KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Malays who believe DAP to be Chinese-dominant can and should join the party to correct this directly, said central executive committee member Young Syefura Othman.
Saying no party was perfect, Young Syefura told Malay Mail that she nevertheless felt DAP frequently gave chances for new members to lead, regardless of race, which made it ideal for those opposed to communal politics.
“For me (the solution is) simple, then more Malays should join DAP. Then we will be more balanced.
“Because people always say DAP is a Chinese party. Then you, who are Malay, you should join and you will know what it really is like,” said the Ketari assemblyman.
In recent years, DAP leadership has been pushing for more non-Chinese members, especially Malays, as it tries to win the hearts of the largest race in Malaysia.
However, the party polls last month seem to show that DAP has regressed in its goal, as Young Syefura was the only Malay member voted into the party’s highest echelon — the central executive committee (CEC).
Previous Malay members of the CEC, Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji and Zairil Khir Johari, failed to be voted in.
Nevertheless, Tengku Zulpri was eventually co-opted into the committee, along with Syahredzan Johan, the political secretary of party veteran Lim Kit Siang.
In Parliament, DAP currently holds the highest number of seats with 42, ahead of Umno’s 38 and PKR’s 36.
However, Tengku Zulpuri, who is a member of the Pahang royal family, is currently the only Malay DAP MP.
Young Syefura said that those wishing to join DAP, especially Malays, must be able to accept multiracialism and multiculturalism, and be prepared to be attacked for joining it.
Among others, political rivals such as Umno regularly accuse DAP of being anti-Malay and Islam, leading to members of the community who join the party being labelled as race traitors.
“They must understand what they want to do for themselves, and what they want to do for the party,” she said.
“I am still labelled by all kinds of names, as well as other popular Malay leaders. You need to be strong enough to face this.
“But if you are used to the situation, you know how to take care of yourself as a good Muslim, you can still take care of your morals, then there should be no problem,” she added.