KUALA LUMPUR – The Malay voice and agenda are likely to continue to be isolated from the DAP struggle as reflected in the outcome of the re-election for the party Central Executive Committee yesterday, according to a political analyst.
Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said only two Malay leaders were in the committee following the election, necessitated by an order from the Registrar of Societies.
Of the six Malay leaders who contested the election, only party assistant publicity secretary Zairul Khir Johari was returned, with 649 votes, he said. The other leader, Mentakab state assemblyman Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji was appointed as a member of the CEC, he added.
Kamarul Zaman said the DAP call to champion the plight of the Malays was merely talk and just to draw support during the general election.
“How is the DAP going to champion the plight of the Malays (the people) outside the party if it cannot handle the plight of the Malays in the party?” said the director of the Institute for Malaysian Political Analysis (MAPAN) at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) when contacted by Bernama today.
Kamarul Zaman said DAP had actually wasted a great opportunity to improve the image of the party among the Malay Muslim voters through the CEC re-election.
“If the DAP was really serious of having wanted to improve its image among the Malay Muslim voters, surely the Malay Muslim leaders who contested the CEC re-election, such as Tengku Zulpuri and Dr Ariffin Omar, would have been elected,” he said.
Evidently, the DAP just wanted to retain a Malay quota by appointing Tengku Zulpuri although it could have appointed more Malay leaders to the CEC.
Assoc Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi, senior lecturer in the Department of Socio-Culture at Universiti Malaya, said the result of the re-election clearly showed that kinship continued to be accepted by the DAP when Lim Kit Siang and his son, Lim Guan Eng, were in the top three positions while the Malay leaders filled a strategic need in the interests of the party.
“Based on the election and appointment, they picked the entrepreneur and upper class Malays and not the ordinary people,” he said.
He also said that Zairil’s father, the late Tan Sri Mohd Khir Johari, was a veteran UMNO leader, and it was assumed that Zairil would be able to draw votes from among the UMNO people as it was thought that the descendants of the UMNO veterans did not necessarily support UMNO.
“The appointment of Tengku Zulpuri from among the upper class showed that many from this group supported the DAP or the opposition,” he said.