Sunday, August 24, 2008

DAP and Pakatan on a strong footing

Malaysiakini's Syed Jaymal Zahiid reported that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has re-stated DAP's stand that the party would reject any proposal to turn Malaysia into a theocratic state, whether Islamic or Christian.

Any proposal to turn Malaysia into a theocratic state whether an Islamic or a Christian state is contrary to our vision of a civil society that is multi-cultural and multi-religious. Further, it violates the Federal Constitution that is based on civil laws (and not on religious ones),” Lim is reported to have said in his opening speech at the DAP 2008 congress.

The 4 Pakatan principles
“We must abide by the four principles that have been the basis of our unity in Pakatan Rakyat. If we do not understand this, Pakatan will collapse.”

DAP, PAS together with PKR form the Pakatan Rakyat, the country’s most successful opposition alliance so far. The Pakatan won 82 out of the 222 parliamentary seats in the March national polls. De facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has promised to reverse the majority, currently held by the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, to his alliance’s favour and form a new government by Malaysia Day on Sept 16.

Lim said DAP was committed to the four principles that bind Pakatan, namely:
  • The endorsement of Anwar as the new prime minister should Pakatan succeed in taking power,
  • The establishment of a secular state,
  • Equality, and
  • A two-coalition political system.

Read Malaysiakini's full report here.


There is much speculation that DAP's no-theocratic state plank will place it at odds with PAS and, thus, fracture the nascent Pakatan coalition. Such a view fails to take into account the many commonalities that DAP and PAS have. Instead, such a view focuses on the few, albeit fundamental differences between them.

Straddling DAP and PAS is PKR. It is easy to highlight the differences and, to overlook the obvious success that the Pakatan coalition achieved in the March 8 General Elections. The truth of the matter, for the foreseeable future at least, is that all components of Pakatan will be mindful of the Aesop's Fable entitled, The Bundle of Sticks:

An old man on the point of death summoned his sons around him to give them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring in a bundle of sticks, and said to his eldest son:
"Break it."

The son strained and strained, but with all his efforts was unable to break the Bundle. The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful.
"Untie the bundle," said the father, "and each of you take a stick."
When they had done so, he called out to them:
"Now, break," and each stick was easily broken. "You see my meaning," said their father.

The moral: Union gives strength

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