DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke has heaped praise on a song linked to the father of Nur Jazlan Mohamed just two days after the Umno leader criticised "Malaysian Malaysia", a DAP slogan that he said has become the bane in getting Malays to support the current coalition government.
Loke was responding to news of Nur Jazlan remembering his father, Mohamed Rahmat, who twice served as the information minister under Dr Mahathir Mohamad's administration during his 22 years in power.
Nur Jazlan, among others, said "Setia", a patriotic song that used to be repeatedly aired on government broadcast media, was one of his father's legacies.
"He wrote the lyrics and asked the composer to suit the melody to the lyrics," Nur Jazlan was quoted as saying in a Malaysiakini report.
Loke, whose party comrades had recently staged their own rendition of "Setia" – the song that was first launched in the aftermath of a turmoil within Umno that caused Mahathir to lose significant Malay support – said it has always been his favourite patriotic song.
"Those who grew up in the 1980s know this song well, and I feel it is one of the best patriotic songs ever written. Its lyrics are very suitable, and I think they reflect the building of a united country," said Loke.
DAP had used the song in the run-up to the 2018 general election, when it forged cooperation with Mahathir to end Barisan Nasional's 60 years of federal power.
Loke's praise for the song "Setia" came two days after Nur Jazlan cited DAP's "Malaysian Malaysia" slogan and its championing of a secular nation as the main reason that the federal alliance still could not convince the Malays to support it.
"Throughout my observations, both direct and indirect, while chatting with friends and Umno members themselves, I have felt that the Malays, for decades, are still traumatised by the sentiments of the secular state and 'Malaysian Malaysia' championed by DAP," the Umno Supreme Council member said on Aug 30.
He said the Malays could accept MCA as it was "not extreme" and was reined in by Umno.
"This is different from DAP. They say they cannot accept the party's secular agenda because it is against Malay and Islamic shariah," he said, adding that DAP should abandon its secular state and the "Malaysian Malaysia" agendas.
"Because those two agendas continue to traumatise the Malays and make them unable to accept DAP's struggle," he had said.