Damansara, 13 Nov: In his quest to become Prime Minister for the second time in 2018, Dr Mahathir Mohamad had to bring himself to do two things many had thought impossible and unthinkable: the first was to embrace Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the former DPM he had incarcertated and accused of sodomy 20 years earlier; and the second to eat humble pie and kow-tow to the DAP, the party that he had for decades labelled as an anti-Malay spectre so that Umno and he would continue to get the god-fearing Malay-Muslims votes, especially in the kampungs.
Dr Mahathir even went public to say that I now realise DAP is not chauvinist at all. When he became PM, he made Lim Guan Eng the Finance Minister and turned his charms full on to become the love of the lives of the likes of Hannah Yeoh and Tony Pua. There was no happy ending to that short-lived fairy tale, as we all know, and the DAP is back in Pakatan Harapan, solidly behind Anwar Ibrahim once more. Dr Mahathir, for his trouble, has now lost all rights to trample on the DAP although he still takes pot-shots at Anwar as the country prepares to go to the polls this Friday.
Today, howevert, Dr Mahathir’s former party Umno, his own Pejuang and Bersatu, the party that got the nonagenarian his ticket to premiership it the last GE, are still playing the same old rhetoric that DAP is an anti-Malay, Chinese chauvinist party. And that a vote for Anwar is a vote for DAP.
In its editorial yesterday, Harakah Daily, the organ of the so-called Islamist party PAS, openly called DAP a Chinese chauvinist party that is anti-Malay and anti-Islam. PAS is accusing Anwar for being a tool of the DAP. Read Alat DAP: Untuk apa Anwar menafikan?
The funny ting is PAS and DAP were coalition partners together with Anwar’s PKR in the 2008 and 2013 general elections. In the GE15 on Nov 19, PAS will be hiding behind the Perikatan Nasional banner. PAS knows that many, including God-fearing Malay-Muslims, will not vote for its candidates if they stand using the PAS logo and banner.
For PAS and Malay-Muslims who still fear the DAP, perhaps the words of the great man Dr Mahathir himself, when he saw the light in 2018, would bring them comfort:
“I am the one who started the labelling of DAP as a Chinese chauvinist party. But when I got closer to them, I found that they are not Chinese-only like MCA. DAP is multiracial. They have Malays and Indians as well. The image I created of DAP was not really true. In their meetings they speak Malay, the national language … Their song is also in Malay”.
As for Anwar being the “tool” for DAP, let’s sit back and think rationally for just a bit. Hasn’t Anwar been the only Malay leader who has been able to keep the DAP as part of his coalition for the last two decades or so?
Fact is fact: Anwar has been and still is the only Malay leader who can rein in the DAP.
No other Malay leader within or outside DAP can claim to have that ability or will be able to do so after this Friday. Not Ismail Sabri, not Muhyiddin or Azmin Ali, not Ahmad Sabu or Hadi Awang. Not even Dr Mahathir.