Sarawak DAP dismisses Dr M’s racism remark as senile rant

By Debra Chong
April 19, 2011

Pending assemblyman, Violet Yong, asks Dr M to take a leap of faith and join DAP. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUCHING, April 19 — Sarawak DAP has dismissed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim the opposition party was at fault for injecting racism into the hornbill state’s politics, which the former prime minister said risked splitting the country into two camps.

“It is complete garbage. It shows that Dr M is senile and does not know what he says. During all ceramah during the election campaign, we asked for racial equality and it is in our election manifesto too,” state DAP chief, Wong Ho Leng, replied in a text message to questions about the still-influential leader’s blog post yesterday.

Wong’s colleague, Violet Yong, shared a similar view.

“I disagree with what Dr Mahathir said because the DAP is a multiracial party.

“For him to be prime minister for so many years and say that, it’s a bit senile,” the state DAP treasurer told The Malaysian Insider.

But Yong, into her second-term as Pending assemblyman, tempered her tone in respect of the man who had served as prime minister for 22 long years.

She countered the soon-to-be 85-year-old by saying that it is the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) that practises racial politics.

She pointed out that the three senior partners in the 13-party coalition are still accepting members according to race.

“You see MIC, only Indians can join. MCA, only Chinese can join. Umno, only Malay and the Bumiputera Muslim Melanau can join. So who’s practising racism?” Yong remarked.

“He’s only speaking from the outside,” she replied when asked for her response to his scathing denunciation of the DAP’s “Malaysian Malaysia” ideal.

The lawyer called on the elder Malay politician to take a leap and join her party.

“Why not he join the DAP and see if we do the same thing as him?” she suggested.

Yong appeared to concede that support for the DAP was only because of the BN’s unfair policies, and years of sidelining the non-Malay Bumiputera communities.

“Why the Chinese here join DAP is because they have been sidelined so they are sending out a message they have had enough,” she said.

In his blog yesterday, Dr Mahathir said the Chinese community in Sarawak had rejected multiracialism after being infected by the virus of Chinese racism that he said is the guiding principle of the DAP.

He also suggested that any DAP administration would only be ostensibly Malaysian.

The former prime minister accused the DAP of destroying the power-sharing formula the BN had implemented for the past half a century.

“I congratulate the DAP for bringing its racist politics to Sarawak. Before this, all races co-operated well with each other for the good of Sarawak. Now we see clearly that the Chinese community in Sarawak has rejected multiracialism,” he wrote in his blog.

“They have become infected by the virus of Chinese racism that is the guiding principle of the DAP,” said Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister.

On Saturday, the DAP won 12 mainly urban seats in the Sarawak state election by riding the anti-Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud wave of sentiment.

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