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The late Fadzlan Yahya: DAP’s great orator

If we were to look back at Malaysia’s political history, one figure stood out as one of the best orators during his prime; the late Fadzlan Yahya

Known as DAP’s great orator, Fadzlan Yahya was the State Legislative Assembly Representative (ADUN) for Pasir Berdamar, Perak from 1982 to 1986. Impressively, he won the Pasir Berdamar seat during GE7 with a majority of 10,845 votes in 1986.

In the subsequent years, he was elected as the ADUN for Lahat, Perak in 1990.

The prominent DAP leader held many positions with the party during his political career, including DAPSY Chief and subsequently, the Vice Chairman of the party

As an elected representative, Fadzlan was famous for his rousing speeches which many likened to that of the first Indonesian President, Sukarno. 

In an interview with Roketkini back in 2016, Fadzlan was asked whether he had any regrets in joining DAP. He responded:

I have zero regrets. It is the path that I have chosen for myself after careful deliberation. Coincidentally during the time, this decision was also supported by my mother-in-law.

She asked me to do what my heart told me and to not listen to naysayers. My loving wife also gave full trust and support behind my decision then.

I am really blessed to have such an understanding wife who will always be behind me even when some vilified me. Especially if we were to lose an election, ‘they’ will always make attacks and ridiculed us.

In the same interview, Fadzlan also shared his thoughts on DAP’s then state of affairs. He commented that DAP has evolved since its inception.

Back then, DAP was more focused on issues relevant to the Malaysian-Chinese community that it created a ‘wall’.

But now everything is different. DAP delves and fights for national issues that are relevant and accepted by all of the races in Malaysia.

Sadly however, Fadzlan lamented how DAP became the victim of slander and misinformation. The mainstream media since his time have maliciously associated DAP with communism even when it is clear that the party is vehemently anti-communists. 

Unfortunately, most of the Malay community have fallen for this ‘character assassination’ to the point that they believed this lie to be a fact when there is no merit to it whatsoever.  

However, Fadzlan urged for a ‘personal touch’ to combat this whereby the party needs to approach those who have fallen for the negative narrative and change their perspective. 

DAP have had a lot of prominent and charismatic Malay leaders. This is a healthy development in line with the Malaysian Malaysia ambition. Furthermore, this is important in order to defeat the DAP image that is ‘Chinese-chauvinist’ portrayed by the party’s political enemies.

Now, they have been an open acceptance of DAP among the Malay community. This effort needs to be sustained for a more balanced DAP membership. Hence, a Malaysian Malaysia concept can be put forward.

The charismatic leader Fadzlan Yahya sadly passed away on 12 September 2016 in Ipoh, Perak. DAP’s great orator will forever live on in the spirit and struggles of the party.

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