‘We are above politics, but not allergic to it’: PKR veep launches new NGO Daya to bring reform ideals back to Malaysia

President of Pertubuhan Daya Masyarakat, Tian Chua, posing together with members at the NGO’s launching in Dewan Sivik MPPJ on July 25, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
President of Pertubuhan Daya Masyarakat, Tian Chua, posing together with members at the NGO’s launching in Dewan Sivik MPPJ on July 25, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

PETALING JAYA, July 25 — PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang launched a new multi-ethnic non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Pertubuhan Daya Masyarakat Malaysia (Daya) today, calling it above politics.

He said that the political crisis that caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in February has led to civil society losing hope in politics itself.

President of Pertubuhan Daya Masyarakat, Tian Chua speaking during the launching of the NGO in Dewan Sivik MPPJ on July 25, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
President of Pertubuhan Daya Masyarakat, Tian Chua speaking during the launching of the NGO in Dewan Sivik MPPJ on July 25, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

“In a time of confusing political strife, Daya acts as a healer to bring various currents of thought and races together.

“We are above politics, but we are not allergic to politics.

“We want to bring about a new Malaysia,” he said during his speech at the launch in the MBPJ Civic Hall in Petaling Jaya today.

Chua, who did not stand in the last general election due to a legal case, said partisan politics in the country is too fragmented at present to fight for reform.

The former Batu MP, however, said working with the Daya platform does not mean he plans to leave politics.

“I have not left politics. I am still a member of PKR. I am a PKR VP; I am just not an MP. I miss the excitement of Parliament right now.

“If there is an election, maybe I will contest again. But for now, I want to use my energy to reignite lost momentum,” he said.

Several activists gave speeches about reform before Chua’s speech including Hishamuddin Rais, Chief Human Rights Strategist at the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, Firdaus Husni and academic Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Hassan.

Hishamuddin in his speech said that Daya is a platform for activists to fight back and bring about political reform in the country.

“We had two viruses in 2020: the coronavirus and the prime minister virus.

“The desire to be prime minister has destroyed Pakatan Harapan and all our hopes for structural change collapsed and disintegrated with it,” he said, alluding to the jockeying between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the position even after the collapse of the coalition.

Daya also announced several steering committee members, including Chua as the chairman; academics Nik Abdul Aziz and Halim Ali; former activist Kamaruzzaman Yaacob; artiste Ito Muhammad; lawyer Bah Tony; Sungai Wang Group executive chairman Derrick Tan; former Wangsa Maju MP Tan Kee Kwong; former Rawang assemblyman Gan Pei Nei; and former Bersih 2 co-chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Daya’s launch was also attended by political, NGO and civil society leaders, including Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, Gombak Setia assemblyman Hilman Idham, Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin, Sementa assemblyman Dr Daroyah Alwi, and Lembah Jaya assemblyman and former Senator Syed Shahrir Syed Mohamud.

Dr Afif and Haniza Talha led two NGOs — Pemuda Negara and Nation of Woman respectively — that are linked with former PKR deputy minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Members of another NGO linked with Azmin, Penggerak Komuniti Nasional, were also seen in their uniforms at the launch.

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