Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Merging Parti Keadilan Rakyat and the Democratic Action Party

Written by johnleemk on 12:00:03 pm Mar 5, 2007.

ylchong writes in to discuss Tony Pua's decision to join the Democratic Action Party:

Wrt to your Post, john, and freelunch's comment, may I add some random thoughts,

I'd not waste time, sdr John, starting a new political party; it's akin to re-inventing the wheel.

I had urged Young&Articulates to support PKR for the simple reason it has gone on a platform for CHANGE (its potential leader Anwar Ibrahim spawned the Reformasi movement from 1998...), strarting with the bold fundamental shift from the National Economic Policy to a new policy above race/ethnicity but anchored mainly on Economics/Needs.

As for DAP, i had enough "insider" knowledge to come to a conclusion that its leaders are not interested in bringing about change, which to me is the anchor for paradigm shift to the desiderata for alternative government in place of BN. The past and present DAP leaders were fighting internal battles to maintain little fiefdoms with each chieftain ruling his/her turf jealously guarded by FACTIONS or Neponistc Cliques, so much so some smarties have coined a term for DAP as LKS & family and KS and family Sdn Bhd. (You ask what LKS and KS stand for? Hey,, get outa of here/hear!)

I would say a good leader would be able to subsume party's interests for national ones -- if an ideal situation if the MERGER of DAP and PKR, under former DPM as president because of his vast experience and bridges built while in goverrnment and international networking.
Can the two parties transcend shortsighted benefits to sacrifice for the longterm gains for NegaraKu?

I hope Tony Pua will come to this realisation soon enough and start working towards that objective of merger. Otherwise, DAP will forever remain an Opposition party and some of its nepotic leaders would be happy as LittLe Nap[oleons, no much different from BN's Zakaria Deros-asses and Yusof Saids.

The trouble with Keadilan as I see it is that it is still tainted by so many things. Its association with PAS, its own internal politicking a la the DAP (to the point that some party members asked the Menteri Besar of Kelantan to intervene), and latent fears that Anwar may not have completely shed and repudiated his past as an Islamic and Malay ultra firebrand.

In some email exchanges with other young people recently, I noticed a comment made in passing about starting a new multiracial centrist party. Despite its brevity, it picked up a lot of comments from people involved in the exchange. Clearly, there is a demand for something else in the political equation.

At the same time, it's very clear that the political field is too crowded at present for a new party to have anything more than a slim chance of success. I believe that a new party would probably be better able to accomplish our goals for change than any of the existing ones, but since it's not feasible, we must make do with what we have, and thus rely on PKR and the DAP as our vehicles for change, flawed as they are.

The little Napoleons are a problem that plague all parties, except for maybe PAS and PKR. However, PKR is showing signs of moving toward such politicking. I suppose some modicum of such dirtiness is inevitable, but such turf feuds represent a very prominent characteristic of the opposition parties here, unlike in other countries where such feuds would normally be kept quiet and under wraps.

I agree a merger between the DAP and PKR would be ideal. Both parties have very similar goals and constitutions, and it would be a major boost for them to combine their Chinese and Malay memberships into one unified body.

The trouble, of course, is politics. Nobody can see Lim Kit Siang or Lim Guan Eng willing to play second fiddle to Anwar, and nobody can see such a marriage of convenience working out in the long run as long as these personalities stay on the scene. Still, you never know — the UMNO-MCA Alliance was denounced as a marriage of convenience, and look how long it's lasted.

I truly hope Tony Pua is a first step on the long and arduous road to change for the DAP. If the DAP wants to change the country, it must first change itself. It needs a strong technocrat base of leaders, and a more multiethnic membership. Only by discarding its traditional image as a stiff and stuffy Chinese party with a bunch of dinosaurs at the helm can the DAP move forward and fight for a better Malaysia.

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