Political observer Wan Saiful Wan Jan said that although the national laureate’s surprise inclusion may not translate into huge numbers of Malays flocking to DAP, the move has a major impact even if the results are not immediate.

He said the decision by the 80-year-old decorated writer and poet, known to many as Pak Samad, would certainly spark interest in parts of the Malay ground after the routing of progressive forces at the PAS muktamar last week.

Wan Saiful, who is also chief executive for libertarian think-tank IDEAS, said that this would also pave the way for other leaders to view DAP as a more inclusive party.

“I don’t think that the perception (that DAP is chauvinist) would change abruptly. This is a case of ‘every little step counts’. Each step will help to change the perception and contribute to the changes,”

“It another victory for DAP to get support from figures such as Pak Samad. After what happened in the recent PAS muktamar, many Malays are wondering where to go next.

“There are many people who would observe this and maybe, there will be a few who will follow his footsteps,” he toldMalaysiakini.

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