DAP grassroots to honour alliance with Umno

Noel Achariam Mohd Farhan Darwis

DAP grassroots say they will listen to the party's top leadership on supporting Umno in state elections. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, May 31, 2023.

DAP grassroots said they will follow federal leaders’ instructions on working with Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) in the state elections.

They said they will accept decisions made by DAP’s top leaders to ensure the stability of the federal and state governments.

Some grassroots leaders, however, are urging DAP to hold on to seats it has won in previous elections.

Selayang division leader T. Letchiamanan said the party should maintain the 16 seats it won in Selangor.

He urged DAP leaders to inform grassroots members of seat allocations.

“We are not sure who is going to stand where. We hope the leaders can inform us.

“As for our machinery, we are prepared for the polls.”

On whether they would support Umno in the polls, Letchiamanan said DAP grassroots will listen to the top leaders’ instructions.

Selayang has three state seats – Rawang (held by PKR), Taman Templer (Amanah) and Kuang (Bersatu).

Last week, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke urged his members to vote for Umno candidates in state elections.

He said the directive applies to all components of the unity government, to which BN belongs.

“We are not contesting against each other, and will be campaigning for one another,” he said. 

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke has urged party members to vote for Umno candidates in the state elections. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, May 31, 2023.

Pandamaran DAP leader Nalan Muniandy agreed the party’s winnable seats should not be given to other parties.

Nalan said the grassroots have their own opinions.

“For example, Kota Kemuning is under DAP and is a winnable seat. If (the leaders) give it to Umno, we will not agree.

“We don’t want DAP to give (our) winnable seats to BN. Nearly all DAP seats are winnable.”

Klang has three state assembly seats – Pandamaran (held by DAP), Port Klang (PKR) and Bandar Baru Klang (DAP).

Nalan said DAP decision-makers should engage with the grassroots. 

“We don’t want a repeat of when we joined with Bersatu (in 2018), which didn’t work out (as it led to the Pakatan Harapan government’s fall in 2020).

“We are (the ones) on the ground doing the work, so we are hoping to hold discussions with DAP leaders.”

Bersatu joined PH in the 2018 general election (GE). Together, they succeeded in overthrowing BN for the first time in Malaysian history and forming a government. 

However, the PH administration only survived 22 months, when Bersatu left PH and partnered with PAS to form Perikatan Nasional – now the opposition. 

After the 2022 GE, none of the major coalitions had a large enough majority to form a government independently, so BN, PH, and Sabah and Sarawak parties joined forces to form the unity government.

DAP division leaders say they will work with Umno to ensure Perikatan Nasional candidates don't win. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, May 31, 2023.

A Johor DAP leader, who wanted to be identified only as Ah Siang, said members will follow the top leaders’ decision if it benefits the country and the people.

Kedah DAP deputy chairman Zulhazmi Shariff said the party’s leadership will ensure the inter-coalition cooperation will help DAP win the state polls.

“We will work on that (cooperation). When the elections come, we will support and campaign for Umno candidates.

“We don’t want the Perikatan Nasional candidates to win. We must work to convince members and voters that it is necessary to vote for BN,” he said.

Zulhazmi, a former Jerai candidate who lost to PN in GE15, is aware the collaboration has made some members uneasy as DAP and BN were butting heads for a long time before uniting to form a government.

“Perhaps some of the members don’t quite agree, but we need the support of the voters and our members.

“We also expect Umno to support our DAP candidates. We need to cooperate (to win).”

Zulhazmi said he sees no problem in working together with BN as the bloc is also a multiracial one like PH. 

“That’s why, I don’t see what’s wrong (with the cooperation). Why are some people hostile towards DAP?” 

Zulhazmi said all Kedah leaders have started engaging with their grassroots. 

“In some areas, there are unity committees to gather everyone.”

He said seat negotiations are nearly 80% done. 

“When the seats are finalised, it means at the state level there will be a unity (government) election machinery.

“It will not be PH or BN anymore, but a combined machinery. (Which) logo (we use) will be decided by the central leadership.

“We will move as a team to replace the PAS administration in Kedah.” – May 31, 2023.

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