By John Isaac
AS political rivals, MCA and DAP are often at odds but being branded with the same “extreme” label by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have prompted similar responses to stress the parties’ moderate values.
MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng separately said their parties have always upheld a moderate view, regardless of its members’ racial composition.
“We have advocated the middle path all this while,” Chong was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today last night.
Chong added that for Mahathir, everyone was extreme “but himself”.
“Let Malaysians judge for themselves,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lim in a statement this morning said Mahathir’s characterisation of the DAP was “wrong, baseless and misguided.”
“Mahathir is wrong when history and facts prove that DAP is a multi-racial party that seeks to represent all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.
“Unlike Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who sees himself as Malay first, DAP sees itself as Malaysian first,” he stressed.
Aside from their record of service, Lim said the DAP has never discriminated or taken any stand harmful to the rights and interests of Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.
On the contrary, the former Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) detainee said DAP leaders had gone to prison for defending the rights of both Malays and non-Malays.
“Mahathir is also misguided when he fails to see that DAP is inclusive and has elected representatives from all major ethnic groups including Malays and the local Sabahans and Sarawakians.
“Moreover, DAP has never contradicted but consistently upheld the Federal Constitution,” he added.
Having led both the BN and Pakatan Harapan coalitions, Mahathir was yesterday asked for his views on Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s reported remarks that it would be possible for Umno to work with the DAP if the party becomes more moderate.
In response, Mahathir said it is possible for Umno to work together with the DAP if it can work with the MCA that was once also seen as an “extreme” party. – Malaysiakini