PERHAPS DAP should put its house in order first before any effort to convince its supporters to accept the unfavourable Cabinet post number can ever bear fruit.
Already facing an uphill task to convince its supporters over the dismal Cabinet post allocation considering that the party bagged the second highest number of parliamentary seats at 40 (behind PAS’ 49) in the 15th General Election (GE15), DAP now need to quell the voice of discontent expressed by its Penang chairman-cum-Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Although ultimately the state DAP will toe the line drawn by its central executive committee, Chow – to give him benefit of doubt – cannot be faulted for his view that “none of the seven DAP MPs in Penang was appointed as ministers” when “a political party which won fewer seats than DAP in GE15 is getting double the number of ministers compared to DAP”.
After all Penang has been a traditional stronghold for DAP ever since the party wrested control of the state in 2008 in what was deemed “a watershed in Penang’s history” and “an unprecedented and shocking defeat” of the Barisan Nasional (BN)-Gerakan state government led by the then chief minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon.
To DAP’s credit, the party is aware of the sentiments at grassroots level with the ultimate need to cascade down the party’s stance to its members and supporters that DAP has not been made a sacrificial lamb but has accepted in good faith the need to render unconditional support to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the unprecedented and untested unity government concept to work.
“Today, there may be sentiments, feelings from DAP members who feel we don’t have enough representation or low representation, but our struggle and DAP leaders’ struggle in politics is not for position, but for the country,” the party’s secretary-general and Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook told a media conference yesterday (Dec 3) evening.
“So whatever positions we are given, we will do our best for the country,” he added during the event that was also attended by the party’s three ministerial appointees, namely Nga Kor Ming (Local Government), V. Sivakumar (Human Resources) and Hannah Yeoh (Youth and Sports).
Bitter pill to swallow
An uphill task as it seems for DAP to convince loyalists of its “country comes first stance”, the more ‘urban and educated’ party members/supporters nevertheless seem to be accepting such strategic notion better than their ‘rural and hardcore’ comrades.
Below are some thoughts penned by an anonymous political observer on the need to stand firm behind Anwar (edited for clarity):
I think this is a necessary line-up for the time being.
Firstly, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi need to be the Deputy PM (DPM) so he can control the rest of the backstabbers in UMNO. If he loses power, he’ll lose his UMNO presidency and this unity government will bite the dust. So, putting him as DPM is a necessary evil.
Secondly, I think the deal with Zahid is Anwar won’t interfere with his court case and if he’s found guilty, he’ll have to resign or be replaced. His case plus appeals etc may take another two to three years and that buys enough time for Anwar to clean up a lot of messes and put the right people in place.
Thirdly, with all the racial nonsense brewing – which PAS and Perikatan Nasional (PN) are kicking up – this line-up will shut them up. One Indian and three Chinese ministers can’t take over the government of the day nor destroy the Malays for sure.
This again is necessary to quell the Malay/Muslim population from more dissention and no reason for them to listen to those towelheads spewing nonsense.
Fourthly, this buying of time is crucial for Anwar to put things in place. Eventually, some ministers will be replaced/removed by those who can do the job.
Fifthly, the key positions that are of utmost importance are held by capable and trusted people, ie finance and law – no more monkey business.
Right now, it doesn’t matter how many PKR or DAP ministers appointed. What’s important is Anwar is in control. – Dec 4, 2022