Why I choose the Democratic Action Party

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I am pleased to announce that I have joined the Democratic Action Party as an ordinary member. In politics, I laboured hard on various platform to express my political ideals which can contribute towards building a better Malaysia. My principles never wavered. I believe that leaders must have the capacity to be fair and just towards the people they govern.

Malaysia today is far cry from the country we once knew. Today the world look at us as a failed state. Our riches are gone, our sovereignty tarnished, and our leaders have brought us shame. Life is more difficult for many of us now than before. The Emperor in Putrajaya continues to rule with no regard to what is right and wrong. Only a new government can save this country.

Government need good leaders to solve people’s problem. I see DAP as an effective government that can contribute towards solving our nation’s problems. In Penang, we have a state government that offers good administration, provides better housing and cleaner streets, and creates jobs for the people. That’s what good politics does — it solves people’s problems.

As a Malay, I am proud of its heritage, Malays can only recover their inner strength and self-belief only when they are true to themselves. It’s our values that define us all. For Malays to be competitive and relevant in the modern world, it’s not enough for them to be preoccupied with things the preachers tell them, whether about halal and haram, or the wonders of polygamy. They must want to be part of the new world. I believe DAP, together with Pakatan Harapan, can stem the tide of Talibanisation, that has changed Malay identity beyond recognition.

I know that the mere mention of DAP is taboo to some Malays. Our Prime Minister is working overtime to instil hatred and fear of the party amongst Malay voters. With Pas helping him, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been unrelenting in their attacks on DAP and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. They are labelling DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Islam. But we will not let them succeed

I can only conclude from the ferocity of their attacks that they know full well that this BN Government will fall if Malay voters are not afraid of DAP. They know that when DAP can win the heart of the Malays, the support to Pakatan Harapan will be unstoppable. Here I will work hard to tell the Malays that DAP are not what Najib and Hadi tell them. It’s a political party that has consistently fought against corruption and abuse of power in the last 50 years. It’s the party the Malays need to support for they have long lost faith in their own Malay leaders. They remember too well the saying ”Harapkan pegar, pegar makan padi” after their experience with 1MDB, Felda and Mara.

To Malays I can only repeat the words of national laureate Datuk Usman Awang: “Jangan takut melanggar pantang, jika pantang melanggar kemajuan. Jangan segan menentang larangan jika percaya kepada keadilan.

Melayu itu orang yang bijaksana. We will know after GE14 if Usman Awang is right or wrong.

Najib and UMNO no longer deserve the support of the people. They have abused the people’s trust and have governed by using fear. Najib is not interested in building a nation, only in being its master franchiser. To him, money rules over everything else.

Then there is another Malay party — PAS — that likes to sell religious products. Their outdated ideas represent their own interpretations, which they are forcing on Malays. They are stripping Malays of their culture, of basic rights, of choice and of their dignity. PAS has done nothing to solve the real problems of the people. It doesn’t have anything resembling an economic plan. It does not have a plan for education. It doesn’t even try to do simple things like clear blocked drains, stop flash flooding or collect rubbish regularly in the state that they govern.

Now Najib and PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang have a new plan for GE14. Although they deny it, their proposed law, the RUU355, is actually “hudud by the back door”. This single act will divide the country and its legal system but they don’t care. They say their project, “Act 355”, is needed to “defend Islam” but in reality, these two failed politicians have nothing else to offer. They are fishing for votes. Islam can be honoured by arresting leaders who steal people’s money. Islam can be honoured only when ulamaks start defending the truth.

Malaysia has to be overhauled. Development is currently lopsided, with the rich and the unscrupulous hogging all the cream. In the 1980’s it was non-Malays who left for Australia and England. Now Malays with skills and money are also leaving in large numbers. It’s time we reverse the clock and stop the emigration of Malaysians overseas. We must do everything to prevent Malaysia from becoming another Syria.

It’s time that Felda and the Felda settlers be relieved of their debt problems, which is very difficult to overcome because of the system’s chronic corruption. It’s time urban poverty received our attention, and for something meaningful to be done for unemployed youths and impoverished families who have been displaced from their estates. It’s time to remove artificial restrictions for students from entering public universities. Our country must be on par with other modern and progressive nations. This country needs Pakatan leaders, who can craft fairer economic policies that give the people opportunities to make a decent living, and who can establish a progressive education system that will equip Malaysians with skills that will make them competitive.

Malaysians must make the right decision this time. It is not our destiny to support a kleptocratic government just for the sake of stability or to maintain segregation between Muslims and non-Muslims in order to defend the purity of Islam. To realise the full potential of its people, Malaysia must have leaders who have the courage to change these things. It’s not too late. I believe Pakatan Harapan, with leaders like Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Dr Mahathir, will spearhead these far-reaching reforms successfully.

To Tun Dr Mahathir, I say thank you for being here. It is important for the people that you are leading this charge to fight for the country’s future. Your Vision 2020 for an economically advanced country that is liberal, modern and progressive — a country in which Malaysians of all races live in peace and harmony — is in tatters. Although you once lamented that Malaysians are unwilling to change, I believe they will this time. You have inspired them to do so.

Finally, I want to thank the DAP leadership, in particular Mr Lim Kit Siang, for accepting my membership application. I seek no position in the party, and only wish to help our joint effort in rebuilding this country. I hope to be able to tell my grandchildren that I was part of the team helping Pakatan Harapan and Tun Dr Mahathir regain the country from the clutches of the unscrupulous and the hypocritical. To my friends who have accepted this invitation, a big thank you.

Together, we can save Malaysia.

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  • Philip Yeoh

    An excellent statement. Do you have a Malay translation for it? Because I fear its message is reaching only the converted like us readers.

    The people who need to know the Why behind your stand can’t or won’t read this in English.

  • Concerned Rakyat

    Syabas, Zaid. We need many more principled Malays like you to fight for the country, within the DAP.

  • Joe

    All the haters are already out in full force to negate or pour cold water on your move. Their comments are “zero impact”, “no big Malay following” or “politics is still racial in Malaysia” etc. You have to ask if what you do has zero impact why are they in such a fit to comment and say anything.. They haters are really quick to pounce.

    They miss the whole point, which is that when scapegoating is failing, it means the those behind the scapegoating are failing. Scapegoating is the refuge of political failures. If you negate scapegoating, UMNO/BN is failing, declining – all on their own..

  • Aoshd

    A bigger factor tying Malays to UMNO, compared to its racial and religious incitement, is the benefits conferred by their Bumiputera status and entitlement for Special Privileges. It has been extremely disappointing that the opposition has not come up with any proposal to address this overwhelming disadvantage.

    While it is more difficult to accurately quantity their gain in Ringgit term for the public sector jobs, pensions, education opportunities , scholarships, loans, business permits, support schemes and contracts awarded, etc. It shouldn’t be difficult to produce an estimate of the yearly leakage of public money from the fiscal budget of the government and those of GLCs (say Rm 50 billions).

    Pakatan Harapan can start by telling the Malays how the saving from corruption alone would be able to provide a strong safety net for anyone of them in need. Together with good economic track record established in Selangor and Penang, a viable case could be made for them let go of the dignity destroying Special Privileges, which also run counter to Islam’s concept of justice.

  • koryee

    In Zaid we respect.

  • John Wong

    All the best!!

  • Zaid Ibrahim, I have been following you since your emergence in the political arena, the texture of which has taken a radical change since the 1960s.

    As always, I wish you well and hope, for the sake of the future of this country, that you will not be denied the positive role you obviously can play.

    Hope to see you again in the Transfer Road kopitiam in Penang.

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