Tony Pua’s remark could be DAP members sentiments, although not official stand - Experts

25 Jun 2023 09:29pm
Former DAP publicity secretary, Tony Pua -Filepic
Former DAP publicity secretary, Tony Pua -Filepic

SHAH ALAM - Former DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua's comments could be the party's or party members' sentiments, although not the official stand, says expert.

This was in response to Pua's comments calling Barisan Nasional (BN) a ‘corrupt coalition’ last Friday (June 23).

Political expert Datuk Prof Dr Jayum Anak Jawan from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) said that, in fact, DAP Secretary-General Anthony Loke has confirmed in a news report that Pua continues to be the party’s Policy Advisor.

"That has to mean something, and what Pua says carries some weight," Jayum told Sinar Daily.

In terms of politics, Jayum said that DAP has no formal ties to Umno or BN, while in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, DAP collaborates with PKR and Amanah.

"The coalition partnering with BN and Umno is PH. Both of them are members of the Unity government, but PKR serves as the conduit for their loyalties and connections," he elaborated.

He further pointed out that the unity government was based on political practicality, as no coalition has won a majority on its own.

"Thus, partnering across coalitions and political parties was the viable option." He further pointed out that politics was about practicality, and how could a government, especially when the Unity government was formed, be formed if there was no rescinding of previous stands by members such as Umno, who made a U-turn on the No Anwar, No DAP’ stigma.

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"The statement made by Pua is not the first and would not be the last that would rub feathers in national, mainstream politics.

"Pua may not be the last DAP member to make such a statement or a similar statement. "This sentiment represents the long-standing political antagonism that defines DAP and its main opponents for Chinese support, the MCA and Gerakan," Jayum remarked.

Meanwhile, Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun commented that BN and PH have extremely distinct political beliefs and appeals, which brings unnecessary outbursts like what has been stated by Pua recently and is only to be expected.

He said that it was no secret that the current Unity government is simply a marriage of convenience, with the two major component coalitions, PH and BN, willingly becoming political bedfellows because they would like to be part of the government.

"Therefore, gratuitous outbursts such as that recently enunciated by Pua are only to be expected, as the two coalitions have very different political ideologies and appeals.

"In fact, Umno has said many not-so-nice things about DAP, including claiming that DAP has been a drag to Umno.

"Their respective supporters are more than welcome to sulk over such remarks and perhaps seek tit-for-tat political revenge, including sabotaging each other," Ei Sun said.

He further said that if Umno does, they will almost certainly give the Perikatan Nasional (PN) political victory on a silver platter, especially during the upcoming state elections.

On the other hand, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) political expert Associate Professor Dr Syaza Shukri viewed the bold remark made by Pua as not affecting the relationship between the party leaders in the PH component because the unity government is still stable under the top leadership administration.

However, it does affect Umno supporters’ views on DAP, which are already not so great.

"We need BN supporters to go out and help PH, and vice versa.

"I think Pua is a very passionate party man with his own set of ideas and beliefs. It doesn’t make him a bad apple, but admittedly, it’s just strategically unwise.

"Pua did lose a defamation suit before. But if we also remember, back in 2021, he went against PH and declared that PH should work with PN president Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin.

Again, it appears like he’s "principled" but he needs to think of the larger picture,", Syaza added.