Is DAP in control of the Madani gov’t or is this just an Opposition make-believe?

THE narrative of the opposition in the country is that the DAP controls and manipulates the government of the day.

When the veteran former opposition leader and once supreme DAP leader Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang brought up the idea of non-Malay becoming the Prime Minister (PM), this strengthened the opposition’s narrative of DAP being in control of the unity government.

PM Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is beholden to DAP to stay in power. With DAP in control of the government, the opposition argued that it was possible for non-Malay to become the PM.

I don’t understand the reason why Kit Siang brought up this idea knowing very well what the counter-narrative of the opposition would be like.

Maybe he just wanted to stress the point that it is a constitutional possibility of non-Malay becoming the PM not that the country was on the verge of getting one.

However, former twice premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed intervened in the acrimonious debate to say that a non-Malay can be made PM if the Malays agree.

Unlike his earlier controversial ethnic rhetoric, twice former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made a very sensible argument. An argument that was even accepted by Kit Siang, the original proponent of non-Malay as PM of the country.

As far as I am concerned, the idea of non-Malay as the PM is much ado about nothing. It is nothing wrong in raising the matter for public discussion or debate but the unfortunate thing in this country is the tendency to look at issues from the perspective of zero-sum game.

Man of integrity

Tan Kok Wai

Any proposal that is seen as pitting the Malays against the non-Malays or vice-versa will more often than not transform into racial politics.

Given this, there is hardly any room for a healthy debate that might be beneficial. The same thing goes for the proposal by DAP Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai for reviving local government elections in Kuala Lumpur.

As soon as the proposal was made, the opposition including UMNO went berserk.

They argued that if the local government elections are revived, they might benefit the non-Malays rather than Malays since the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territories’ population might have more non-Malays than Malays.

The recently appointed Federal Territories Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa felt that there are other matters more serious than the holding of local government elections.

Even the DAP Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming said earlier that the issue of local government elections was not a priority. Given this, why did Kok Wai raise the matter of local government elections?

Was he unhappy that DAP leaders were not keen taking up matters that the party had promised voters in the last federal elections? For the record, Kok Wai is not only the Cheras MP but also the current DAP chairman for Federal Territories.

He was also the former acting chairman of the DAP. If he had been confirmed in the party position, he would have been an excellent chairman of the party. Reasons are well-known why he had to give up the position of acting chairman.

He is non-controversial but man of integrity and principles. I had worked closely with him especially on disciplinary issues in the party.

DAP subservient to UMNO?

The very fact he brought up the idea of local government elections indicates that he is not happy the way things are done in the party.

It is not just local government elections but many other issues that have been sidestepped by the DAP in seeking accommodation with other parties such as UMNO in the present Madani government.

While UMNO and the opposition are having field day in shooting down the idea of local government elections, DAP national leaders dare not open their mouths to support their beleaguered colleague, Tan.

I am not certain why the prospect of local government elections are such an anathema to the Malay nationalists. Yet, it was the same DAP that embraced its former arch enemy UMNO. While Kok Wai is being attacked, the party remains silent.

Next time around, he might not be fielded as the candidate for the parliamentary seat of Cheras. For power and positions, DAP has to pay the price of subservience.

The often-repeated argument by the opposition that DAP is control of the government has no empirical basis. However, such an argument fits well with the political and ideological narrative of the opposition to reveal the diabolical nature of the DAP.

The reverse is true. DAP’s years of struggle have been sacrificed for power and positions to be part of the federal and some state governments. – Dec 20, 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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