KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — DAP parliamentary leader Anthony Loke said his party remained vulnerable to rivals’ allegations that it was an enemy of the Malay community as it lacked the grassroots network to dispel such claims.
Loke told Utusan Malaysia in an interview that opponents continue to falsely portray DAP as being against the Malays, which he said was insidious in rural areas.
“This is very effective as we do not have grassroots members in rural areas to counter this perception.
“So, eventually, this becomes the Malay perception of DAP,” he was quoted as saying.
Loke reiterated that DAP was not racist or hostile in any way towards the Malay community, but this was how its rivals have successfully painted the party by using it as a “punching bag” for all their issues.
The former minister said it has been and remains difficult to reform his party’s image among the Malays as a result.
However, he said DAP would not stop trying to approach the Malay community.
“We will keep trying to prove that we are not a racist party, not a party that is hostile towards Malay community,” he said, adding that DAP stood for equality.
Rivals have successfully demonised DAP among significant sections of the country and the political rejection of it was also believed to be a key factor in bringing together competing parties to unseat the Pakatan Harapan government in March.