PETALING JAYA: DAP leaders have the responsibility to convince delegates of the party's direction at its upcoming national congress in June, says party national organising secretary Anthony Loke.
Loke's call comes as the party faces internal debate over a recent remark by Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu that DAP should protect its "Chineseness".
"We, as party leaders, must convince the delegates of the path that we should take.
"It is up to them to accept it," he said during a talk show hosted by the Majlis Professor Negara on Tuesday (April 13).
He acknowledged that Liu's remarks had sparked an open debate within DAP, with leaders expressing differing views on the issue on social media.
Loke said the view expressed by Liu did not represent DAP at large.
"It was his personal view based on his own perception.
"The policy brought by DAP is far different from his views with regard to party being more open and inclusive for it to be accepted by the entire community," he added.
However, Loke acknowledged that there could be a risk for party leaders seeking to convince delegates of the path DAP should take to ensure acceptability by all Malaysians.
"If someone remains unconvinced of the party's direction, what is the effect?
"The effect might be that I will be defeated and will not be included in the party leadership after the congress," he said.
An open spat between Liu and DAP Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh erupted on Tuesday (April 13) after Yeoh questioned his remark.
She took a swipe at Liu on Facebook on Monday (April 12) by questioning his "narrow-minded and toxic" views on the party's direction.
"I joined DAP because this party defends the rights of all Malaysians. I don't agree with his speech," Yeoh said in her post.
On Sunday (April 11), Liu was quoted as saying that DAP should not "dilute its 'Chineseness'" in response to criticism from political rivals and should instead "safeguard the culture" of the party.
Meanwhile, Liu responded to Yeoh's criticism by calling her "immature", saying she should have approached him first to clarify matters before rebuking him.
He also claimed that his speech was delivered in Mandarin and was mistranslated to English and Malay.