Will DAP’s Setapak Declaration against Bumiputra impact the state elections?

WHILE UMNO and DAP are both struggling to get their voters to support the unity government in the upcoming state polls, internet users are dangling the DAP’s Setapak Declaration in the coalition’s face.

Setapak Declaration is part of the party’s stance on local politics, race relations and other major policies for the country.

In the Setapak Declaration, DAP affirmed its opposition to Bumiputra status.

The declaration affirms DAP’s viewpoint that in the process of nation-building, ethnic equality must be made the paramount principle.

“It is upon this principle that the separation of citizens into “Bumiputra” and “non-Bumiputra” is strongly opposed,” the party said.

It also said that on policies relating to culture and education, the Declaration stresses that the spirit of the National Constitution must be respected, while firmly accepting Bahasa Malaysia as the national language and protecting the right to use other languages.

“The Setapak Declaration also affirms the commitment of DAP to building a creative and harmonious nation that provides the only way of national integration, not national disintegration,” it wrote on its website.

In a statement today, UMNO Youth chief Akmal Saleh said he is of the opinion that DAP’s participation in the unity government could prove that the party is not the anti-Malay monster it has been made out to be.

Akmal added that the sentiment of DAP being anti-Malay was the result of the people being brainwashed from an early stage with such beliefs about the party.

“Since we became the unity government, we need to prove to the people that what they believed (about DAP being anti-Malay) is wrong and distorted,” Sinar Harian reported him as saying

In response to his statement, Twitter user @HjMuzafar simply posted a link to the DAP’s Setapak Declaration.

It shows that some people are unconvinced that the DAP has the interests of the Malay-Bumiputra at heart.

This may hurt the voting process as many people are heard in coffee shops, sipping their ‘kopi O’, asking whether the DAP is a changed party.

Yesterday’s (May 20) call by UMNO’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan for party members and supporters to vote for DAP candidates in the state elections is said to have rocked the party’s grassroots.

Many UMNO members seem to be at odds with the rationale of “new political dynamics” mooted by Ahmad Maslan to ensure victory at all costs for the unity government at the upcoming state polls, by-elections and national polls.

In a recent tweet, the Pontian MP and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called on UMNO members to vote in the name of the unity government — even if they dislike DAP — so that they can “faithfully uphold the orders of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong”.

Describing Ahmad’s call as “doing a stupid job”, some netizens warned of mass grassroots rejection”. — May 21, 2023

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