Guan Eng: Disappointing to hear Dr Mahathir’s ‘DAP extreme’ remarks, party never opposed DEB

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng speaks to the press at a press conference in Wisma DAP, George Town March 8, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng speaks to the press at a press conference in Wisma DAP, George Town March 8, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today said it was disappointing to hear former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s narrative that DAP is “extreme” and had opposed policies meant to help the Malays during Pakatan Harapan’s administration.

In a statement today, Lim said DAP had never opposed any policies including the New Economic Policy (DEB) aimed to help poor Malays and give them equal opportunities.

“However, DAP did strongly oppose the dual-identification of race with wealth and race with poverty. To say that all Malays are poor or rich Chinese people is simplistic and misleading and at worst, divisive and extreme.

“DAP’s struggle for socio-economic justice is based on the principle that there should be no identification of poverty with race, and all Malaysians should be provided equal opportunity and given assistance based on needs so that the poor non-Malays are not left out. Since the majority of the poor are Malays or Bumis from Sabah and Sarawak, they will still be the biggest beneficiaries.

Lim added that DAP’s track record during the PH administration showed its ministers fought valiantly for the expansion of incentives to increase productivity, create jobs and the transition to a digital economy albeit with mixed results.

He also said prior to that DAP leaders have been put in jail for fighting for justice for the Malays and history has proven that DAP members are mature and will reject any leader who deviates from the multi-racial and multi-religious framework.

“DAP has always been simple and inclusive, and open not only to the Malays but also Malaysians as our political struggle was to uphold, protect and preserve the Constitution.

“DAP is committed to representing and working for all, regardless of race or religion as evidenced by DAP which has elected representatives from all major ethnicities,” he said.

In an interview with Malaysiakini earlier this week, Dr Mahathir said DAP used to be extreme in their Chinese-centric demands in the past.

The former prime minister also said that some DAP members are still “very extreme” and that they are not willing to compromise themselves for others.

Dr Mahathir was referring to Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy and DAP central committee member Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew.

Malaysiakini also reported that Dr Mahathir believed that although DAP was “more open” now as there are visible Malay members, there are party figures who still made statements hurtful to the Malays.

He said the party went against policies that were introduced by the government to help the Malays, such as the DEB and the provision of special privileges for the Malays and Bumiputera.

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