to reports of Liu saying DAP should not sacrifice its Chinese identity and culture to fend off political rivals’ attacks, Pua argued that his party colleague was short sighted as such a strategy would leave it politically dependent on a Malay patron party.
“Frankly speaking, that is perhaps the biggest insult one can throw at the DAP today. MCA has ‘Chineseness’ themselves into oblivion today. They are completely at the mercy of the whims and fancies of the big-brothers, Umno, Bersatu and PAS who provide MCA with political life-support.
“And yet, Liu wants the party to reverse the progress we have made over more than a decade to protect our ‘Chineseness’. That is as chauvinist as one can get and the DAP can certainly do without such chauvinists in the party,” Pua said in a statement today.
Pursuing the strategy Liu wanted would doom DAP, Pua said when expressing relief that the former’s views were allegedly in the minority.
Pua added that he and other DAP colleagues have been working to shape DAP into an inclusive party based around justice, good governance and integrity, which he said was in line with party veteran Lim Kit Siang’s Malaysian Dream.
In a separate statement, Lim said DAP has been falsely accused of being anti-Malay previously and was now being denounced as anti-Chinese for failing to only select election candidates from the community.
“DAP does not advocate any de-Chinese, de-Malay, de-Indian, de-Kadazan or de-Iban policy, but the very opposite, to accept that Malaysians will have multiple identities but first and foremost that they are all Malaysians.
“In pursuit of the Malaysian Dream for all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region to be united to make Malaysia a world-class great nation, I have to bear many crosses. This is the latest cross that I have to bear,” Lim said.
While it was understandable that Malaysians viewed life through the lenses of their individual ethnic communities in the early days of the nation, Lim said it was no longer tenable to prioritise one’s ethnic, religious or cultural identity over nationality more than 60 years after Merdeka.
Malaysians must forego narrow communal interests to pursue the common goal of socio-economic prosperity for all layers of the country, he added.
Liu was quoted as saying on Sunday that DAP should not “dilute its ‘Chineseness’” in response to criticism from political rivals and should instead “safeguard the culture” of the party.
DAP is seen as a Chinese-based party despite being open to all races.
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