PETALING JAYA: Lim Guan Eng has responded to Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the former prime minister said DAP had “hurt” Malays by going against the New Economic Policy (NEP).
The DAP secretary-general said his party was never against NEP but was strongly opposed to how the policy, meant mainly to alleviate poverty among the Malays, had been abused by certain parties.
“What DAP fervently opposes are the deviations in the implementation of NEP by elites and cronies of all races that led to the widespread abuse of power, corruption and wastage of public funds that continues to bind Malays and non-Malays in the poverty trap.
“The hundreds of billions of ringgit spent could not lift Malaysians out of the poverty trap due to such wrongdoings,” he said in a statement today.
Lim also said DAP was against identifying poverty and wealth with certain races, describing it as misleading and potentially divisive.
He said the party’s principle was that all Malaysians should be afforded equal opportunity and assistance based on their needs.
“Whether in government or opposition, DAP has never opposed NEP or policies that provide assistance and equal opportunity for all Malaysians who are poor. Our track record in government in Penang and in Putrajaya speaks for itself.”
The former finance minister under Mahathir maintained that DAP had always been moderate and inclusive, stating that certain party leaders had been thrown into jail while seeking justice for Malays.
Earlier today, in clarifying remarks he made two weeks ago, Mahathir said DAP used to be extreme in its Chinese-centric views, though noting that leaders like Guan Eng and his father, Kit Siang, had grown more moderate.
Mahathir said DAP had hurt the Malay community in the past when it opposed the NEP and the special privileges accorded to the Malays and Bumiputeras.