KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — The move to restore local government elections is part of the DAP’s strategy to take over Malaysia as the opposition party already has control of nearly 60 per cent of state seats in the country, Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) alleged today.
In its latest vitriol against the federal opposition party, the group’s deputy president Aminuddin Yahaya said DAP lawmakers make up 58 per cent of the total state constituencies in Malaysia.
He added that the figure could reach 60 per cent, with the help of urban-based PKR.
“This would mean that DAP’s control over the cities will become too dominant and surely the Malays will be marginalised,” Aminuddin said in a report published on the group’s website.
He sounded a call to oppose bringing back the third vote saying that Malays should learn from the marginalisation of the community in DAP-run Penang.
Aminuddin repeated PAS’ warning that the local government polls would cause disunity and eventually lead to racial riots.
He insisted that Malays were still not the majority race in towns and cities as claimed by the DAP, which cited government data including the latest census findings in 2010 as support.
Aminuddin also lashed out at Umno’s Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah for supporting the move to restore local council elections, which was conducted between 1951 to 1965.
Local council elections were suspended in 1965 because of the Indonesian Confrontation and the then-prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had promised the Dewan Rakyat that local elections would be restored once the Confrontation was over.
The Confrontation ended in 1966, but local government elections were never restored; subsequently, Parliament passed a law in 1976 abolishing the third vote.
"He is confused about the concept of democracy promoted by the West… without taking into account religious and cultural factors,” Aminuddin was quoted saying, referring to Saifuddin.
“This is a crime against race and religion,” he was quoted adding.
The debate on the issue resurfaced after DAP Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng suggested that Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states like Selangor and Kelantan try to restore local government polls.
In August last year, the Federal Court decided that DAP-ruled Penang may not hold local council elections, which were held between 1951 and 1965.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, however, rejected the idea outright and argued that local council polls could spark racial animosity and potential violence similar to the bloody 1969 May 13 racial riots.
DAP then retaliated by saying the excuse was merely Hadi’s way of distracting voters from his party’s controversial hudud bid in Kelantan.