Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
For a great many years, the DAP worked very hard to split the Muslim community by pitting its leaders against one another. The party’s stalwart, Lim Kit Siang, spent the better half of his life questioning the special privileges accorded to the Malays by demanding fair-play and equality on all fronts. But never once did he concern himself with the plight of the downtrodden Malay or throw his weight behind government policies meant to present them with opportunity. He tacitly supported Chinese monopoly in business and commerce and ended up ‘killing’ the budding Malay entrepreneur. The perception almost every Muslim got of the DAP de facto chief was that of a racist and anti-Islamic chauvinist.
Nothing has changed.
Today, almost 70 percent of the 30 or so million people that make up Malaysia’s multi-ethnic composition thinks of the senior Lim as racist and anti-Islam. Barisan Nasional’s debacle during the 14th general election had very little to do with Pakatan Harapan’s ability to abolish tolls or do away with the GST. Rather, it was the result of a cascading series of events that Kit Siang triggered to turn the Muslim majority against itself.
It all began in 2014.
Back then, the senior Lim had already impressed upon the Malays that PAS was working with UMNO beneath the shadows to sabotage the DAP. His big break came when Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim attempted to turn Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail into the next Menteri Besar of Selangor. When PAS president Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang went against Anwar’s wishes and submitted three names to the palace instead of one, Kit Siang became incensed and accused Hadi of working against the spirit of consensus that the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat practised.
It was a lie.
Not only had Hadi never reached consensus with PKR and the DAP on the matter, he made it absolutely clear that PAS was forced to submit three names as the ruler of Selangor wanted it so. Hadi is known to be a very spiritual man. Being spiritual, he is duty bound to abide by the directives of rulers in accordance with the dictates of Islam. When Sultan Sharafuddin Shah decreed that three names be submitted, he did so in a capacity provided for by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and not out of ill will or intent.
But none of that mattered to Kit Siang.
All he wanted was for Wan Azizah to be named Menteri Besar so that the DAP could control Selangor by proxy. Infuriated, he began instigating the Malays by accusing Sultan Sharafuddin of working with UMNO. That ended up giving pro-Islamists the impression that the ruler was more interested in being a politician than he was being the head of Islam. When it became apparent that Sultan Sharafuddin would never accept Wan Azizah as Menteri Besar, the pro-Islamists became convinced that he indeed was under the shadow of UMNO and would do anything to sabotage PKR.
That more or less split the Malay vote against UMNO’s favour. Once Kit Siang was sure that the Muslims were split, he instigated the non-ulamma faction to go against Hadi and ended up splitting PAS into two rival camps – the Mohamad Sabu camp, and the pro-ulamma camp.
Then, when Sabu and gang fared miserably during the PAS election, Kit Siang got the DAP to fund Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH) and turned Sabu into party president. That left the senior Lim with the sole problem of erasing his anti-Islamic aura. To convince the Malays that he was ‘reformed’ and no longer racist, he agreed work with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and dropped the DAP’s rocket logo during the 14th general election. That left a significant number of Muslims the impression that “the DAP did not have a problem being under the heels of the Malays.”
Not only did that go a long way in neutralising Kit Siang’s anti-Islamic aura, it helped swing of a sizeable portion of the Malay votes towards the DAP, PKR and PPBM. As a result, a large number of Muslims were actually brave enough to look away from UMNO and tell you that the party was “as good as gone.” Then, sometime after the general election, they began to realise that they had been duped when the DAP was seen controlling the government. But because they were not willing to go back to UMNO, all hope seemed lost when it became apparent that the country was headed towards becoming a one-party republic.
That is, until now.
Thanks to the emergence of Gagasan Tiga (G3), Muslims are quickly waking up to the reality that by being united, the sky is the limit. The fact that the coalition is led by a Muslim convert who resonates well with the Chinese, Indians and Malays has opened the doors to horizons never before seen or imagined. The fact that the convert is aligned with Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) and has the movement’s head on board G3 triggered untold panic in the DAP, as Kit Siang knows, that the union is set to to take the nation by storm come the 15th general election. That, in essence, is why Lim Kit Siang fears me and Dato’ Azwanddin Hamzah so much and wants the two of us under lock and key by hook or by crook.
Rest assured, I will fight to the death.
And so will Dato’ Azwanddin Hamzah.
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen, Chairman of Gagasan Tiga (G3) Malaysia