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KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng blasted former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for calling the party ‘extreme’, saying that it is wrong, baseless and misguided.
In a statement today, the Bagan MP said that Mahathir’s claim of DAP as extremist is baseless as the party serves all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion.
“Mahathir is wrong when history and facts prove that DAP is a multi-racial party that seeks to represent all Malaysians regardless of race and religion. Unlike Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who sees himself as Malay first, DAP sees itself as Malaysian first.
“DAP has never discriminated nor taken any position that is inimical to the rights and interests of Malaysians whether Malay or non-Malays, Muslim or non-Muslim. DAP leaders have gone to prison for defending the rights of both Malays and non-Malays,” he said.
Lim added that DAP is an inclusive party and has elected representatives from all major ethnic groups, including Malays and local Sabahans and Sarawakians.
“DAP has never contradicted but consistently upheld the Federal Constitution. In contrast, it is Perikatan Nasional (PN) or Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties that are racist or extremist in seeking to represent only one racial or religious group,” he said.
He said that the recent assistance given by Bukit Mertajan MP Steven Sim to a homeless Malay mother with 10 children is proof that DAP is not an extremist party.
“Fortunately, there are a growing number of Malaysians that are impressed by our proven track record and do not see DAP as extremist, when DAP is able to win seats with more Malay than non-Malay voters,” he said.
Yesterday, Mahathir told reporters after a dialogue with a civil group on Finas that he does not discount the possibility of an Umno-DAP team in Malaysia’s multiracial political landscape, despite views that both parties hold disparate ideologies.
The two-time former prime minister told reporters that it is not necessary to “like” a party in order to cooperate with it.
“I have worked with DAP... the DAP sometimes is extreme, but we can work with them.
“So, even if you don’t like them, you still have to accept that all governments in Malaysia are multiracial,” he was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.
He was responding to Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s reported remarks in Free Malaysia Today that the Malay nationalist party could work with the Chinese-dominant DAP if the latter were more moderate.