Do non-Malay votes remain DAP's fixed deposit?

The issue had become a heated debate among non-Malay communities.

08 Apr 2024 09:25am
Photo for illustrative purposes. Inset: Asri, Liu and Charles
Photo for illustrative purposes. Inset: Asri, Liu and Charles

SHAH ALAM - Despite DAP's increasing dominance in gaining support from non-Malay voters since the 12th General Election (GE12), a political analyst questions whether votes from this segment are still considered the party's fixed deposit as the next general election approaches.

National Professorial Council Fellow Dr Muhammad Asri Mohd Ali said the issue had become a heated debate among non-Malay communities, even though DAP Secretary-General Anthony Loke assured that the party had never taken their demands lightly.

He said that this was because DAP's approach had become more moderate and gentler since becoming part of the unity government, which has led to the perception among non-Malay voters, especially the Chinese community, that DAP is slowly turning into MCA 2.0.

"For the non-Malay segment, especially the urban Chinese, they will view politics from the perspective of how it benefits them without being bound by moral understanding based on religious and ethnic lenses.

"Therefore, I can say that the non-Malay voters, especially the Chinese, cannot be considered DAP's fixed deposit.

"If DAP can safeguard the economic interests and rights of the Chinese community as before, they will continue to be supported," Asri said on Saturday.

He was commenting on Anthony's statement in the 'Keluar Sekejap' podcast segment which asserted that DAP would never turn into MCA or Gerakan in advocating for the non-Malay, especially the Chinese voters.

However, Asri believed that for now, non-Malay voters do not have a better alternative option than DAP, thereby indicating that the party could at least retain their votes in GE16.

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Asri's view was echoed by former DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) member Ronnie Liu.

The former Selangor State Government Exco member acknowledged that the majority of Chinese voters supporting DAP now felt that the party had taken a different direction and was not vocal in advocating for ethnic harmony issues.

"I think DAP needs to be cautious. Now, the party's supporters themselves feel that DAP is becoming less effective as a frontliner in advocating for ethnic harmony issues.

"DAP must continue to adhere to the concept of ethnic and cultural diversity. If they do not hold on to these two fundamental aspects, the support of non-Malay voters is in jeopardy.

"DAP cannot be too moderate even though they are in the unity government," he said.

Meanwhile, former DAP Member of Parliament for Klang Charles Santiago believed that despite the party's compromise stance on the court case involving several Umno leaders, the support of Chinese voters was expected to remain strong.

He said that this was because the Chinese voters felt that DAP was still the best party to fight for the interests and demands of their community.

"However, I believe that if DAP continues to deviate from its original party struggle DNA, they risk losing the support of Indian voters because the community feels marginalised under the Madani Government, with the leadership of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and DAP considered to have failed to fulfil promises to improve their living standards after taking over Putrajaya," he said.