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I am writing in response to the comments by Charles F Moreira, 'What are DAP's policies?' published by malaysiakini on Tuesday.

Charles' letter has reflected one fact: not many Malaysians know that DAP's policies were published in the forms of declarations, statements and booklets since the party's inception in 1966. The party has also published a special booklet, 'Towards Malaysian Malaysia' in 1996, which provided an outline of DAP policies. We thank Charles for throwing out that question and we believe malaysiakini readers deserve to know what DAP policies are, at least in summary.

Setapak Declaration, 1967

The Setapak Declaration reaffirms DAP's viewpoint that in the process of nation-building, ethnic equality must be made the paramount principle. It is upon this principle that the separation of citizens into ' bumiputra ' and 'non- bumiputra ' is strongly opposed. On culture and education, the declaration stresses that the spirit of the National Constitution must be respected. While firmly accepting Bahasa Malaysia as the national language, the right of using other languages must be protected. The Setapak Declaration reaffirms DAP's commitment to building a creative and harmonious nation, the only way being national integration, not national disintegration.

Statement on cultural democracy, 1968

The statement on cultural democracy promotes multiculturalism as a source of national strength and the foundation of collective culture, but not the cause of disharmony and discord. It advocates the free exchange and development of different cultures in a multi-ethnic society, because this is the best way of achieving firm and sustainable national integration.

It advocates amongst others:

  • Unqualified acceptance of Malay as the national language;
  • Abolition of the classification of 'national' and 'national-type' schools by giving equal treatment for all the four language streams: Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil. Chinese and Tamil are to be accepted as medium of instruction and examination at primary and secondary levels of Chinese and Tamil medium schools.
  • Admission to universities must be solely determined on merits of educational qualification; to ensure that standards of university admission and university examinations be maintained. This statement reflects the basic values and ideas of social democracy and multiculturalism.

Petaling Declaration, 1981

The Petaling Declaration reaffirms that DAP is to realise its objective of creating a democratic socialist Malaysian Malaysia through peaceful, democratic and constitutional struggle.

The declaration also reaffirms the call to abolish the quota system. It calls on the government to deal seriously with the problems of rural poverty, land ownership, manpower training and provision of basic infrastructure, so as to eradicate class polarisation.

The Petaling Declaration also makes many suggestions on how to build a clean, efficient and caring government. The concrete measures to combat corruption and to promote democratisation are still valued as the guiding principles of our struggle.

Tanjong Declaration, 1992

The mission statement of the party, this encapsulates the party's 25 years of struggle and provides a future program of action. It enhances the party's position on freedom and democracy in a new era. It strengthens the theoretical premise behind the party's founding ideas and principles, and reaffirms the dedication of the party to:

  • International social-democracy and the cause of human solidarity;
  • Struggle against autocracy, corruption, exploitation and oppression
  • Struggle for genuine ethnic equality

Guided by the basic values of democratic socialism, the Tanjong Declaration also outlines the party's stand on privatisation, labour, women, youth, environment, culture, education, rural poverty and international relations.

DAPSY: Kulai Declaration of Anti-Corruption, 1993

This calls for a declaration of war against corruption, and specifically call for:

  • All members of the government to publicly declare their assets. They must also be legally prohibited from accumulating extraordinary wealth, and live beyond his/her official means.
  • No mixing of politics with business. Members of the government cannot be involved in business.
  • Anti-Corruption Agency be given full independent powers and be subjected only to the scrutiny and supervision of parliament.
  • Assets of those found guilty of corruption be confiscated by the state.

DAP Women: Tanjong Declaration, 1992

In order to enhance the rights Malaysian women of all ethnicities, and to accelerate the process of their liberation from passivity and subjugation, the DAP Women declares its dedication to the following program in 1992:

  • Opposition of all forms of violence, discrimination and exploitation against women.
  • Recognition of equality in terms of labour and equal reward for the labour.
  • Amendments made to all discriminatory laws.
  • Set up a Women Affairs Ministry to be headed by a woman minister.
  • Upgrade the healthcare system to address the needs of women.
  • Reaffirm of women's liberation as a natural part of the struggle for human rights and democracy.

An Outline of the DAP's Policies:

On the reform of legislative institutions:

  • Restoration of local government elections.
  • Abolition of the senate appointment system.

On the reform of the electoral system:

  • Restoration of the 'one-person-one-vote' system of constituency delineation.
  • Expansion of voting rights to all citizens who age of 18 years or above.
  • Restoration of the independence of the Election Commission.
  • -reation of an electoral culture that is clean, fair and free.

On nation-building:

  • Abolition of the division of ' bumiputra ' and 'non- bumiputra ' and the implementation of ethnic equality.

On economic development:

  • Due emphasis be given to distributive justice.
  • Opposition to environment destruction.
  • Opposition to 'party capitalism'.
  • Replacement of the ethnic quota system with a policy of 'merits and needs'.

On labour

  • Introduce a minimum wage.
  • Opposition to unlimited import of foreign labour.
  • Defend workers' right to free association, and to promote workers' solidarity.

On social welfare:

  • Implementation of health care and other social security policies.
  • Protection of the aged, the disabled and hard-core poor against absolute poverty.

On education:

  • Implementation of a seamless education system.
  • Full recognition of one's right to mother tongue education.
  • Opposition to the National Education Act 1996.

On ethnic and cultural rights:

  • Promote cultural democracy and ethnic equality;
  • Pursue national integration through equality, tolerance and understanding.

On the mass media:

  • Creation of a free, fair, accountable and responsible mass media.
  • Opposition to the monopoly of information and manipulation of news.

On agriculture:

  • Non-ethnocentric land-reform.
  • Re-introduce rent control.
  • Expansion of agricultural loan.
  • Reduction of agricultural taxes.

On the environment:

  • Opposition to any economic policy that destroys the environment.
  • Guarantee the rights of orang asli to develop their natural resources.
  • All major development affecting natural resources like the construction of mammoth dams must be subject to strict monitoring and assessment.

On international relations:

  • Promotion of world peace and justice.
  • Support for the Non-Alignment Movement;
  • Opposition to imperialism and racism;
  • Promotion of human rights and democracy.

On national defence:

  • Opposition to an excessive defence budget.
  • Call for national service.
  • Strengthen civil defence.
  • Streaming and reduction of armed forces to a highly trained professional force.

On women:

  • Participation of women at all levels of decision-making.
  • Opposition to all laws that discriminate against women;

On youth:

  • Introduce nine years of compulsory education.
  • Abolition of the ethnic quota system in education.
  • Abolition of the Universities and University Colleges Act and all other laws and regulations that retard the full development of Malaysia citizens.


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