KUALA LUMPUR — April 10, 2019: Non-Malays should not fear the cooperation between Umno and PAS because it will lead both parties towards the “middle ground,” said MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.
Ti, in an interview with The Mole also insisted that the cooperation between the two biggest Malay-based parties was not to promote the dominance of Malays or Islam, but it rather embodies the unity of race and religion.
“The Umno-PAS cooperation is more about unity to protect Islam and the Malays,” he stressed, adding that having Umno and PAS working together would counterbalance the “extremist postures” of both parties.
“On their own, they may be extreme because there are elements of trying to outdo each other… But when they have come together, they no longer play that radical card,” he explained.
On DAP’s attempt to scare the non-Malays over the cooperation, Ti said the MCA’s arch rival was playing the divisive game.
“They have gone overboard to the extent of propagating the notion that the Umno-PAS combination is Talibanist,” said Ti, adding that DAP was trying to turn PAS into a non-Malays’ boogeyman purely to serve its political interest.
“DAP has not only worked together with PAS, but they have actually formed a government with PAS,” he pointed out, referring to cooperation between the two parties in various state governments prior to their fall out in 2015.
Ti also insisted that DAP was not in the position to accuse PAS or any other party of extremism because it has played a fundamentalist role as well.
“They’ve advocated many things which are actually a challenge to the very expectation of the Malay political psyche, but now DAP has come to the political reality that they cannot mess with the Malays,” he added.
Ti, nonetheless, admitted that DAP has been successful in playing up the non-Malays’ sentiment against the Umno-PAS cooperation.
“Basically now that they are in power, they are trying to stir fear and they’re playing divide and rule so they can continue to retain their power.
“By not allowing MCA, Umno, MIC and PAS to work together, DAP is also playing their racial and religious card. In this case, they play it by asserting that Umno and PAS are extremists,” he said.
The middle-ground, Ti pointed out was where MCA has always stood in the political spectrum.
“If everybody starts leaning to the extreme right or left — the right and left divide will be even wider… MCA has always been playing the moderate role and we will continue to do so,” he said, adding that being moderate is the ideal way to win supporters.
“By and large, Malaysians prefer the moderate approach. You can see people who are moderate are becoming more popular and dominating. If you look at “Bossku” (former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak), for instance, he has not touched on any extremism. That’s why moderate Malays and Chinese are supporting him now,” he opined.