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Bumiputera Community, Chinese Community, DAP, Malaysia, Sarawak, Sarawak Politics, Sarawakian

DAP to woo Bumiputera bloggers to change Chinese party image

THE Democratic Action Party (DAP) is out to woo Bumiputera bloggers as part of its efforts to change its image as a Chinese party.

In particular, the party is focussing on the Malay and Dayak community in Sarawak!

DAP central committee member Anthony Loke is quoted by the Malaysian Insider as saying that this is part of the party’s wider strategy to recruit more Malay and Dayak members.

Suddenly this definitely-all-this-while party that has focussed SOLELY on the Chinese community in Sarawak is interested in our Bumiputera community.

Yes and we’re supposed to believe it is because they are very interested to be a Malaysian party, blah, blah, blah …

Let’s look at the last State election. The party fielded 15 candidates. Fourteen of them were Chinese. Just one was Dayak and he did not win the seat. That’s 6.6% of the number of candidates.

Let’s look at their current State committee. Out of the 19 committee members, there is one Malay member and two Dayak members … that’s 15% of the committee.

Let’s look at the population of Sarawak. Out of the State’s over 2.4 million people, around 74% of us are Bumiputera – either Dayak or Malay or Melanau. Only around 26% of Sarawakians are Chinese.

Interesting huh?

In the State DAP’s committee, all the main portfolios and positions except for one of the Vice Chairman’s positions are filled by members of the Chinese community. This Vice Chairman is Wan Saimi Bin Wan Dahlan.

Who you ask?

And who can blame you? Other than the 2006 election, when he lost to Datuk Talib Zulpilip by 3,179 votes in Jepak, I couldn’t find anything about him.

Perhaps I am just ignorant. But usually you would expect a Vice Chairman of a party to have plenty to say in the media right? To be speaking on behalf of DAP Sarawak all the time, wouldn’t you?

Not a Chinese party huh?

Anyway, I’d like to think that Sarawak’s Bumiputera community is wise enough to see beyond the propaganda of bloggers recruited by DAP from the community to woo them.

Actions speak louder than mere words, wouldn’t you say?

The Malaysian Insider’s report:

DAP steps up recruitment of Malay-Bumi members

By G. Manimaran
September 05, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — The DAP, often seen as a “Chinese party” by critics, is working to bring Malay and Bumiputera bloggers into the fold in an effort to broaden the party’s appeal ahead of possible polls next year.

DAP central committee member Anthony Loke said an announcement that several Malay and Dayak bloggers have agreed to join the party will be made soon, possibly later this month.

“We have been actively courting several Malay bloggers … but we’re still in talks. We will only make an announcement after the Hari Raya break,” he told The Malaysian Insider recently.

“We have had preliminary discussions (with the bloggers) and they have shown positive interest in joining DAP. We hope their entry will encourage others to join DAP.”

Loke, who is also DAP Socialist Youth chief, said the initiative was part of a wider strategy to get more Malay and Bumiputera leaders to join the opposition party, whose leadership is dominated by the Chinese.

He said the DAP’s efforts were in response to the altered political landscape after Election 2008, which demanded greater non-Chinese representation in the party, but added that the Malays and Bumiputeras themselves had expressed desire to join the 45-year-old party.

“We invited those who can energise DAP’s efforts among the Malays and the Dayaks in Sarawak… These are the two specific ethnic groups that DAP is focusing on now,” he said, adding that the party did not have problems getting Indians and Sabah’s Kadazans to join.

Although critics are still quick to label the DAP as “a Chinese party”, it was proud to call itself a party for all Malaysians, he added.

“We have always been fighting as a Malaysian party … The Malays themselves are beginning to realise this,” he said, pointing out that the party has seen a surge of Malay and Bumiputera interest after the 2008 general election.

Loke said the DAP has had Malay leaders before, among them the late Ahmad Nor, but after his death the focus on getting more Malay members to join the party slowed down for a period.

“So now efforts have been stepped up across the country… because we now have an outreach programme,” he said.

“I think it’s time. We hope this will be a continuous effort, particularly with the entry of Malay scholars… We hope this process will strengthen DAP and renew its vigour.”

Last month, the DAP accepted into its ranks Prof Dr Ariffin Omar, an academic and cultural history expert.

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