KUALA LUMPUR: DAP has been accused of everything, from being communist to chauvinistic. But as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) component party that won the most seats in the 15th general election (GE15), it has shown much restraint and put the nation first.
Promoting national unity and having an efficient government seem to be the overriding concern for DAP leaders, not the number of Cabinet positions accorded to the party.
This appears to be the key message that current DAP leaders have sent out loud and clear, winning praise from Malaysians on social media, analysts and academicians.
Political analyst Prof Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi of UCSI University said DAP made a very smart and well-structured move by not making demands despite having won 40 seats in GE15, compared with PKR, that won 31 seats, Amanah with eight, United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) with two and Muda with one.
“For DAP to (offer) its humble and generous side just to ensure a unity government is installed to run the country, it shows that national interest is its priority. The party kept silent throughout the whole negotiation process and even apologised to Gabungan Parti Sarawak over offensive remarks it made in the past.
“This shows maturity, intelligence and respect for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as PH chairman.”
Tajuddin said any opposition from DAP would be disrespectful towards the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s decree to form a unity government.
“The King ordered political parties to form a unity government and any pushback would be considered an affront to (His Majesty),”
Last Saturday, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said the party would give its unconditional support to Anwar as prime minister, without any demands for Cabinet positions.
Loke said DAP was even willing to “sacrifice itself” (and not have a single member in the Cabinet) if it were to pose a stumbling block to the formation of an Anwar-led unity government.
“I told Datuk Seri Anwar, as long as you can be prime minister, DAP is willing to sacrifice anything.
“There may be DAP members who feel we don’t have enough representation. But our struggle in politics is not for positions. It is for the country. Whatever positions we are given, we will do our best for the country.”
DAP has since been accorded four ministerial positions, while PKR has eight, Amanah has two and UPKO has one.
University of Tasmania Asia Institute political analyst Prof Dr James Chin said Loke’s statement is sufficient for DAP members and supporters to accept that its decision was in the best interest of
“There will not be a major pushback or revolt from DAP members or supporters. They won 40 seats in GE15 but giving them only four ministerial roles was a decision Anwar made.
“Loke placed no pressure on Anwar and considered national interest and that of everyone else before making DAP’s decision and commitment, and that proves it is (loyal) to King and country above all else,” Chin said.