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The DAP was formed on 18 March 1966. Using its symbol of the ROCKET, the DAP had contested in 12 general elections from 1969 to 2018.
The party is committed to the struggle for a free, fair and democratic Malaysia, based on the principles of freedom, equal opportunity and equality, social and economic justice, human rights, and founded on the institution of parliamentary democracy.
Our original ideology was democratic socialism that promotes the idea of Malaysian Malaysia – unity in diversity in a multitracial and multicultural nation. In 2006, the party amended its constitution to adopt social democracy as its ideology, reflecting a more embracing of diverse democratic and progressive viewpoints. As social democrats, we desire a social order whereby there can be free development of the human personality within the community; just distribution of the fruits of our labour; equality and social justice as the norms; and value and dignity placed on human work.
The basic idea of equality – including equal opportunity – is the precondition of free development of personality. It does not mean uniformity or an equality of outcome, rather it is against exploitation and the unfair advantages of those controlling economic and political power.
Social democracy is all about freedom, equality, justice, human rights and solidarity. It upholds the right to work and concern for the well-being of people of all classes, the right to a humane and clean environment, the right to comprehensive education and training of one’s choice, as well as the right to participate in administration and all decision-making processes.
As social democrats, we are committed to parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech and rule of law, as well as freedom of religion and the right to worship as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
As a member of the Progressive Alliance, we are one with social democrats and democratic socialists throughout the world fighting for the cause of humanity, human rights and social democracy. We are in solidarity with oppressed peoples, we oppose unjust wars and production of weapons for war, and we support those who advocate peace and prosperity based on equal co-operation aided by scientific knowledge and technical advancement.
Solidarity is the strongest weapon in the struggle against oppression and injustice and it embraces all the peoples of the world. All who subscribe to these fundamental values are our allies and our friends against tyranny, dictatorship, corruption, exploitation and oppression.