KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said called the DAP a “truly Malaysian” party after joining the secular opposition party today.
The 80-year-old Malay writer and poet also said he had longed to join the DAP for the past two years.
“It’s a truly Malaysian political party. Very focus (sic), clean and with [a] genuine dream – Malaysian Dream,” Samad told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
The inclusion of the former co-chair of electoral watchdog Bersih in the DAP comes even as the predominantly Chinese party seeks to increase its Malay membership in a bid to move towards a more multi-racial image.
The DAP had fielded a Malay woman, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, in the Teluk Intan by-election last year in a semi-urban seat in Perak that has a significant Chinese electorate. Dyana Sofya, however, narrowly lost the election to Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong.
News of Samad joining the DAP came after the party tweeted today pictures of him receiving a DAP membership card from party parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.