Five decades of DAP have proven that DAP is a patriotic Malaysian party dedicated to the betterment of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region and committed to the fundamental principles of the Constitution
It is a special privilege to welcome Datuk Yeop Adlan Che Rose as a DAP member, as it is a home-coming, as his father Che Rose bin Haji Abdullah was the DAP candidate in the first by-election after the 1974 General Election in the Alor Pongsu constituency in Perak state assembly on 18th December 1974.
The Alor Pongsu by-election 43 years ago is testimony that right from the beginning of DAP’s formation 52 years ago, DAP had never regarded itself as a Chinese or non-Malay party, never an anti-Malay and anti-Islam party, but a party for all races and religions in the country.
DAP contested the rural Alor Pongsu by-election not because we expected to win, but part of a long-term reach-out by the party to all Malaysians and regions with the DAP message for national unity, justice, freedom, development and good governance for all.
When I visited Bagan Serai (the centre of the Alor Pongsu constituency) in December 2015, I was pleasantly surprised by an old photograph taken when I visited Bagan Serai at the end of 1970, which was shortly after I was released from the first Internal Security Act (ISA) detention.
Bagan Serai is the birthplace of one of the foremost DAP leaders – DAP Deputy Secretary-General, Member of Parliament and Perak State Assemblyman P. Pattoo, born on 10th December 1946 who unfortunately died at the young age of 48 on 12th July 1995. His daughter, Kasthuri Patto is now the MP for Batu Kawan.
The old 1970 photograph took me down the memory lane and the DAP’s political struggle for the past five decades.
One common value the early leaders of DAP like our founder Chairman Dr. Chen Man Hin (still healthy and strong at the age of 93), departed comrade-in-arms like Karpal Singh, Ibrahim Singgeh (the first Malay DAP State Assemblyman in Perak in 1969), Peter Dason, Loke Swee Chin, Patto, Kerk Kim Hock, Lau Dak Kee and Che Rose bin Haji Abdullah shared in great bounty was our love for the country and our commitment and dedication to make Malaysia a better place for future generations.
We were and are in politics not for what we can get from it for ourselves whether in terms of monetary gain or material advancements, but for what we can do to translate our ideals and convictions to ensure that there is genuine national unity, greater justice, freedom, good governance and better society for all Malaysians.
We set out in politics without any idea of wanting to become Members of Parliament or State Assembly representative, but in terms of what we can do to serve and improve the nation and make it closer to our ideals and aspirations.
In the process, we became Members of Parliament or State Assembly representatives but we must never lose sight of the fact that becoming elected as MPs or SAs should not become the be-all and end-all of our political involvement, but only as a means to achieve our political ideals and aspirations.
For the same reason, both in DAP and in Pakatan Harapan, we must work hard to win Federal government in Putrajaya and several state governments apart from Penang and Selangor in the 14th General Election, but we must never be a slave to the idea of just becoming a government.
In other words, while we must work hard and toil without rest to achieve the objective of achieving Federal power and win more state governments in the 14GE, we must not be afraid NOT to be the government-of-the-day if we have to compromise our fundamental principles and beliefs.
This is an important reminder to all DAP leaders, especially with the activation of a very high-powered black operation of fake news and false information to continue to demonize the DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Rulers although we have repeatedly reaffirmed our endorsement and commitment to the fundamental features of the Malaysian Constitution.
No one can be loyal and committed to the fundamental principles of the Malaysian Constitution if he is anti-Malay or any racial group in the country; anti-Islam or anti any religion in the country; or anti-Malay Rulers or the institution of constitutional monarchy.
I had been the most demonized political leader in the past 50 years. I was accused of being a communist (not used now, after the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s overtures to China and UMNO invited to the 19th Communist Party of China national congress); responsible for the May 13, 1969 riots, leading the street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur making anti-Malay and anti-Islam epithets although I was never in Kuala Lumpur after the May 10, 1969 General Election; painted as quite a devil, a puaka, even jembalang; that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam; a stooge of foreign powers (although it was Najib who paid homage to US President Trump at the White House, offering to “strengthen” American economy with Malaysia’s puny economy!); that I dominate Pakatan Harapan and made other leaders like Tun Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Mohamad Sabu and Husam Musa into my stooges and puppets.
In our plural society today, there are still Chinese who are living completely in the Chinese world, Malays who are living in a completely Malay world, Indians who are living in a completely Indian world, and the same goes with the Ibans and the Kadazans.
Our greatest challenge is how to reach out to them, the Chinese living in a completely in the Chinese world, Malays living in a completely Malay world, Indians living in a completely Indian world, to share with them a larger Malaysian picture and perspective - to share our ideals that this beloved Malaysian nation belongs to all of us, that we have a shared destiny.
Five decades of DAP have proven that DAP is a patriotic Malaysian party dedicated to the betterment of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region and committed to the fundamental principles of the Constitution.
This is what the DAP had embarked on 52 years ago, the mission for which DAP leaders and stalwarts, like Karpal, Patto, Ibrahim Singgeh, Peter Dason, Kerk, Dak Kee and Che Rose Abdullah had lived and died for but it is an unfinished business.
It is no easy task. We may even fail as there is no guarantee of success. But what we can be sure that if this Malaysian mission fails, then there is no way that the Malaysian Dream which we are share can succeed.
The Penang flood-and-storm disaster is an object lesson for all Malaysians, when Malaysians stepped forward, regardless of race, religion or region, to help Malaysians in distress and need.
This is what we saw during the great Kelantan flood disaster at the end of 2014, when Malaysians throughout the country, regardless of race, religion, region or politics came forward to render assistance to their human fellows in distress and need.
There were countless examples of such humanity transcending race, region or politics in the Penang flood/storm disaster, like the bilal, Sapno Tukijo opening up a surau to 70 non-Muslim flood victims at Taman Free School; the yellow temple (Kew Ong Yeah temple) along Jalan Megat Harun, Bukit Mertajam which took in five Malay families; and Muslim and non-Muslim NGOs who extended a helping to all victims, in utter disregard of race, religion or politics.
Can this spirit of oneness as Malaysians transcending race, religion, region or party politics prevail in our country so that we are not distracted from our Malaysian Dream to build a great Malaysia for all Malaysians?
How do we nurture the bond of oneness among Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even party politics and to stop the rise of intolerance, bigotry and extremism in our plural society?
This is our greatest challenge as Malaysians in our 60th year of nationhood, on the eve of the 14th General Election.
Datuk Yeop Adlan Che Rose’s following his late father’s footsteps in joining DAP for a Malaysian for all Malaysians is a small step towards this Malaysian Dream.
All Malaysians must step up in this direction so that the Malaysian Dream can be achieved.
As a first step, let us stop fake news and false information in the country.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said last week at the MCA annual general meeting that Chinese community must realise that that the DAP cannot form the federal government on its own and that the choice is between a strong Chinese representation or a weak representation in government.
This is exactly opposite to what Najib had been telling the UMNO members and Malays that the country must choose between a coalition led by UMNO or another led by DAP.
He even alleged that “if UMNO is rejected, this country will be ruled by those who are against the Islamic struggle and reject the Malay and bumiputera agenda”.
Let us therefore take the first step to ensure that Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics can unite for the larger Malaysian good, by halting all fake news and false information in the country.