National

DAP for all Malaysians

by Syukri Shairi

PENANG – DAP national secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that DAP has never gave up to become the ideal party for all Malaysians, despite the hardship and difficulties the party has been facing throughout the years.

In his opening speech for the party’s 16th Congress, Lim highlighted DAP’s achieving greater gender and multi-ethnic inclusiveness.

Speaking to an assembly of around 2, 500 delegates gathering in Penang International Sports Arena, Lim, who is also Penang Chief Minister, spoke of DAP’s initiative to field more female candidates, aside from appealing to the best ideas and policies. These, according to Lim, have successfully made the DAP “a party that the progressives ally with.”

“It is a party for women and the young, desiring to be the first choice of party for women and youths on the basis of our belief in gender equality and youth empowerment,”

DAP had fielded 19 female candidates in the 2008 General Election, with an astounding 14 of them being elected.

“More than a third of DAP’s elected representatives are under 40 when they were elected in 2008, a number well representing the young forces moving the forward.”

Not forgetting the voices of the civil society, Lim reiterated DAP’s strong support and mobilisation for the Bersih, Anti-Lynas and Green Walk rallies.

“We support the growing importance of civil society as an important pillar of a mature democracy and are ready to be a constructive partner.”

DAP’s success in breaking away from divisive ethnic politics remains as one of its better achievements. Countering repeated allegations labelling the party as ‘monoethnic’, Lim cited the fact that “thirty percent of the current number of DAP candidates are ethnic Indians, and 7 of them were elected MPs and 12 as State Assemblymen.”

“The DAP has more ethnic Indian elected representatives than MIC,” Lim added.

Lim also spoke of DAP’s breakthrough in attracting the votes of young, urban Malays. “Estimates show that our candidates have obtained averagely 20 percent or higher of Malay votes in urban centres.”

“From the establishment of Roketkini.com, a Bahasa Malaysia daily news portal of the DAP, and Sekolah Demokrasi, a political education programme in Bahasa Malaysia, as well attracting Malay thinkers to join our ranks, we are making progress.”

Lim also mentioned about the increasing wave of support DAP has garnered in Sarawak and Sabah in recent years.

“In the last four years since the 15th Congress, significant inroads have being made with the Kadazan, Dusun and

Murut communities in Sabah, as well as the Dayak community in Sarawak.”

He reminded the delegates of how far DAP has achieved in Sarawak, when DAP had 12 State Elected Representatives elected in the Sarawak State Election on 2011, doubling the number of DAP reps from six who were elected in the 2006 State Election.

“DAP aspires to be the natural party of choice for all Malaysians by leading from the front.” – The Rocket

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