DAP National Leadership Retreat 2017

DAP is holding a three-day National Leadership Retreat 2017 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor from 3 March till 5 March to focus on the party’s preparations for the coming general election.

Some 200 people including Members of Parliament, State Assemblypersons, state committee leaders, state principal office-bearers, as well as representatives of the Women and Youth wings, attended the annual retreat.

Launching the retreat last night, DAP Secretary-General, Lim Guan Eng, said three tests will determine the strength of Pakatan Harapan + Bersatu in facing the coming general election.

The three tests are:

• Do we have quality leaders to lead Malaysia out of the economic crisis and bring Malaysians to greater heights?
• Are UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders and members intensively campaigning on the ground now, the way they did in previous elections?
• What is the response of the people towards UMNO and BN?

He said these tests would determine whether the Opposition can mount a serious challenge towards UMNO-BN.

“My perception is that somehow the UMNO machinery is not moving. I know they are desperate. But even in states where they are active, the level of intensity of their campaign is low,” he added.

Lim is also confident that a new Malaysian political tsunami will happen that will include the demand for change in Sabah and Sarawak.

“It is time for people to act on the broken promises of BN that has broken our nation,” he said.

Acting DAP Chairman, Tan Kok Wai, in his speech said that to achieve the aim of forming a new government, DAP is working with political parties that share the same aspirations.

“It doesn’t mean we are sacrificing our principles when working with other parties. We are still the party of Malaysian Malaysia. We are still a social democratic party.”

“We are working together with other parties towards forming a new clean government that upholds the principles of justice and equality.”

He also said DAP would maintain its stand to oppose the private members bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355. DAP would also continue to oppose hudud law because those legislations contravened the Federal Constitution.

He added that the issue was not a personal matter or religious sentiment, as it is a matter of law of the nation that involved every citizen.

DAP National Political Education Director, Liew Chin Tong, said the challenges for the DAP and the Opposition are huge, as UMNO-BN are exploiting existing societal faultlines such as racial and religious sentiments to divide the nation.

He also outlined the pertinent questions for the DAP and the Opposition:

• Will the next election continue with the spirit of the 2008 and 2013 tsunami that could lead to the formation of a new federal government? Or will we face a 1999 scenario with a serious racially divided outcome?
• Can the DAP be the most united and purposeful force to provide leadership and to unite the nation for change, without sacrificing our principles? Can we remain as the party of ideas and ideals in our push for institutional change for the better?
• Do we have the tools and organisational preparedness to win GE14 together? Can our strongest components help the weaker parts so that the party will be a formidable and unbreakable unit nationally?

He believes that focusing on finding solutions to those questions could pave the way for a change of government.

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