“Accept the reality that DAP, UMNO are working together,” Lim says

DAP national chairman Lim Guan Eng said some people have yet to “accept reality” and are attempting to “overturn a legitimate government” despite the fact that DAP and UMNO are now working together in the federal government.

Once bitter political rivals, both parties – now members of the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim-led unity government – are now part of a maturing system where campaigning is focused on policies rather than racial and religious rhetoric.

“There is a lot to get used to, given that DAP and UMNO never cooperated at the state level. But we will make sure that unity is not only on a national level. Friend or foe, peace and prosperity in Malaysia is most important,” the Bagan MP said during a Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house in Auto City, Penang yesterday (May 21).

The former finance minister also criticised Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) political approach and further accused PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang of ‘lidah biawak’ (speaking in a dishonest way meant to deceive people).

“In 2008, PAS president was insisting that the people vote for DAP. This is ‘lidah biawak’. PN claims that it has 80% support from all six states. Can they get it from Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Penang?” he remarked.

“All empty talk [considering that] in some PAS states, they cannot even provide basic infrastructure.”

He further announced that the Penang assembly is expected to be dissolved by the end of June, with a state election likely held in August with Kedah, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu expected to follow suit.

The former Penang chief minister is confident that Pakatan Harapan (PH) and BN will prevail in Penang state election to showcase what a unity government is all about.

“Not only can we maintain the status quo (37 state seats), we can add new seats so that our state government is a solid one.”

Meanwhile, state UMNO chief Datuk Seri Musa Sheikh Fadzir said seat negotiations are underway in the spirit of “give and take” despite the fact that there are some overlapping issues.

Musa further stressed that Penang UMNO will not be provoked by Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, who believes the opposition coalition will win the Malay-dominated seats.

“Let him say what he wants. We will not stoop to his level. We are not overconfident. We must focus on serving and meeting voters’ needs,” he was reported as saying.

Meanwhile, Penang DAP deputy chairman Prof P. Ramasamy noted that the formation of the unity government made it possible for both UMNO and DAP to not only cease their enmity but to think of future cooperation and collaboration.

“As it is, the years of hostility between both parties have somewhat ceased to the extent of both working out strategies to enable the unity government to win the state elections,” Ramasamy noted.

“UMNO’s loss of Malay support to PN in the last general election was the key, and without the necessary Malay support, UMNO became weak and rudderless. Joining the PH coalition was certainly a lesser evil for UMNO rather than having a Faustian pact with PN. ”

Ramasamy noted that the formation of the unity government was an excellent opportunity for Anwar to bring in the strange and contentious bedfellows under one broad umbrella.

The unity government’s excellent performance in the last few months have provided an conducive opportunity for parties such as UMNO and DAP to come together.“In the last few weeks or so, PH has engaged with UMNO to discuss electoral strategies and how best they could work together to win in the state elections,” he remarked.“If UMNO and DAP could sink their differences to come together, it is certainly an indicator that things are working well for the unity government.“The coming together of these parties is an indication that moderate politics in the larger interest of the nation is the best formula for the future.“Politics based on race and religion might be beneficial for short term political interests, but unsustainable and dangerous for a country has different races and religions.” – May 22, 2023


Main pic credit: Facebook/Lim Guan Eng

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