Central Executive Committee Report Presented in Party Conference 2012

  1. The DAP National Delegates are here assembled in Shah Alam, Selangor, on 8th January 2012, at a time of grave national paralysis with the Thirteenth General Election looming on the horizon, to chart a future for Malaysia.
  2. Much has happened in the intervening period between the previous National Conference on 17th January 2010 and this National Conference, chief amongst which are:
    1. The Sibu Parliamentary by-election on 16th May 2010 and the Sarawak State Election on 16th April 2011 are two defining moments for DAP. Changes in voting patterns in Sarawak and possibly Sabah will shape Malaysian politics fundamentally;
    2. Organisationally, since the last National Conference, DAP has continued to grow with the number of members increased to approximately 130,000 from 100,000 and the number of registered branches from 700 to 1,200. Amongst some small breakthroughs are the entries of young and notable Malays, Ibans and Kadazan-Dusun-Muruts as well as women and professionals, which hopefully is a harbinger of a future for DAP that is not only multi-racial and multi-religious in outlook but also in membership, body and soul;
    3. Disproving the predictions of our detractors and against all odds, Pakatan Rakyat, of which DAP is a member alongside Parti Islam SeMalaysia and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, has not only survived but consolidated. Apart from the Common Policy Framework presented in December 2009, Pakatan Rakyat presented Buku Jingga and the Pakatan Rakyat Alternative Budget 2012 to solidify our common positions on the future of Malaysia.
    4. The State Governments of which DAP is part of, including Penang and Selangor, have performed better than Barisan Nasional-run states, demonstrating to Malaysians that Pakatan Rakyat and DAP are not merely a strong opposition but also efficient and effective in governing with integrity and visions. Not only have the PR state governments recorded surpluses every year, local governments or government statutory bodies that were in deficit under BN were turned around into healthy organizations with budget surpluses. Whilst the Federal government debts have increased, PR state government have managed to reduce government debts by record levels, proving beyond reasonable doubt that the PR state governments can perform better than a Federal government.

The Big Picture

  1. The next General Election will be the dirtiest in Malaysian history as for the first time a change of government at the federal level is a stark possibility. For the first time, the Opposition is contesting as part of Pakatan Rakyat, a prospect that offers real alternative for Malaysian voters. Barisan Nasional is currently the longest-serving elected incumbent government in the world. It will do anything and everything to remain in power with scant regard for constitutional and legal considerations as well as the notion of fair play.
  2. The sustained and aggressive racial attacks by UMNO and its affiliates like Utusan and Perkasa, from which DAP suffers the brunt, has intensified during the intervening period of the two National Conferences. Through despicable racial slurs and malicious lies, UMNO hopes to create doubts among Malay voters about the viability and desirability of DAP and Pakatan Rakyat as the alternative to Barisan Nasional. PR leaders have sued Utusan Malaysia and won defamatory actions. However it remains to be seen how such successes can break through the fog of BN propaganda of DAP being anti-Malay as well as the media choke on access to the Malays, especially rural Malays.
  3. Since its formation in 1966, DAP has never attempted to be a party championing the causes of only a particular community. DAP aspires and strives to be a Malaysian party for all Malaysians, regardless of colour, religion, creed and gender.
  4. At the National Conference in March 2006, DAP promoted the concept of “Malaysian First” which denotes both a desire for Malaysia to be great, as well as a commitment to see the interests of Malaysians first before any other interests, including that of respective communities.
  5. At the National Conference in January 2010, DAP discussed the strategic notion of “Middle Malaysia”, focusing the party and the nation onto an important fact: that no party or coalition can form a sustainable government without across-the-board support from Malaysians of all ethnic groups. It is the Middle Malaysia that matters. It is the moderate message of hope, change and rejuvenation that will bring the nation to greater heights.
  6. Let us be reminded that, in the 2008 general election, DAP achieved the following record breakthroughs:
    1. Greater gender inclusiveness. The party fielded 19 woman candidates nationwide, 14 of whom were elected, which is proportionally the largest contingent of women representatives amongst all political parties in Malaysia;
    2. Greater multiethnic inclusiveness. DAP fielded the largest share of ethnic Indian candidates and now have the highest number of ethnic Indian elected representatives of any national party;
    3. New generation. A third of DAP’s candidates are of the age of 30 years or below and among elected representatives, more than a third are under 40 years old.
  7. In that respect, the party has to focus on not just organizational strengthening, aggressive fund-raising to fulfill electoral targets and comprehensive dissemination of information but also forge an unbreakable bond of party unity. The past month of public attacks amongst some party leaders not only plays into the hands of the BN media and fulfills the hopes of BN that DAP is in a self-destructive mode but has also tarnished the party’s image and disappointed our supporters. Whilst DAP will not be so easily destroyed, every party leader and member has a heavy duty and responsibility to ensure that party matters be resolved through internal party channels. It is normal and healthy to have differences but definitely unhealthy to ventilate it publicly and through BN-controlled media. We already have our hands full dealing with a BN-controlled media and Elections Commission which promises the dirtiest elections in history. Let us not handicap ourselves further with a picture of squabbling disunity but present ourselves as a team united not by power but by bringing the desired change for a better Malaysia that upholds freedom, justice, truth, democracy and integrity.
  8. Let us therefore move forward as one taking full recognition of the importance of participation of and our engagement with the Malays and Bumiputras of Sabah and Sarawak in DAP. Let this be our main agenda and through the solidarity of all Malaysians, we will bring change for a better Malaysia.

Central Executive Committee Report