Is DAP compromising its political principles to preserve power, position?

LOCAL Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming has just confirmed that local council elections are not the priority of his ministry.

In other words, he refused to back up the proposal of his senior DAP comrade Tan Kok Wai who is the Kuala Lumpur (KL) DAP federal territory chairman and Cheras MP.

Tan Kok Wai (Photo credit: MYsinchew)


About more than a week back, Tan called for the introduction of local council elections starting with KL.

However, he was criticised by Malay nationalists who claimed that local government elections would not benefit the Malays but the non-Malays particularly the Chinese. Since the Chinese dominate the urban areas, having local government elections might complicate the racial situation in the country.

However, these Malay nationalists refused to consider why Malay political parties in the Malay heartlands are not keen to have local government elections.

Since ethnicity is not an issue, why then is the fear? Is it fear of democracy or the invisible Chinese?

I can understand the position of Malay nationalists in UMNO and in PN but no DAP or PKR leaders have emerged to support Tan’s idea. His own colleagues in DAP failed to come forward to support his democratic idea.

Unbecoming of DAP

What is so wrong about the noble idea of local government elections? After the hot and acrimonious debate is just about to subside, Nga has emerged from the tortoise shell to say that the government has other priorities than local government elections.

Why Nga had to wait so long to have a say on local government elections remains a mystery. It is obvious then DAP is divided on the question of the local government elections.

Nga Kor Ming (Photo credit: Kosmo)


Gone are the days when the party had the local government elections as its top priority. Its election campaigns had invariably raised the issue of local government elections.

Now with power and positions, the political scenario has completely changed. I think it was out of frustrations that Tan raised the issue of local government elections.

But unfortunately, he had no takers in the party. Under attack from the nationalists, Tan could not defend himself. The party that he grew with abandoned him completely.

It is shameful for on Nga who is also DAP’s national vice-chairman for not coming to the rescue of his colleague Tan. Instead, he completely undermined Tan by saying that local government elections are not the priority of the government.

Maybe Nga should spell out the priorities of the government. Is it about enjoying the rewards of power and positions? Is it about the DAP with 40 MPs performing the role of an appendage to the unity government?

Essentially, it is not about Tan’s proposal of local government elections or the dismissal of their priority by Nga. It is more about DAP’s political trajectory that stood for democracy and justice in the country.

By side-stepping the crucial principled political issues, the party is slowly but surely shedding its old pretensions. – Dec 28, 2023


Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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