After a 22-month stint in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, the DAP is back on the opposition’s bench. The PH’s reformist and multiracial project appears moribund. With the ongoing political realignment and socio-economic challenges facing Malaysia, exacerbated by COVID-19, the webinar on 4 May 2021 discussed the DAP’s and PH’s strategic outlook going forward.
Hosted by the Malaysia Programme at RSIS, the webinar titled “DAP and Malaysian Politics Post-Sheraton Move” featured three speakers — Ms Teo Nie Ching, member of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Member of Parliament for Kulai in the state of Johor, Malaysia; Mr Zairil Khir Johari, member of the DAP and the State Assemblyman for Tanjong Bunga in Penang, Malaysia, and; Professor Meredith Weiss, the Chair of Political Science at the State University of New York at Albany, USA.
The panel noted that the DAP was expected to elect a new Secretary-General at its next Central Executive Committee election who will lead the party into the next general election. Since the Sheraton Move in February 2020, the DAP’s relationship with its closest coalition partner Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has deteriorated. Meanwhile, DAP leaders have not fully closed the door on cooperating with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) after the next general election.
Speakers at the webinar addressed several issues including: (i) disappointment among DAP supporters that it had not made good on its election promises and failed to implement institutional reforms; (ii) how will the DAP determine which parties it should work with both before and after the general election, taking into account the sentiment of its grassroots; (iii) how the party engages key segments of the electorate, including the youth, women, and East Malaysians; (iv) challenges for the new generation of DAP leaders and how their views and responses differ from the earlier generation; and (v) key priorities of Malaysians post-COVID, and the DAP’s key policy objectives.
More than 700 people attended the webinar or watched a recording of the event online.
Catch it here on the RSISVideoCast YouTube channel: