Sheriff John Brown always hated me
For what I don’t know
Ev’ry time I plant a seed
He said, “Kill it before it grows.”
He said, “Kill them before they grow.”
– Bob Marley – I Shot The Sheriff
The entry of Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud onto the political scene has been met by an unprecedented and sustained attack by some of the biggest guns in UMNO: an UMNO Supreme Council Member, the head of Wanita UMNO (the women’s wing of UMNO) and none other than Tun Dr Mahathir himself.
But why is a political novice like her deserving of so much attention by the powers-that-be? I would argue that it is because she represents everything that UMNO does not want the Malays to be: capable, confident and unshackled.
Unshackled from the unhealthy culture of dependency that UMNO has created and reinforced through a constant stream of propaganda and paranoia – all with the cynical aim of perpetuating UMNO’s hegemony. The unshackling of the Malay psyche spells the beginning of the end for the gravy train called UMNO because it means that UMNO can no longer take for granted that Malays will vote for them. This is why they are so desperate to kill off Dyana Sofya’s political career before it has even begun.
Dyana Sofya is an even bigger threat than more established and prominent Malay Opposition figures for the simple reason that her motives cannot be so easily brought into question. Going by UMNO’s narrative Nurul Izzah Anwar is part of a political dynasty, Ariff Sabri is a disgruntled UMNO man and Zairil Khir Johari is not a ‘real’ Malay. Yet it is not as easy to cast aspersions on an entrant like Dyana Sofya, particularly when in their own estimation she stands more to lose than to gain.
She is a middle class Malay who grew up in Malaysia and graduated from UiTM with a law degree. To top it off her mother is an UMNO member. She is, it would seem, a product of UMNO’s largesse. A comfortable life would surely have been in store for her had she opted for the default path so well trodden by many before her.
However, she rejected that path in favour of a harder one. Today she stands on a DAP ticket and speaks out against the injustices perpetrated by the UMNO-led government. She does this not because she is ungrateful but because she recognises that her gratitude should be directed to all Malaysian taxpayers and accordingly to the Malaysian people as a whole. This is something UMNO’s leaders simply cannot fathom or accept because they remain stuck in their feudal mindset. And it panics them.
It scares them that there may be other Dyana Sofyas out there. Malays whose conscience cannot be bought and who will not be cowed. Malays who choose to live by the ideals of truth, equality and justice and who wish to build a better Malaysia hand in hand with their fellow countrymen.
It is time we showed UMNO that they are right to be scared.
Arise, the confident, capable and unshackled Malay.