Is DAP now the “neo MCA”, “neo MIC” in Anwar’s unity gov’t?

A TWITTER user believes that the newly formed Cabinet of Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not as “reformist” as the one established during the tenure of two-time premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2018. 

Back then, the nonagenarian helmed the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for 22 months following the historical trouncing of Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 14th General Election (GE14), only for the Sheraton Move defection to pave way for two consecutive backdoor administrations of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (17 months) and Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob (14 months). 

Prior to the GE15, many Malaysians had prayed and hoped that once Anwar became PM of the day, he would form a “reformist” government to bring about changes in the country. 

Unfortunately, the GE15 outcome pointed to the PH chairman lacking the same majority that DR Mahathir had in 2018, hence was left with little choice but to form a cabinet in which the “reformists” appear to be outnumbered by BN’s “heavyweights” and “court clusters”. 

In retrospect, Dr Mahathir’s cabinet was made up as much as possible by people who were acquainted with the reformasi movement orchestrated by Anwar. 

On the contrary, the current cabinet is mostly composed of not only MPs from PH’s coalition members (DAP and Amanah) but also from UMNO and the Borneo bloc of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS). 

This factor may very well dilute the “reformist” nature of Anwar’s administration which runs contrast to the expectations of PH supporters. 

DAP “new MCA”? 

As a result of the new cabinet line-up where sacrifices have to be made in the name of power sharing, the DAP is now trolled by some supporters on social media. 

Netizens have started to draw parallel with DAP as the “new MCA” as they poke fun of Anwar’s Cabinet line-up although one thing is certain: the very fact that MCA and MIC who are always accused to be UMNO’s ‘bootlickers’ are not being represented in Anwar’s unity government. 

But the consensus is such that neither the Chinese nor Indian communities are perturbed with such development given they have for  long perceived both race-based political parties as redundant or irrelevant although some diehards seem to express concern over Anwar’s purported sidelining of MCA and MIC in his Cabinet list. 

Doubtlessly, people are comparing the roles traditionally held by MCA in the BN-led Cabinets. In this regard, Anwar has nominated DAP leader Anthony Loke Siew Fook to helm the Transport Ministry while bypassing the so-called incumbent Datuk Wee Ka Siong who is also the MCA president. 

On the same account, Anwar has also replicated the selection of an Indian ethnic representative for the Human Resources portfolio by selecting DAP’s Batu Gajah MP Sivakumar Varatharaju Naidu in place of incumbent Datuk Seri M. Saravanan who is also MIC’s deputy president. 

The other two DAP Cabinet minister slots are filled by DAP Perak chairman Nga Kor Ming who has been appointed as the Local Government Minister and its Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh. 

Well, foremost in grassroots DAP supporters’ mind now is while it is palatable for the party to be dubbed ‘neo-MCA” or “neo-MIC” although the DAP top brass advocates no racial segregation, the party must not over-compromise on its generosity given that that it won the second most number of parliamentary seats in GE15 at 40 (behind PAS’ 49 seats). – Dec 3, 2022 

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