What a stupendous idea, but in these crazy days why not?
I was in Shah Alam on Friday, and I saw on the terraces of the state stadium the proud monster banners of the rocket. And you have to think, DAP is part of the Selangor government and pretty much control two other states, maybe they’d get used to being a governing party?
There are factors:
a) DAP’s relationship in the Pakatan Rakyat is as the ally of PKR and the non-enemy of PAS. The relationship will grow as the coalition becomes stronger, but DAP have built their integrity on being independent.
In many senses the party had to show it was independent from the early years since it started of as the PAP expansion into the peninsula in a newly formed Malaya. Devan Nair won the only PAP seat outside Singapore. And then they were asked to leave Malaysia. So PAP Malaysia adjusted itself to DAP very seamlessly.
So point one is, they are less likely to be tradtion bound if their root needs are met by their new coalition partners. I’m not saying this will last, but if even PAS stayed in BN in the 70s then anything is possible.
b) Lim Guan Eng is the defacto leader of the party. His dad will leave the scene soon and do a less embarrassing Mahathir from the sidelines, and Guan Eng will decide for the party.
He is chief minister of Penang, and it is a very nice job. Leader of a vibrant island with a strong sense of independence and industry. Can a DAP man think he can get more from Malaysian politics?
Continue struggling a few general elections with an uncertain and infant coalition or go with the devil you know.
Gerakan stuck to being a sore thumb to the Alliance for almost three years before they decided to join them in 1972. And Lim Chong Eu ruled till 1990.
Would Guan Eng want to be the next Chong Eu?
c) Gerakan‘s demise is at hand, and the Barisan needs another Gerakan if it wants to keep things same old same old. DAP is everything Gerakan -Chinese dominant, chinese educationists and run Penang- except for opposing BN.
An exact spare part replacement?
d) The shape of Barisan and UMNO might change. Now this is a bit sketchy and I admit a bit more conceptual than highly likely. But if there is a more multicultural slant in UMNO and then there is little ideologically to separate Umno and PKR, some might say.
DAP can walk away.