It came as no surprise to me that DAP and PKR were squabbling again about seats for the Machap by-election. This is only a by-election. Can you imagine what will happen when the general elections eventually dawn on us?

My good friend, former colleague and blogger James Wong has a good analysis on the issue : DAP-PKR: the unspoken fear.

It seems to all and sundry that the Opposition has not and will not get its act together. Because now is a good time. With so much credibility problems in the present BN government, you’d think that the Opposition would be consolidating their forces, polishing their shields and planning war strategies together. But no, whenever there is the slightest opportunity, they fall back into the same pattern of hitting each other below the belt, trading accusations while newspapers have a field day spinning the worst tales, while having back-door negotiations which don’t benefit either side.

But then again, wait … perhaps this is merely a strategy. Be prepared for antics from both sides, as even bad publicity is good publicity. Not wanting to lose face to the Chinese voters, both sides must show that they are doing their job, fighting for the constituency, fighting to represent them, don’t you see how much they care? Even if eventually they lose to MCA, at least they have tried their best, if only at the seats negotiation level.

At this point, PKR has given way to DAP in Machap. This too is not surprising. I don’t blame DAP at all, because in any negotiations, each party will fight till its last breath to get what it wants. This is not to say that PKR doesn’t fight tooth and nail to contest. However, circumtances being what it is, PKR often goes into negotiations with DAP only to give way. Either the negotiators are poor or there are no barganining points. But it seems to be the pattern since time immemorial, and I suspect, will happen again come this general elections.

Unless PKR puts its foot down. Unless both parties conduct a referendum to ask the constituencies which party they want. For its not what the party wants, but the rakyat. But do you think this will ever happen in good ol’ Malaysia?

Yet, if PKR doesn’t give way, there would definitely be three-corner fights and this would spell disaster, yet again for the Opposition. So, PKR, being the sacrificial lamb as it is, as long as DAP exists, will hardly get to contest in Chinese pre-dominant and mixed areas, nor the seats that it wants to. Coz big brother DAP would be the first to grab it for themselves.

How long will this go on? PKR is doing its best to prove that it is a multi-racial party by wanting to contest in mix and pre-dominantly Chinese are. I think big brother DAP should respect that. But in politics, who respects the other right? If they do, I guess they would be in social services and not politics.

Anyway, I was hoping that with Lim Guan Eng at the helm of the party leadership, things would change. Malaysians want to see a multi-racial Malaysia, and some sacrificies have to be made. The time is different now, unlike the 60s, the 70s or even the 80s. The Malays and non-Malays are more confident now, and not many want to hear about one-sided racial politics anymore. We want a Malaysia where everyone can enjoy similar status, though the rights of the needy and vulnerable, must still be a priority.

PKR and DAP have the chance to change the political landscape and give Malaysians what we have been hoping for thus far, if only it can put aside personality differences, not even political differences, because both parties’ ideologies are in synchrony.





21 responses »

  1. monsterball says:

    All Chinese parties …outside the Barisan National should respect DAP 50 years of struggling and exposing corruptions and race issues. No one have gone to jail more times than DAP people for these reasons If DAP is contesting against Barisan..others should stand aside..UNLESS…agreed to do so for stragetic reasons.
    Hope this time….their selfishness and arragonces will not overcrowd their inteligent minds…especially from Lim Kit Siang.

  2. whatalulu says:

    In the Jan Batu Talam by-elections, PKR had announced that they would boycott the by-election as a strong signal to the commission to improve immediately its flawed polling system.
    DAP however did not run in BatuTalam because they’ve never contested the seat before.

    It would look strange for PKR to run in Machap so soon after the BT stand since nothing much has changed in the EC.

    Personally, I do wish that DAP would conserve the energy and ca$h and sit out this by-election.

  3. monsterball says:

    No my friend whatalulu. This is a test of strength by DAP. It may backfire….like you wisely said……but I think the pubilc and especially DAP lIke To feel how voters behave..especially from the Chinese voters.
    Hope the Chinese think of the country more than for personal benefits this time.

  4. jes tay says:

    may be DAP should field a malay and female candidate – Marina Mahathir
    – sure win !!!

  5. Black says:

    Dear Susan and all commentators,

    This is how i look. In Malaysia, if the opposition is seriuosly want a change and democratic reforms, there is no other way than stand united. The best United Front from the Opposition is in 1999. But, because of that, the DAP supporters are not happy with the alliance with PAS and gave their votes to BN.

    The only way is DAP go to explain the bigger agenda to their supporters and be together with the United Front. About seats, the leaders from each parties should be wise enough to deal with it. The opposition front should show to the people that they are united and serious to bring a change in the country.

    If this is not happen, i afraid the people will not trust BN and BA anymore and choose their own way to change the country.

  6. monsterball says:

    If Marina Mahathir stands for an election at any place by any party…she will not only loose…but also her deposit too. That’s why she is smart saying she is not interested in politics……but she is. Like father like daughter?
    TDM loves to devide to rule. …like father …like daughter?
    Love to see UMNO put Mahathir’s sons for elections.

  7. wits0 says:

    Susan, didn’t you stand for election in ’99 under Keadilan? 😉

    Wasn’t it Keadilan that persuaded LKS to unite together with PAS and DAP paid for that error? The poor showing of PAS in he last election suggests that most people are pro-secular and that PAS with its religious hubris, in fact, can be blamed for scaring many voters to UMNO’s camp.

    In ’99, Chandra Muzaffar also lost badly in an urban contest. This may also be due to his heavy leaning towards religousity and over ranting against the West(i.e. US). And he was also a Chomsky fan, no? He chose his own weighty baggages.

    Even today, PKR is still trying to ride many horses at once. When Anwar can shave his goatee, he might even fare better. Haha.

  8. susan loone says:

    hey wits0, i didnt stand for elections in 1999.

    i believe poor showing in the Opposition last GE was not about whether people were pro-secular or pro-Islamic. in some constituencies maybe. But this what the BN would like people to think.
    remember it was abdullah’s call last election and the people wanted to give him a chance since he came across as Mr Clean and Mr Nice.

    eventhough DAP cut ties with PAS in the last GE, it didnt bring about a big change for them in the final analysis. if i remember correctly, they didnt win more seats than they should.

    all i am saying is that this squabbling is not going to do anyone any good. especially when we want to see multi-racial politics reign supreme instead of what we have now.

  9. Maverick says:


    That’s the dilemma we Malaysians faced. That’s the reason why BN could had been in control of the government for umpteen decades.

    It’s the power struggle and inability to co-exist amongst the has-been that was the root cause of the system dysfunction and inherent kleptocratism within the ruling regime.

    Even with the wide abuse of power and almost absolute corruption, it was impossible to unseat nor unsettle the regime. The fact remains that politicians are truly only interested in their own benefits and welfare. The rakyat is always used to garner support and to put them in the legislature so that they could plow and harness the material wealth from the gravy train.

  10. susan loone says:

    yes maverick we are being made fool of time and again. that’s why i am *muak* to hear their battle cries these days. prefer more independent candidates, selected by the people.

    lulu, you make sense as well. if PKR is complaining about the EC, may as well boycott the entire elections till EC is over thrown. :=). then only people say you are really serious right?

  11. shar101 says:


    I like this part “prefer more independent candidates, selected by the people”.

    Have been trying to put this idea cross for quite sometime.

    Perhaps, I will let it stew a little more as the dishes being served by BN and BA do not seem to be palatable.

    Rest assured, B.U. will be conferred on this matter.

  12. monsterball says:

    Susan…It is always back to basics….that most voters voted for theirv own personal benefits….instead for the country.
    Yes..they became smarter and realised their faults and quite rightly so…gave Pak Lah a chance….for had it been TDM …the oppositions would have been Barisan National!!
    So did Pak Lah live up to our expectations? Definatelty NO!!He knows it.
    But if he give some big surprises …like abolishing the Bumiputra status…no more special rights to malays are free to choose any religion………..not necessary beleive Islam is their birth rights…what will the voters do?
    You will be surprise many Malays behaving so so “Malaysians” are actually racialistics and hypocrites…thus if Pak Lah announced that…we will see him LOOSING more malays votes…but gain all the others that love freedom of rights..religion and no more race discreminations.
    Race discreminations seems clearly been played by few ministers right infront of few so call cultured Malay bloggers. Have you seen any condamn these blokes like Zalina..not fair to other races? NO!! They ignored and talk of anything and everything…..except condeming races…yet wanting to be called Malaysians. These feel OTHERS can live in Malaysia as guests!!! THEY OWN. THE LAND….THEY DON’T MIND TO SHARE WITH OTHERS……THIS OR THAT!! They even behave like the ‘liitle napoleans”..hero worshipped the real self appointed NAPLOLEAN….TDM . . He can beliitle you..but you must gain his respects? Aboveall…they have no manners and are trully hypocrites.That’s how TDM was exposed…yet many…not the majority still hero worship him.
    So….how many such Malays votes will Pak Lah loose?
    Lets see…for PM is FULLY aware…if he does not take out his coat of hypocracy…….he will need to depend on a razor edge victory like TDM….but NOW….it is more difficult for Pak Lah…with Anwar out and a much better results of DAP in last election under him…singalling the end of out-dated PAS and Gereakan..that is…..if not help them in Penang…coming election. But MCA needs desperately UMNO help!!
    So I beleive the coming election will be the best………as voters especially majority Malays hates to be labelled hypocrites nor racialists ..certainly not little napoleans any more. PM coined the word……remember??
    Like to hear Malays bloggers confirm they are not racialists.
    You will be surprise…one or two maybe……but bloggers and commenters are mostly dominated by malays in Malaysia.
    In that sense… think why the government are labelllng most bloggers words cannot be trusted…yet they seem to talk like them …exposing the wrongs of bloggers and ignoring totally.. the right stuffs of brave bloggers. They feel. most are TDM supporters.trying o disunite the races…especially the malays!!!Non racialtic messages for faifness and justices are infact written by the other races …copied by malays. Bloggers like you … zorro..even Patrick Teoh…..are the true Malaysians !! Then one rare rare Malay like kickdefella Sheih.. trully behave and want to be a Malaysian blogger…see how others of his kind avoid him?…yet some behave so buddy buddy ……because of the race and hope to change his mind to become like them…..a hypocrite!! But Sheih will never be one..that’s why I am so proud to be his appointed frontliner. Thanks

  13. monsterball says:

    I must clearly point out that political bloggings are dominated by malays…not blogging as a whole.
    Zalina should read Azalina…the racialistic sports minister.
    Aboveall…please excuse by poor English and one finger typing on such important issues to our lives. Thanks

  14. hgfj says:

    Let PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim contest in Machap and kick him out for good if he loses. This is the best way to gauge what support if any he still commands from the rakyat

  15. monsterball says:

    hgfi…Lets be realistic and smart commenters. DAP is contesting…why Anwar must go there?

  16. ckchew says:

    My dear friend Susan,

    I can feel how u felt about the whole pkr-dap affair & i know the experience u hv gone thru in 2004.

    you r right to say:

    “Malaysians want to see a multi-racial Malaysia, and some sacrificies have to be made”

    but can dap make such a sacrifice? as James mentioned it, the malay will not join them thus there is no way out for them. but then again, they r the one who turned themselve into a true blue chinese party. Alas, multi racial or sacrifice, that is the last word they hv in their heads.

    the 2004 experience or nightmare one may called it will go on & on as long as the true blue chinese party is still exist. & as what people say, it’s take 2 to tango – u hv ultra umno on one hand & chauvinistic dap on the other.

    no one can deny it that both will survive as long as malaysian still ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ as the pm does & divided right down the racial line.

  17. monsterball says:

    ckchew..What do you really want DAP to sacifice? Spell it out clearly.
    They have proven to be watch dog of Malaysian democracies ..since Merdeka time.
    They have gone to jail so many times to expose corruptions.Which party have done these things?

    Lim Kit Siang made the most stupid mistake to partner PAS they pulled out……look at the recent result…yet you want them to pull out?
    It is the MCA that should pull out from Barisan long long ago…if you are thinking of Chinese unity.

  18. wits0 says:

    ckchew, I think there’s no need to continue the old labelling of any non-virulently racist party as “chauvinistic”(like any blind kneejerk) as if UMNO is not far more chauvinistic all along.

    MCA, e.g., is far more chauvinistic and it operates as a mafiadom club on the side-line as well.

  19. Chee Yong says:

    BN will be putting its full force in Machap. If DAP can win, this will be a morale booster. Keadilan will be the moderator in the opposition alliance. Its sad to see if Anwar is not eligible to stand in this coming GE if its held before Apr. I would love to see him in action beating the socks out of those chaps from BN in Parliment.

    Countless DAP members have ate “curry rice”, especially Kit Siang and Guan Eng. Btw, I managed to spoke to Guan Eng in their latest anniversary dinner in Penang….its all there in my blog…..

  20. […] mildly anti-DAP for some time, even in the days when she was writing for Malaysiakini. She has this to say: … PKR is doing its best to prove that it is a multi-racial party by wanting to contest in […]

  21. Tirath says:

    Hi Susan and all,

    First of all, jangan marah yerrr… saya mungkin agak critical terhadap Keadilan, but we all want the same thing, or at least I think we do. The only dispute is over how to get it.

    There is always so much grief over Keadilan vs. DAP fighting over seats where they will confront MCA/MIC candidates. I think a much more important issue is being overlooked, and perhaps it indicates that Keadilan has lost focus. 😦

    If you believe many political pundits, including Rehman Rashid (before he stopped taking his medication) and James Wong Wing On himself, Keadilan was formed with the single-minded premise of providing a “third way” for the Malay electorate, between UMNO’s ultra-nationalism and PAS’ pseudo-theocracy.

    How’s that going? How are the Malay branches faring? How many new branches have been opened up in say the last 2 years, and of those how many have been opened in or near UMNO’s “kubus”? I would honestly like to know, and I am genuinely hoping for the best.

    Keadilan is supposed to fight UMNO, not MCA! Targetting UMNO should be the main priority! Of course it is important to cultivate support bases that transcend race, but for that to be at the DAP’s expense, I think you would have to claim the following:

    a) Keadilan’s ideology is significantly similar with the DAP’s, and
    b) Keadilan has a more realistic chance of converting the ideology into policy, by winning the hearts and minds of the Malay electorate

    Both (a) and (b) are mighty tall claims, and so it has to be PROVEN, and it can be proven in the upcoming GE, not by defeating MCA or MIC or Gerakan or SUPP, but to prove point (b) you have to target the mothership: UMNO!

    And to prove point (a), you have to beat UMNO with an unambiguous platform of removing racialistic policies, and replacing all RACE-BASED affirmative action programmes with NEEDS-BASED affirmative action programmes. Then you can claim that your ideology is compatible with DAP’s, and after substantially beating UMNO in the next GE you can claim that you have a more realistic shot at delivering the goal.

    And yes, I know fighting UMNO is hard. You can even ask PAS about that, they’ve got stories. But if you want conscessions, then that’s what has to happen, because otherwise what is the point?

    It would take a heroic effort, but I promise you if you pull it off you would be treated like heroes. So go forth, and kick some UMNOPutra butt! 😀

    Tidak ada satu-satu parti yang ada monopoli di atas akidah “Malaysian Malaysia”. Saya sanggup menyokong bermati-matian mana-mana parti yang mampu dan sanggup menerajui perjuangan ini!

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