Politics Weirdness

A young Chinese Dato is running for elections… under PAS?! Who IS this guy?

[Updated 8/5/18 to include Dato Jonathan Lim’s quote on his datoship]

 

We say PAS, you say… Islam? Hudud? Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) is commonly related to Islam and Muslims, so it would be (quite) surprising if we were to mention that there are non-Muslim candidates contesting under PAS.

And guess what – we recently came across a Facebook post of a young Chinese man, Dato Jonathan Lim who appears to be contesting under PAS in Kinrara! 

Image from Debbie Loh's Facebook post.

Image from Debbie Loh’s Facebook post.

Actually right, non-Muslim PAS candidates isn’t new news gaiz. We found out that in 2008, a non-Muslim lady of Indian descent, Kumutha Rahman, contested under PAS in Ulu Tiram, Johor.

In fact, after PAS amended their constitution in 2010 to upgrade their supporter’s club (PAS Supporters Club aka Dewan Himpunan Penyokong PAS aka DHPP) allowing more non-Muslims to join them, more non-Muslim joined PAS. Another non-Muslim PAS candidate is Satail Mojungkat, a farmer who will be contesting for Kadamaian state seat in GE14.

Anyway, back to Dato Jonathan, at first glance you’d probably think that he’s a PAS candidate…

 

But the first thing he said when we interviewed him was…

” I am not a PAS candidate.” – Dato Jonathan told CILISOS

Wait, how does this happen and what does this means?!

We managed to get in touch with Dato Jonathan to ask him about this. But before we go in depth into his explanation on that, let’s answer the bigger question first; who is he actually?

If you scroll through his Facebook page, you would find how Dato Jonathan seems a super unlikely candidate. He was seen with luxury cars(although to be fair, it seems to be a Ferrari Gala Dinner, whether he owns a Ferrari is unclear), sleek suits, glamourous women, and alot of  trophies.

He even has his own logo weyh. Image from Dato Jonathan's Facebook

He even has his own logo weyh. Image from Dato Jonathan’s Facebook

Turns out, Dato Jonathan is a businessman and founder of MMG Group of Companies, an iOS application developer company that provides the “best applications solution to their customers“.

“I started my first company (MMG) when I was 26 and found my first bucket of money and success. Then, I continue my journey to form more MMG companies in property investment, e-commerce and emergency one call service (fields).” – Dato Jonathan told CILISOS.

Besides business, he was active in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and charity. He also founded Hot Assist, an emergency one call assist app and hotline to help people during emergency situations such as house/car break-ins or missing children. It’s a joint effort with Community Policing Malaysia and Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM).

But the question on everyone’s minds is… how did he get his datoship?! He’s only 35 years old this year! We asked him.

Screengrab from Dato' Jonathan Lim's Facebook.

Screengrab from Dato’ Jonathan Lim’s Facebook.

“I got referred and nominated for my conferment by a close friend who is close to a royalty as he found out that I am active in CSR, charity and supporting the community .” – Dato Jonathan shared to CILISOS.

So, that’s how he became a Dato’. Going back to his story, he shared to us how he joined the political scene.

“I am committed to be a giver and make a stand for my country, I believe young people can make a difference to the country bringing in new mentality, focus on integrity, trustworthiness and free of corruption.” – Dato’ Jonathan Lim to CILISOS on why he joined Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia

He joined Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan) two years ago before Ikatan made any coalition or alliances with other parties. Ikatan which was formed by ex-tourism minister, Tan Sri Kadir, is a party that focuses more on the country’s issues than the election itself. We covered a story on the party itself in the past, so if you wanna read more click here.

Now, this is the most important part. Last year, when Ikatan joined PAS, Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) and Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa), these parties formed a coalition called Gagasan Sejahtera. That’s why we mentioned at the beginning that he’s not technically under PAS, but an Ikatan candidate contesting under a PAS ticket.

Gagasan Sejahtera. Image from Gagasan Sejahtera's Facebook

Gagasan Sejahtera. Image from Gagasan Sejahtera’s Facebook

Basically, all parties in this coalition will be contesting under the PAS ticket and using their banner as it is led by them. And this time round, PAS announced their non-Muslim candidates under their coalition, Gagasan Sejahtera. A total of five non-Muslim candidates are contesting under PAS coalition. Another person, similar to Dato Jonathan’s situation, is Dato’ Seri David Sew (Bukit Gasing). 

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This makes both Dato Jonathan and Dato Seri David (he is the treasurer of Ikatan btw) Ikatan candidates (not PAS candidates okay gaiz) whom will be contesting under PAS ticket. 

Hudud blasphemy2

And when we mention PAS, of course you would think of HUDUD. Since he’s a Chinese non-Muslim, people would question Dato Jonathan’s stand in the implementation of the law. He mentioned how the law is only imposed on Muslims and that since Malaysia is a multiracial country, we won’t end up like Brunei…

Screengrab from Dato Jonathan Facebook

Screengrab from Dato Jonathan’s Facebook

So what’s the reason PAS is fielding such an unlikely candidate?

 

Cos the bigger party wants to reach out to youngsters…

kadir

“We are not a party for the next election, we are a party for the next generation.” – Tan Sri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, extracted from Cilisos article

When asked about his opinion on the upcoming election, Dato Jonathan shared;

“I see it as an opportunity for young candidates to reach out to young voters.”

As he emphasised how he stands for a clean, trustworthy country that has integrity and is fair with no corruption, he also believes that youngsters are the ones who can make this difference.

He also added that by contesting in Kinrara, he gets to represent the Chinese people in that area by becoming their voice. He also highlighted the fact that being in Ikatan made him believe that Malaysia comes first instead of races as Ikatan believes itself to be a multiracial party that sees all race as one Malaysia.

And it only make sense he mentioned that because Kinrara’s voters are made up of 55% Chinese25% Malays, 18% Indians and 1% others. Since the majority of the voters are Chinese, the candidates in that constituency are also… Chinese. He’s up against the former Assembly Statesman, Ng Sze Han (whom was previously in DAP, currently contesting under PKR) and Chiew Kai Heng (MCA).

Dato' Jonathan Lim (Ikatan) vs Ng Sze Han (PKR) vs Chiew Kah Hing (MCA).

Dato’ Jonathan (Ikatan) vs Ng Sze Han (PKR) vs Chiew Kai Heng (MCA).

Dato’ Seri David, on the contrary, is contesting against former Assembly Statesman Rajiv Riyashkaran (DAP) and Chai Ko Thing (Gerakan). Similar to Kinrara’s constituency, Bukit Gasing’s constituency is made up of majority Chinese voters (67% of them).

And speaking of youngsters, they are getting all the support they need… from Pemuda PAS! If you look at both Dato’s Facebook account, you’ll notice comments like these:

Supportive comments on Dato' Jonathan Lim's (left) and Dato' Seri David Sew's (right) Facebook walls. Screengrab from Dato' Jonathan Lim and Dato' Seri David Sew's Facebook.

Supportive comments on Dato’ Jonathan’s (left) and Dato’ Seri David’s (right) Facebook walls. Screengrab from Dato’ Jonathan Lim and Dato’ Seri David Sew’s Facebook.

 

Politics make strange bedfellows

Unedited image from kitakini.com

Unedited image from kitakini.com

The (odd) alliance built among parties like the ones built between Ikatan and PAS isn’t something new.

“This has happened before in the previous election. For instance, when PAS formed an alliance with DAP.” -Dato Jonathan to CILISOS

He wasn’t wrong about that.

Back in like 1999, PAS, DAP and Parti Keadilan formed an electoral alliance and issued a joint manifesto under The Reformasi. But because of the disappointing results in the 1999 general election, DAP reviewed its alliance with PAS and after the 9/11 incident involving an Islamist group, DAP decided to leave the alliance.

Anyway, Malaysia isn’t new to odd bromances. We’ve witnessed this from political parties to political figures. PAS and UMNO is one example of this bromance as their love-hate relationship goes waaaaay back before Malaysia’s Independence when PAS disagreed with UMNO’s ideals of an independent Malaya. A recent bromance episode comes in a form when UMNO leaders showed support on PAS’ private bill, RUU355  to establish Shariah Law.

We’ve also seen how enemies in the past became brothers in arms today like that of Tun Mahathir and Lim Kit Siang where Tun M threw Lim Kit Siang into ISA for being anti-Malay and anti-Muslim and when Lim Kit Siang claimed Tun M would chastise those who disagrees with him. But, look at them now?!

We’ve actually covered alot of the bromance story here. But there are benefits that these bromances and coalitions bring about like Dato Jonathan’s candidacy under PAS ticket. Although it might be confusing to some (because even we thought he was a PAS candidate at first) on the surface, these coalitions might actually help parties to maximise support and results.

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