|Dyana Sofya,||04 June 2014|
I refer to the statement reportedly made by Tunku Aziz that I will leave the DAP when I realise "it is not a multi-racial party".
My experience with the party was never similar to Tunku Aziz’s. I joined DAP as a regular member after getting to know some of the party’s members and leaders. I understand and admire the struggle of its leaders, and its principle of multi-culturalism. I appreciate its consistency in standing up for all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion. I believe in its principle of doing what is right, despite the risks and repercussions.
I joined without the intention of being appointed into any position. I simply wanted to be with like-minded people, sharing a vision and mission, and partake in the struggle for a better Malaysia. In DAP, I found friends and comrades.
DAP is not merely a political party to me. It is family. My saudara-saudari, brothers and sisters in DAP have made me realise that it is possible to be a true Malaysian without obliging hypocrisy, unlike the empty “1Malaysia” slogan that supposedly encourages the spirit of being Malaysian, but is nothing more than a front for the continuation of racial politics.
Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be Malay. I am proud of my roots and heritage. However, I don’t believe in abusing it at the expense of other Malaysians.
I have never felt truly Malaysian until after I joined DAP. Perhaps if Tunku Aziz spent more time with us in the grassroots, he would have agreed too. We might have our differences, but that doesn’t mean one should leave the family every time disagreements emerge. Unlike some, I have far more conviction than to simply quit because I failed to get elected, or appointed, or because of dissatisfaction over a wedding kenduri.
In 2012, I was asked to organise a programme called Pesta Lagu Jalanan with Yeo Bee Yin and Kasthuri Patto. We worked well together and remain great friends until today, because we share the same love for our nation, vision, mission, principles, and understanding. I believe that if all Malaysians focused on our similarities rather than our differences, then we could all see the world the same way Standard 1 kids do – skin colour blind.
And that is how I felt when I joined DAP.