KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong has defended Bersatu from criticism from within his own party, telling grassroots this morning that Pakatan Harapan (PH) cannot function without the Malay component party.
Liew said the ruling coalition must remain united now more than ever in the face of a perception war that is shaking trust among PH supporters.
Addressing the party’s Johor chapter at a state convention in Muar, Johor, the DAP senator admitted there is disquiet within the party ranks, which he blamed on the Opposition’s psy-war.
He said PH’s opponents have created narratives meant to sow division, among them being the perception that Bersatu has total political control, and in turn, members of the latter party see DAP as a liability in the eyes of the coalition’s Malay base.
“Do we realise that in reality DAP needs Bersatu and Bersatu needs DAP to keep PH together and succeed in rebuilding Malaysia?” the DAP leader said.
“Pakatan Harapan is a coalition of four parties — that is DAP, Bersatu, Keadilan and Amanah. Only through unity and cooperation of all component parties can we represent all layers of society.”
And the frustration over PH’s inability to fulfil several key election pledges has helped lend credence to such narratives, Liew said. As a result, the coalition is now caught up in a tense and suspicious environment where members trade barbs openly.
“Even though the facts and truth are on our side, many still believe in narratives that are based on lies and fabrication,” said the DAP senator.
“Whatever it is, the lies that have fed such narratives are genuine or ‘real’. It has come to a point where DAP members no longer want to support Bersatu and view that party as foes.
“And on the other hand, Bersatu members think DAP is a liability. Of course, DAP is constantly criticised and derided as being anti-Malay and anti-Islam.”
Calling for an end to the tiff, Liew said coalition infighting would serve to benefit its political rivals.
He said the Umno-PAS alliance stood to gain from a divided PH, which he proclaimed to be the only credible alternative to the Barisan Nasional bloc, whose strategy has always been to divide communities through political racism.
“What has the Opposition done? From the start, their weapon has always been the politics of racism,” Liew said.
“Through the media and other methods, they spread the politics of hate and lies. They pit the races and faiths against each other. What is saddening is that among those who buy this poisonous and dirty politics are PH leaders.
Liew said these PH politicians may think their tactics are benefiting the coalition, but in reality, they only serve to add fuel to the fire and play into the Opposition’s hands.
He continued, “These PH members believe they are fighting racist politics by fighting fire with fire. This will only make things worse and this is exactly what the Opposition wants — to say we are of the same creed.”