New Party To Be Part of the Multiracial Opposition Coalition
A Kadir Jasin
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If I may, let me state the following.
1. It wasn’t that the promoters of the new party didn’t think of forming a multi-racial party.
2. They did. They even discussed the pros and cons of the two formulae in many meetings of the Save Malaysia People’s declaration (Deklarasi Rakyat).
3. As debaters and readers may be aware, the core members of the Deklarasi Rakyat are made up of individuals from many walks of life.
4. Some of them, understandably, are politicians. They come from such political parties as Umno, the DAP, PKR, Amanah and PAS. Those from Umno were later sacked or left the party voluntarily.
5. Although they come as individuals, their views are, inevitably, influenced by their political background and association.
6. It was partly their wish that the former Umno leaders form a political party that takes on Umno but limit the possibility of a conflict with other Malay/Muslim-based parties.
7. While those who come from multi-racial parities, principally the PKR and DAP, would not like to see another multi-racial party vying for support and, worse still, stealing their members.
8. But they were unanimous that the new Malay/Bumiputera-based party would play an important role in the existing opposition coalition.
9. On their part, the ex- and axed-Umno leaders have been aware from the outset that any political role they are expected to play has to be based on providing the Malays with an alternative to Umno.
10. Preliminary discussions between leaders of the proposed new party and their counterparts in the PKR, DAP, Amanah and PAS had yielded positive indications.
11. Over in Sabah, the former Umno vice president, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal is organising a new Bumiputera party based on the former United Sabah National Organisation (USNO). USNO handed power to Umno in 1991 and went into hibernation.
12. The ultimate goal of the formation of the new party is to challenge and put an end to the Barisan Nasional hegemony by strengthening the existing opposition coalition.
13.Thus it is incorrect to accuse the initiators of the new party of ignoring multiracialism. The new party pledges to give full recognition to multiracialism and political reform while minimising potential conflict with the existing opposition political parties.
14. The objective is to take on the BN one-to-one in the coming general elections and win. Insya-Allah.