Democratic Action Party

The Democratic Action Party, or DAP (Malay: Parti Tindakan Demokratik, Chinese: 民主行动党, Tamil: ஜனநாயக செயல் கட்சி), is a multi-racial, centre-left Malaysian political party advocating social democracy and secularism.[3] One of the component parties of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, it was an opposition party for 51 years until PH won the 2018 Malaysian general election and formed the federal government. However, before the coalition finished its first term, defections from partnering PH component parties caused it to lose power after 22 months, culminating in the 2020 Malaysian political crisis. As of 24 February 2020, DAP is the largest party in Malaysia's Dewan Rakyat.

Democratic Action Party
Malay nameParti Tindakan Demokratik
ڤرتي تيندقن ديموکراتيک
Chinese name民主行動黨
民主行动党
Mínzhǔ xíngdòng dǎng
Tamil nameஜனநாயக செயல் கட்சி
Jaṉanāyaka ceyal kaṭci
AbbreviationDAP
Secretary-GeneralLim Guan Eng
National ChairmanTan Kok Wai
National Deputy ChairmanGobind Singh Deo
National Vice-ChairmenChong Chieng Jen
Chow Kon Yeow
M. Kulasegaran
Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji
Deputy Secretaries-GeneralTeresa Kok
Nga Kor Ming
V. Sivakumar
FounderChen Man Hin
Devan Nair
Founded11 October 1965 (1965-10-11)
Legalised18 March 1966 (1966-03-18)
Split fromPeople's Action Party (Singapore)
HeadquartersJalan Yew (off Jalan Pudu), 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
NewspaperThe Rocket
RoketKini
Student wingMahasiswa Roket
Youth wingDAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY)
Leader: Lee Chuan How
Women's wingWanita DAP
Leader: Chong Eng
IdeologySecularism
Social democracy[1]
Political positionCentre-left[2]
National affiliationGagasan Rakyat (1990–1996)
Barisan Alternatif (1999–2004)
Pakatan Rakyat (2008–2015)
Pakatan Harapan (Since 2015)
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
Colours  Red,   white,   blue
SloganMalaysian Malaysia and Malaysian First
AnthemBerjuang Untuk Rakyat Malaysia!
(Fighting for Malaysians!)
Dewan Negara:
6 / 70
Dewan Rakyat:
42 / 222
Dewan Undangan Negeri:
102 / 607
Chief minister of states
1 / 13
Election symbol
Party flag
Website
www.dapmalaysia.org
  • Politics of Malaysia
  • Political parties
  • Elections

The party's vision is to establish a peaceful and prosperous social democracy that can unite its disparate races and diverse religions and cultures, based on the Malaysian Malaysia concept of forging a Malaysian race grounded on universal moral values, offering equal access and opportunity, upholding democratic governance and the rule of law, creating wealth and distributing it equitably, and fighting corruption.[4]

The DAP usually draws much of their support from secular and liberal voters with a stable electorate from voters of big cities, coastal regions, professional middle-class, and working class. The party's strongholds are primarily in the urban and semi-urban areas of Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Malacca and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. In the 2018 Malaysian general election, DAP contested in 47 federal constituencies and won 42 seats and 101 out of 104 state seats contested, most under the ticket of its ally People's Justice Party, representing a win rate of 95%, the highest among the major political parties contesting.

History

Formation

On 11 October 1965, the DAP was formed by former members of the deregistered People's Action Party of Malaysia, including Bangsar Member of Parliament Devan Nair, who later became President of Singapore. The party formally registered itself as a democratic socialist party on 18 March 1966.[5] The ten members of the pro-tem committee were Devan Nair as secretary-general, Chen Man Hin (who won the Seremban state constituency as an independent) as chairman, D. P. Xavier as assistant secretary-general, Goh Hock Guan as vice-chairman, Seeveratnam Sinnathamby (younger brother of Singapore minister S. Rajaratnam) as treasurer and Zain Azahari bin Zainal Abidin, Chin Chan Sung, Michael Khong Chye Huat, Tan Chong Bee and Too Chee Cheong as members.[6]

In the August of that year, the official party organ, The Rocket, was first published. At the first DAP National Congress held in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur on 29 July 1967, the DAP declared itself to be "irrevocably committed to the ideal of a free, democratic and socialist Malaysia, based on the principles of racial and religious equality, social and economic justice, and founded on the institution of parliamentary democracy".[7]

In October that year, the DAP joined 55 other socialist parties belonging to the Socialist International at the SI International Conference in Zurich, Switzerland.[7] Devan Nair, who was amongst those who founded the DAP, later returned to Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew, then Prime Minister of Singapore under the PAP, explained in 1981 that "the Cabinet decided that Singapore-Malaysia relations would always be bedevilled if Devan Nair remained a DAP leader. I persuaded him to come back".[8]

Early electoral successes

The DAP contested a general election for the first time in 1969. In line with their commitment to equality, the DAP originally campaigned against Bumiputera privileges, such as those afforded to them by Article 153 of the Constitution. They also continued Lee Kuan Yew's campaign for a "Malaysian Malaysia",[9] the idea of which was originally conveyed by Lee in Parliament: "Malaysia – to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian".[10][11] The DAP went on to win 13 Parliamentary seats and 31 State Assembly seats, with 11.9% of all valid votes that were cast in the election; the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan) which campaigned on a similar platform also made major gains. The 1969 election marked the biggest gains ever made by an opposition party in Malaysia (before 2008), and came close to seeing the ruling Alliance toppled from power. However, a march made by the DAP along with Gerakan as part of the opposition team led to violence, and resulted in what was euphemistically termed the 13 May Incident. Parliament was suspended for two years, and the executive branch of the government assumed power.[12]

When Parliament reconvened, it passed pieces of legislation such as the Sedition Act that illegalised discussion of repealing certain portions of the Constitution. Most of these concerned Bumiputra privileges, such as Article 153. The DAP and the People's Progressive Party were the only parties that voted against the Act, which passed by a vote of 125 to 17.[13] After the 1969 election, the DAP would never come close to repeating its past successes for the next 38 years. Although the DAP remained a major opposition party, the ruling coalition had clung solidly to its two-thirds parliamentary majority. The DAP, however, continued campaigning on its platform of abolishing the Bumiputra privileges, giving equal rights for all Malaysians regardless of race and establishing a democratic socialist state in Malaysia.[14][15] During the Mahathir administration in 1987, several DAP leaders, including Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, were detained by the government without trial during Operation Lalang, under the accusation of being a national security threat. It is widely believed they were arrested for protesting the expansion of the New Economic Policy.[16]

1995–2008

In 1995, the party ran what has become widely known as the "Robocop" campaign to wrest Penang from the Barisan Nasional. Despite the hype, the campaign was a failure as the party only won one state and three parliamentary seats. The strategy backfired when Prime Minister Mahathir, BN leaders and the media criticised Lim Kit Siang as a "robot" and "soulless" person.[17]

Following the ousting of Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in September 1998, DAP co-founded the Barisan Alternatif coalition along with Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and the newly formed People's Justice Party. However, the coalition did not work out very well for the DAP, with two of its top leaders, Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh losing their Parliamentary seats in the 1999 election; the DAP managed to win only 5% (10 out of 193) of the seats in Parliament. PAS became the leading opposition party in Parliament. It left the coalition in 2001 due to a disagreement with PAS over the issue of an Islamic state.[18][19]

In the 2004 general election, the DAP managed to capture 12 seats in Parliament, while PAS and Keadilan suffered major setbacks, with PAS losing 20 of the 27 seats it had held after the 1999 elections, and Keadilan lost all seats except one returned after a recount. The eventual outcome saw Lim Kit Siang, who had been elected in his constituency of Ipoh Timur with a majority of 10,000 votes, formally elected as the leader of the opposition in Parliament, a post he had lost to the president of PAS in 1999.[20]

In the 2006 Sarawak state election, the Democratic Action Party won 6 of the 12 seats it contested and narrowly lost three other seats with small majorities.[21] Up til then it was the party's best showing ever in the history of Sarawak's state elections since 1979.

2008–2015

Pakatan Rakyat was formed in 2008 by DAP, PKR and PAS. In the 2008 general election, the DAP won 13% (28 out of 222) of the seats in the Dewan Rakyat, with PAS and PKR making substantial gains as well with 23 seats and 31 seats respectively. In total, the taking of 82 seats (37%) by the opposition to Barisan Nasional's 140 seats (63%), makes it the best performance in Malaysian history by the opposition, and denied Barisan Nasional the two-thirds majority required to make constitutional changes in the Dewan Rakyat.[22] DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang expressed surprise at the election results but declared it to be the true power of the voice of the Malaysian people for the leaders of the country to hear them.[23] In addition, DAP, having secured all its contested seats in the state of Penang, formed the Penang state government with its alliance partners PKR and PAS, the Chief Minister being DAP's Lim Guan Eng, son of Lim Kit Siang.[24]

In the 2011 Sarawak state election, DAP furthered its gains from the previous election, winning 12 out of the 70 state assembly seats, with PR winning a total of 15 state seats and 41% of the popular vote. The PR's success was further enhanced in the 2013 general election when DAP went on to win 17% (38 out of 222) of the seats in the Dewan Rakyat and the PR coalition won the popular vote, giving the BN government its worst election showing since independence. In 2015, the PR alliance broke up after a PAS Muktamar (General Assembly) motion unanimously approved the breaking of ties with DAP due to disagreements over PAS's decision to propose a private member's bill to implement "hudud" (Islamic penal code).[25] Following PAS's decision to cut ties with DAP, DAP announced that PR had "ceased to exist".[26][27]

2015 to Present

On 22 September 2015, Pakatan Harapan was formed by DAP, PKR and National Trust Party to succeed PR. In the 2016 Sarawak state election, DAP lost its gains from the previous election, retained only 7 out of the 82 state assembly seats, with PH retained only a total of 10 state seats and 29.43% of the popular vote. On 12 February 2017, Kota Melaka MP, Sim Tong Him along with three other DAP state assemblymen from Melaka namely Goh (Duyong), Lim Jack Wong (Bachang), and Chin Choong Seong (Kesidang) announced their resignation from the party to be Independent, citing lack of trust in the party leadership.[28] On 14 March 2017, PPBM officially joined PH as a member party. This made the coalition parties increase to four, where they competed in the 2018 general election against the BN coalition. During the election, PH achieved simple majority in Parliament when the coalition has secured 113 seats and finally able to form a new federal government through an early pact signed with Sabah Heritage Party.[29][30] DAP won 42 seats out of the 47 seats it contested, making it the second-highest number of seats in PH behind PKR with 47 seats.[31] Together with other coalition members, Lim Guan Eng and his peers took on ministerial roles in the newly formed cabinet. Lim became the Minister of Finance of the current ruling government when Mahathir announced the initial 10 minister portfolio holders. He subsequently became the first Malaysian Chinese to hold the post in 44 years since Tun Tan Siew Sin of Malaysian Chinese Association, who served from 1959 until 1974.[32][33] Loke Siew Fook replaced Lim Kit Siang as DAP parliamentary leader on 11 July 2018 for the 14th Dewan Rakyat session.[34]

On 24 February 2020, the DAP became the largest party in the Dewan Rakyat for the first time after 11 out of 50 PKR MPs resigned over the political crisis. UMNO had also lost 16 out of 54 MPs over several months, mostly through defections to PPBM. The 42 MPs of the DAP have remained intact.

On 9 March, Paul Yong Choo Kiong & Buntong A Sivasubramaniam declare out of party.[35]

On March 10, DAP sack Norhizam Hassan Baktee, Pengkalan Batu Assemblyman. The dismissal came after Norhizam decided to support a new Perikatan Nasional coalition in Malacca state.[36]

On 7 July, DAP sack 3 members (Kong Lai Ling, Ng Sook Whye and Khi Poh Chong) due to the involved in the incident of the fall of the Perak state government to the Perikatan Nasional.[37]

On 10 July, Mary Josephine, Rahang assemblywomen declare out of party. She said the decision was made after admitting that she could no longer face the challenges and pressures from the state DAP leadership.[38] However, she had revert her decision and rejoin the party on 20 July.[39]

On 27 July, Padungan assemblyman and Sarawak DAP vice-chairman Wong King Wei has announced his resignation from DAP with immediate effect, saying he was disillusioned with its direction and management. He claimed the party has deviated from the aims, objectives and struggle of the earlier days when he joined in 2006.[40]

On 30 July, nominated Sabah assemblyman Ronnie Loh Ee Eng was sacked from the DAP for supporting the Perikatan Nasional's treacherous attempt to topple the Warisan Plus Sabah state government led by Shafie Apdal .[41]

Ethnic diversity

In spite of being a multi-racial party, the majority of DAP's party membership is of ethnic-Chinese heritage, with most elected positions within the party being held by Chinese members. The party's first Malay member of parliament, Ahmad Nor only won his seat in the 1990 general election,[42] The DAP also only gained its first native Sabahan (Kadazandusun) legislator in the 2013 election, Edwin Jack Bosi who sat in Sabah State Legislative Assembly.[43] The lack of ethnic diversity within the party has led to DAP being viewed as a "racist" party in that it is exclusively concerned with the issues of the Chinese community by Malays.[44]

Party symbols

The symbol or logo of the DAP (see above) is the rocket, which it has used since the 1969 general election. Its components are symbolised as follows:

  • The red rocket symbolises the Party's aspiration for a modern, dynamic and progressive society
  • The four rocket boosters represent the support and drive given to the Party objectives by the three major ethnicities (Malay, Chinese, Indian) and others
  • The blue circle stands for the unity of the multi-racial people of Malaysia
  • The white background stands for purity and incorruptibility

Ubah mascot

Ubah bird, the official mascot of DAP.

In 2008, DAP initially introduced "Rocket Kid", a rocket as the party's official mascot during the 12th Malaysian general election. This was then changed to Ubah bird, a hornbill which was designed by Ooi Leng Hang and was launched during the Sarawak state election in 2011 and also used as part of their political campaigning during the 13th Malaysian general election in 2013. DAP had adopted this bird as a symbol for change both for its unique characteristics, hardiness and representation of the unity of both East Malaysia and West Malaysia into a Malaysian nation.[45] Its merchandise such as plush toys, buttons and car stickers were very well received by the public.[46] The idea of the mascot came from Sarawak DAP Secretary, Chong Chieng Jen, who felt a mascot would boost the spirit of the people. The name "Ubah", which means "change" in Malay, is in line with the party's aspirations in changing the ruling party of the Malaysian federal government. In addition to its original Sarawak Iban costume, "Ubah" now comes in a Malay costume for Hari Raya, Indian costume for Deepavali, Chinese costume for Chinese New Year, Santa Claus costume for Christmas, and a Superman costume that depicts the power of the people.[47][48] On 13 July 2013, a gigantic float known as the "Ubah Inflatable Bird (Water Ubah)" was officially launched at IJM Promenade, Jelutong, Penang by DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng.[45][49]

Songs

DAP's official party anthem is Berjuang Untuk Rakyat Malaysia (Fighting for Malaysians).

Other than the official party anthem, DAP has also unveiled several theme songs and music videos mostly with an Ubah theme such as "Ubah" with over 1,000,000 views, 明天 with over 500,000 views and "Ubah Rocket Style" with over 300,000 views, which is a parody of the viral YouTube hit "Gangnam Style".

Leadership structure

National Central Executive Committee

The leadership of the Democratic Action Party are elected through party delegates in national level. The executive power is vested for the Secretary-General. The leader and the highest-ranked member of the party is the Secretary-General. The current Secretary-General is former Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng. There will only be 20 CEC positions available for grabs while the remaining positions will be appointed by the new Central Executive Committees. The latest leadership structure could be found below.[3][50]

List of the leaders of the Democratic Action Party (since 1966)

Below are the lists of various leaders' post for every term.

Elected representatives

Senators

  • His Majesty's appointee:
    • Alan Ling Sie Kiong
    • Adrian Banie Lasimbang
  • Penang State Legislative Assembly:
    • Lim Hui Ying
  • Perak State Legislative Assembly:
    • Nga Hock Cheh
  • Selangor State Legislative Assembly:
    • Suresh Singh
  • Negeri Sembilan State Legislative Assembly:
    • Kesavadas A. Achyuthan Nair

Members of Parliament of the 14th Malaysian Parliament

DAP has 42 members in the House of Representatives.

State No. Parliament Constituency Member Party
 PenangP043BaganLim Guan EngDAP
P045Bukit MertajamSteven Sim Chee KeongDAP
P046Batu KawanKasthuriraani PattoDAP
P048Bukit BenderaWong Hon WaiDAP
P049TanjongChow Kon YeowDAP
P050JelutongSanisvara Nethaji Rayer Rajaji RayerDAP
P051Bukit GelugorRamkarpal SinghDAP
 PerakP060TaipingTeh Kok LimDAP
P064Ipoh TimorWong Kah WohDAP
P065Ipoh BaratKulasegaran MurugesonDAP
P066Batu GajahSivakumar Varatharaju NaiduDAP
P068BeruasNgeh Koo HamDAP
P070KamparSu Keong SiongDAP
P076Teluk IntanNga Kor MingDAP
 PahangP080RaubTengku Zulpuri Shah Raja PujiDAP
P089BentongWong TackDAP
 SelangorP102BangiOng Kian MingDAP
P103PuchongGobind Singh DeoDAP
P106DamansaraTony Pua Kiam WeeDAP
P110KlangCharles Anthony SantiagoDAP
 Kuala LumpurP114KepongLim Lip EngDAP
P117SegambutHannah Yeoh Tseow SuanDAP
P120Bukit BintangFong Kui LunDAP
P122SeputehTeresa Kok Suh SimDAP
P123CherasTan Kok WaiDAP
 Negeri SembilanP128SerembanLoke Siew FookDAP
P130RasahCha Kee ChinDAP
 MalaccaP138Kota MelakaKhoo Poay TiongDAP
 JohorP142LabisPang Hok LiongDAP
P145BakriYeo Bee YinDAP
P152KluangWong Shu QiDAP
P162Iskandar PuteriLim Kit SiangDAP
P163KulaiTeo Nie ChingDAP
 SabahP172Kota KinabaluChan Foong HinDAP
P181TenomNoorita SualDAP
P186SandakanVivian Wong Shir YeeDAP
 SarawakP192Mas GadingMordi BimolDAP
P195Bandar KuchingKelvin Yii Lee WuenDAP
P196StampinChong Chieng JenDAP
P208SarikeiWong Ling BiuDAP
P211LanangAlice Lau Kiong YiengDAP
P212SibuOscar Ling Chai YewDAP
TotalPenang (7), Perak (7), Pahang (2), Selangor (4), F.T. Kuala Lumpur (5), Negeri Sembilan (2), Malacca (1), Johor (5), Sabah (3), Sarawak (6)

Malaysian State Assembly Representatives

State No. State Constituency Member Party
 KedahN11DergaTan Kok YewDAP
N13Kota Darul AmanTeh Swee LeongDAP
 PenangN7Sungai PuyuPhee Boon PohDAP
N8Bagan JermalSoon Lip CheeDAP
N9Bagan DalamSatees MuniandyDAP
N13BerapitHeng Lee LeeDAP
N15Padang LalangChong EngDAP
N16PeraiRamasamy PalanisamyDAP
N19JawiH’ng Mooi LyeDAP
N22Tanjong BungaZairil Khir JohariDAP
N23Air PutihLim Guan EngDAP
N25Pulau TikusLee Chun KitDAP
N26Padang KotaChow Kon YeowDAP
N27Pengkalan KotaGooi Zi SenDAP
N28KomtarTeh Lai HengDAP
N29Datok KeramatJagdeep Singh DeoDAP
N30Sungai PinangLim Siew KhimDAP
N31Batu LancangOng Ah TeongDAP
N32Seri DelimaSyerleena Abdul RashidDAP
N33Air ItamJoseph Ng Soon SeongDAP
N34Paya TerubongYeoh Soon HinDAP
 PerakN17Pokok AssamLeow Thye YihDAP
N18AulongNga Kor MingDAP
N22JalongLoh Sze YeeDAP
N25CanningJenny Choy Tsi JenDAP
N26Tebing TinggiAbdul Aziz BariDAP
N27Pasir PinjiLee Chuan HowDAP
N28BerchamOng Boon PiowDAP
N29KepayangKo Chung SenDAP
N31JelapangCheah Poh HianDAP
N32MenglembuChaw Kam FoonDAP
N37Pantai RemisWong May IngDAP
N38AstakaTeoh Yee ChernDAP
N42KeranjiChong Zhe MinDAP
N55Pasir BedamarTerence Naidu Rajan Naidu @ RajanaiduDAP
N57SungkaiSivanesan AchalingamDAP
 PahangN1Tanah RataChiong Yoke KongDAP
N7TrasChow Yu HuiDAP
N30MentakabWoo Chee WanDAP
N33BilutLee Chin ChenDAP
N34KetariYoung Syefura OthmanDAP
N35SabaiKamache Doray RajooDAP
N36TriangLeong Yu ManDAP
 SelangorN4SekinchanNg Suee LimDAP
N6Kuala Kubu BaharuLee Kee HiongDAP
N23Dusun TuaEdry Faizal Eddy YusofDAP
N27BalakongWong Siew KiDAP
N28Seri KembanganEan Yong Hiah WahDAP
N30KinraraNg Sze HanDAP
N31Subang JayaMichelle Ng Mei SzeDAP
N34Bukit GasingRajiv RishyakaranDAP
N35Kampung TunkuLim Yi WeiDAP
N36Bandar UtamaJamaliah JamaluddinDAP
N45Bandar Baru KlangTeng Chang KhimDAP
N47PandamaranLeong Tuck CheeDAP
N50Kota KemuningGanabatirau VeramanDAP
N52BantingLau Weng SanDAP
N56Sungai PelekRonnie Liu Tian KhiewDAP
 Negeri SembilanN1ChennahAnthony Loke Siew FookDAP
N8BahauTeo Kok SeongDAP
N10NilaiArul Kumar JambunathanDAP
N11LobakChew She YongDAP
N12TemiangNg Chin TsaiDAP
N21Bukit KepayangNichole Tan Lee KoonDAP
N22RahangMary Josephine Pritam SinghDAP
N23MambauYap Yew WengDAP
N24Seremban JayaGunasekaren PalasamyDAP
N30LukutChoo Ken HwaDAP
N36RepahVeerapan SuperamaniamDAP
 MelakaN7GadekSaminathan GanesanDAP
N16Ayer KerohKerk Chee YeeDAP
N19KesidangSeah Shoo ChinDAP
N20Kota LaksamanaLow Chee LeongDAP
N21DuyongDamian Yeo Shen LiDAP
N22Bandar HilirTey Kok KiewDAP
N24BembanWong Fort PinDAP
 JohorN2JementahTan Chen ChoonDAP
N6BekokRamakrishnan SuppiahDAP
N10TangkakEe Chin LiDAP
N12BentayanNg Yak HoweDAP
N19Yong PengChew Peck ChooDAP
N23PenggaramGan Peck ChengDAP
N28MengkibolChew Chong SinDAP
N30PalohSheikh Umar Bagharib AliDAP
N42Johor JayaLiow Chai TungDAP
N45StulangChen Kah EngDAP
N46PerlingCheo Yee HowDAP
N48SkudaiTan Hong PinDAP
N52SenaiTee Boon TsongDAP
N55Pekan NanasYeo Tung SiongDAP
 SabahN19LikasTan Lee FattDAP
N21LuyangPhoong Jin ZheDAP
N25KapayanJannie LasimbangDAP
N55ElopuraCalvin Chong Ket KiunDAP
N56Tanjong PapatFrankie Poon Ming FungDAP
N69Sri TanjongJustin Wong Yung BinDAP
 SarawakN10PendingViolet Yong Wui WuiDAP
N12Kota SentosaChong Chieng JenDAP
N51Bukit AssekIrene Mary Chang Oi LingDAP
N54PelawanDavid Wong Kee WoanDAP
N68Tanjong BatuChiew Chiu SingDAP
TotalKedah (2), Penang (19), Perak (16), Pahang (7), Selangor (15), Negeri Sembilan (11), Melaka (7), Johor (14), Sabah (6), Sarawak (5),

DAP state governments

State Leader type Member Party State Constituency
 PenangChief MinisterChow Kon YeowDAPPadang Kota
State Leader type Member Party State Constituency
 PenangDeputy Chief Minister IIRamasamy PalanisamyDAPPerai

General election results

Election Total seats won Seats contested Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
1964
(as PAP)
1 / 144
11 42,130 2.0% 1 seats; Opposition Lee Kuan Yew
1969
13 / 144
24 286,606 12.1% 12 seats; Opposition Goh Hock Guan
1974
9 / 144
46 387,845 18.3% 4 seats; Opposition Lim Kit Siang
1978
16 / 154
53 664,433 19.1% 7 seats; Opposition Lim Kit Siang
1982
9 / 154
63 815,473 19.6% 7 seats; Opposition Lim Kit Siang
1986
24 / 154
64 968,009 21.0% 15 seats; Opposition Lim Kit Siang
1990
20 / 180
57 985,228 17.13% 4 seats; Opposition coalition
(Gagasan Rakyat)
Lim Kit Siang
1995
9 / 192
50 712,175 12.0% 11 seats; Opposition coalition
(Gagasan Rakyat)
Lim Kit Siang
1999
10 / 193
47 830,870 12.53% 1 seats; Opposition coalition
(Barisan Alternatif)
Lim Kit Siang
2004
12 / 219
44 687,340 9.9% 2 seats; Opposition Kerk Kim Hock (Secretary-general)
Lim Kit Siang (Chairman, Central Policy
& Strategic Planning Commission)
2008
28 / 222
47 1,118,025 13.77% 16 seats; Opposition coalition
(Pakatan Rakyat)
Lim Guan Eng (Secretary-general)
Lim Kit Siang (Parliamentary Leader)
2013
38 / 222
51 1,736,601 15.71% 10 seats; Opposition coalition
(Pakatan Rakyat)
Lim Guan Eng (Secretary-general)
Lim Kit Siang (Parliamentary Leader)
2018
42 / 222
47 2,040,068 18.48% 4 seats; Governing coalition,
later Opposition coalition
(Pakatan Harapan)
Lim Guan Eng (Secretary-general)
Lim Kit Siang (Parliamentary Leader)

State election results

State electionState Legislative Assembly
Perlis State Legislative AssemblyKedah State Legislative AssemblyKelantan State Legislative AssemblyTerengganu State Legislative AssemblyPenang State Legislative AssemblyPerak State Legislative AssemblyPahang State Legislative AssemblySelangor State Legislative AssemblyNegeri Sembilan State Legislative AssemblyMelaka State Legislative AssemblyJohor State Legislative AssemblySabah State Legislative AssemblySarawak State Legislative AssemblyTotal won / Total contested
2/3 majority
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
2 / 3
1964
(as PAP)
0 / 12
0 / 24
0 / 30
0 / 24
0 / 24
0 / 40
0 / 24
0 / 28
0 / 24
0 / 20
0 / 32
0 / 15
1969
0 / 12
0 / 24
0 / 30
0 / 24
3 / 24
6 / 40
0 / 24
9 / 28
8 / 24
4 / 20
1 / 32
0 / 48
31 / 57
1974
0 / 12
1 / 26
0 / 36
0 / 28
2 / 27
11 / 42
0 / 32
1 / 33
3 / 24
4 / 20
1 / 32
0 / 48
23 / 120
1978
0 / 12
0 / 26
0 / 28
5 / 27
9 / 42
0 / 32
3 / 33
3 / 24
4 / 20
1 / 32
25 / 127
1979
0 / 48
0 / 11
1982
0 / 12
0 / 26
0 / 36
0 / 28
2 / 27
4 / 42
1 / 32
1 / 33
2 / 24
2 / 20
0 / 32
12 / 131
1983
0 / 48
0 / 7
1985
0 / 48
0 / 3
1986
0 / 14
0 / 28
0 / 39
0 / 32
10 / 33
13 / 46
1 / 33
5 / 42
4 / 28
3 / 20
1 / 36
0 / 48
37 / 118
1987
0 / 56
0 / 11
1990
0 / 14
1 / 28
0 / 39
0 / 32
14 / 33
13 / 46
1 / 33
6 / 42
4 / 28
3 / 20
3 / 36
0 / 48
45 / 94
1991
0 / 56
0 / 18
1994
0 / 48
0 / 2
1995
0 / 15
0 / 36
0 / 43
0 / 32
1 / 33
1 / 52
1 / 38
3 / 48
2 / 32
3 / 25
0 / 40
11 / 103
1996
3 / 62
3 / 6
1999
0 / 15
0 / 36
0 / 43
0 / 32
1 / 33
4 / 52
1 / 38
1 / 48
0 / 32
4 / 25
0 / 40
0 / 48
11 / 88
2001
1 / 62
1 / 13
2004
0 / 15
0 / 36
0 / 45
0 / 32
1 / 40
7 / 59
1 / 42
2 / 56
2 / 36
2 / 28
0 / 56
0 / 60
15 / 104
2006
6 / 71
6 / 12
2008
0 / 15
1 / 36
0 / 45
0 / 32
19 / 40
18 / 59
2 / 42
13 / 56
10 / 36
5 / 28
4 / 56
1 / 60
73 / 102
2011
12 / 71
12 / 15
2013
0 / 15
2 / 36
0 / 45
0 / 32
19 / 40
18 / 59
7 / 42
15 / 56
11 / 36
6 / 28
13 / 56
4 / 60
95 / 103
2016
7 / 82
7 / 31
2018
0 / 15
2 / 36
0 / 45
0 / 32
19 / 40
18 / 59
7 / 42
16 / 56
11 / 36
8 / 28
14 / 56
6 / 60
101 / 104
2020
6 / 73
6 / 7

Controversy

Allegations of racism and chauvinism

Despite constant rebuttals by party leaders, DAP has been depicted by their political opponents as a party that favours the Malaysian Chinese minority above others. This allegation of racial chauvinism culminated in a two-piece television program broadcast on government-controlled TV channel RTM entitled "Bahaya Cauvinisme". The program forced then party leader Lim Kit Siang to issue a formal media statement to counter the allegations.[51]

On 15 November 2011, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Malaysian Minister for Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, accused DAP's publicity chief, Tony Pua of racism for making repeated attacks against the Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia, a government initiative to supply cheap retail products to Malaysian consumers. Tony Pua was criticised for singling out Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia, whose suppliers to the store generally come from the Malaysian Bumiputra community, and for not investigating the quality of products supplied by Malaysian-Chinese suppliers or making similar accusations against independent Malaysian-Chinese stores.[52]

Allegations of racism have forced DAP party leader Lim Guan Eng to issue a formal denial in the Penang High Court.[53]

2012 party election controversy

At the DAP election in December 2012, Vincent Wu, who was initially declared to have secured the sixth spot with 1,202 votes, dropped to 26th place because he had actually secured only 669. Zairil Khir Johari was elected to the central executive committee (CEC) with 803 votes to secure the 20th spot. The glitch, reportedly because of a vote tabulation error due to the copy-and-paste method in Microsoft Excel, had raised suspicion.[54]

DAP admitted the counting error after discovering the mistake. The DAP election fiasco had caused unease among party members and led to protests to the Registrar of Societies (RoS). Two dissatisfied life members of the DAP then lodged reports with the RoS on the party elections following the revelations.[55]

Following the report the RoS had informed DAP of the dispute by its members and in turn as provided for under Section 3A of the Societies Act 1966 did recognise the office-bearers of the committee formed in the party elections on 15 December 2012, the point of contention.[56]

GE-13 logo issue

DAP chairperson Karpal Singh said DAP will contest under the PAS logo for the Peninsula and PKR logo in Sabah and Sarawak in the 13th general election, following the Registrar of Societies' (RoS) failure to respond on the withdrawal letter of RoS informing that it does not recognise the party's top leadership line-up. DAP had appealed to the RoS to withdraw its letter to suspend the party's existing central executive committee (CEC) but the department was silent on the matter.[57]

On 19 April 2013, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng informed all its 51 parliament and 103 state candidates to use the rocket symbol first during nomination tomorrow, and show the Election Commission the letter of authorisation signed by secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. If the rocket symbol is rejected, then use the letter of authorisation signed by PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali for Peninsula Malaysia and PKR letter of authorisation for Sabah and Sarawak. This came after the DAP decided to use PAS and PKR symbols for the coming general election on 5 May.[57]

On 20 April 2013, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said DAP can use its iconic rocket symbol for the 5 May general election after getting last-minute confirmation late at night on 19 April 2013. He said the DAP headquarters in Kuala Lumpur received a letter by hand from the RoS at 10 p.m. on 19 April, stating that it had no objections to the DAP using the logo, and that the Election Commission (EC) had informed all returning officers to accept nominations from the DAP.[58]

See also

  • List of political parties in Malaysia
  • Pakatan Harapan
  • Politics of Malaysia

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Notes

  • James Chin. The Sarawak Chinese Voters and their support for the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2, 1996, pp 387–401
  • James Chin. The Malaysian Chinese Dilemma: The Never Ending Policy (NEP), Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies, Vol 3, 2009
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