DAP is disappointed at former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s narrative

DAP is disappointed at former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s narrative that “DAP used to be extreme in their Chinese-centric demands, citing DAP’s previous opposition to the New Economic Policy (NEP) by the government to help poor Malays, but now not all of them are like that.” Again, this narrative is wrong, baseless and misguided when DAP has never been race-centric or religious-based.

DAP was never opposed to policies including the NEP, that was meant to help the poor Malays and gave them equal opportunity. However, DAP strongly opposes the dual identification of race with wealth and race with poverty. To state that all Malays are poor or all Chinese are rich is simplistic and misleading at best and at worst, divisive and extreme.

DAP’s struggle for socio-economic justice is based on the principle that there should no identification of poverty with race, and all Malaysians should be provided equal opportunity and given assistance based on needs so that the poor non-Malays are not left out. Since the majority of poor are Malays or bumis from Sabah and Sarawak, they will still be the biggest beneficiaries.

Whether in government or opposition, DAP has never opposed the NEP or policies that provide assistance and equal opportunity for all Malaysians who are poor. Our track record in government in Penang and in Putrajaya speaks for itself.

What DAP fervently opposes are the deviations in the implementation of the NEP by the elites and cronies from all races, that led to widespread abuse of power, corruption and wastage of public funds that continued to bound the Malays and non-Malays tightly in the poverty trap. The hundreds of billions of ringgit spent could not lift Malaysians out of the poverty trap due to such wrongdoings.

In government, DAP Ministers fought hard for the expansion of incentives to lift productivity, create jobs and transition to the digital economy, sometimes successfully, at times not. [email protected] programme is one of these successes by providing RM500 monthly wage incentives to unemployed workers and RM300 monthly hiring incentives to encourage employers to hire local Malaysians, to create RM350,000 jobs. Cabotage exemption to make Malaysia attractive to digital technology investments is another. Partially successful is the toll reduction of 18% on the North-South Highway that was implemented as the first of a series of progressive reduction to eventual toll abolition.

DAP has always been moderate and inclusive, and open not only to the Malays but also Malaysians because our political struggle is based on upholding, protecting and preserving the Federal Constitution. DAP is passionate about representing and working for all, regardless of race or religion as proven by DAP having elected representatives from all major ethnic communities.

DAP leaders have gone to prison for seeking justice for Malays. History has proven that DAP members are mature and would reject any leaders that depart from the multi-racial and multi-religious framework or attempt to change the diverse culture of the DAP.

Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 17th April 2021