On Tunku Abdul Aziz, DAP and BERSIH3.0

May 10, 2012

Baradan Kuppusamy: On Tunku Abdul Aziz, DAP and BERSIH3.0

Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim once praised the DAP as a party that espouses values of transparency and accountability, among others. However, after his criticism of the messy April 28 rally, the party he had held in high esteem is about to drop him as its senator.

IT was a personal coup for Lim Kit Siang when the straight-talking former Transparency Inter­national (TI) Malaysia founder and chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim, 74, decided to join the DAP in August 2008.

He was persuaded by the consistent manner Lim had run the DAP for over 20 years and had chosen the party over PKR that is led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Although both are multi-racial parties and allies, Tunku Abdul Aziz had said he liked the way Lim had consistently fought for human rights, civil liberties, transparency and accountability in the government.

Speaking at a 2008 forum, Tunku Abdul Aziz said: “While other parties talk about democracy, justice and equality, the DAP not only espouses these values but try much harder than the rest to practise them.”

Reputedly of strong principles, he is among the few Malays who had joined the Chinese-dominated party and was immediately made a DAP vice-chairman. In 2009, he was nominated as a senator for Penang.He had made it clear, however, he would speak his mind on matters of importance and the party had to tolerate it. In other words, he is not one to toe the party line.

So, when he spoke against the April 28 BERSIH rally, the DAP rank and file got a jolt.Tunku Abdul Aziz had said the gathering was apt to encourage people to break the law.

“I am in favour of us assembling, if that means not breaking the law.Breaking the law is something I cannot support,” he said at the Parliament lobby a few days before the violence-inflicted rally.

He wanted BERSIH leaders to be responsible and not reject the Government’s offer of alternative rally sites.“The whole idea is to protest. Does it matter where the protest is held?” he asked.

He noted that although most street demonstrations start with peaceful intentions, they often turn violent and chaotic. True enough, the rally turned ugly with Police, rioters and Opposition lawmakers pointing fingers at each other over the mess.

On the other side of the divide, the MCA, UMNO and MIC were overjoyed and quickly latched on to his statement as an example of what they were also saying – that the rally would descend into chaos.They succeeded in rubbing salt into the wounds of the Pakatan and its baby, BERSIH.

His comments drew an immediate rebuke from Scretary-General Lim Guan Eng and DAP cyber-troopers unleashed a torrent of criticism, calling Tunku Abdul Aziz all sorts of names, ranging from an UMNO stooge to a sleeping agent and a Pakatan enemy.

Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan voiced what was on the minds of many in the party by asking Tunku Aziz to quit voluntarily.“He should quit his senator’s post as well,” Manoharan said.

Now, there is speculation that Tunku Abdul Aziz would be dropped as a senator when his term ends on May 30. Guan Eng, who is Penang Chief Minister, is expected to table a motion at the state assembly sitting today to nominate academician Ariffin Omar and MTUC chief Syed Shair Syed Mohamud as new senators. One of them will replace Tunku Abdul Aziz.

Months earlier, Tunku Abdul Aziz had crossed swords with PAS, the other ally of the DAP in the Pakatan, speaking out against deputy president Mohamad Sabu and calling him a “jester” over the Bukit Kepong incident.

Over two dozen Policemen had died fighting communist terrorists who attacked the Police station in Bukit Kepong more than 60 years ago.

Sabu had praised the communist guerillas and their leader Mat Indera as patriots, which led to Tunku Abdul Aziz criticising him.

A corporate person, Tunku Abdul Aziz had worked in Guthrie, Dunlop Malaysia and Sime Darby and was a Director from 1985 at the Common­wealth Secretariat, London.He returned home in 1992 to found and head for a while TI Malaysia, the global coalition against corruption. Today, he holds numerous advisory positions globally, some with the United Nations.

It would be the unkindest cut of all if the DAP decides to sack Tunku Abdul Aziz because they have a lot of leaders to toe the line but only one to go against it.His rarity should save him from the disciplinarian’s axe.

25 thoughts on “On Tunku Abdul Aziz, DAP and BERSIH3.0

  1. Quote Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan voiced what was on the minds of many in the party by asking Tunku Aziz to quit voluntarily.“He should quit his senator’s post as well,” Manoharan said. Unquote–The Star, Baradan Kuppusamy.

    There is no need to do that. Tunku Aziz is well known internationally and there is no need for Manoharan to make this comment. The Tunku knows what he must do. We have, therefore, to wait to know what Tunku Aziz will do in the next few days. He already told DAP that he would not stand in the way of the party when it comes to choosing his replacement in the Senate.

    LGE does not know how to treat a very experienced and elderly man.He is too arrogant. Political success got to his head too quickly for his own political good and makes decisions rarely consulting his EXCO.

  2. So, when he spoke against the April 28 BERSIH rally, the DAP rank and file got a jolt.Tunku Abdul Aziz had said the gathering was apt to encourage people to break the law.

    “I am in favour of us assembling, if that means not breaking the law.Breaking the law is something I cannot support”

    Here is what you need to understand Tunku Aziz. Change doesn’t come easy. It is in the nature of ‘change’ that laws will be broken. When laws are skewed towards preserving the very things we want to see changed, then the number of laws that are being broken to relay the message of ‘change’ becomes an indicia of success towards the goal of stopping the flagrant abuse of power and massive and undisguised corruption.

  3. Be that as it may Mr bean, I am glad this has happened becasue I really am not sure about this LGE. He is arrogant, very.

  4. You see M’sia is ta a dangerous stage now. People want change and politicans will say anything to get in power.. Overlooking what really needs to be done. So LGE now has shown his true colours. Toeing party line or not. He could have handled this differently ?

  5. “I am in favour of us assembling, if that means not brueaking the law.Breaking the law is something I cannot support”

    Too simplistic a statement to help unfold, expose the complexities of forces at work. Old geezers like us don’t take easily to change. We become set in our ways to be able to roll with the blow so to speak – especially when Gurubachan Singh and Blowover Singh are at the other end.

  6. Kathy,

    If LGE is arrogant what is Najib and his UMNOMelayu then. A blood (read Rakyat money) sucking deceptive elitist , whose claim to leadership is by descent and not intellect. You know very well Najib abnd his kind of politics will not last a day under the Australian norm .

  7. This is not about Senator Tunku Aziz Ibrahim. It is about the DAP leadership’s failure to act out what it preaches. The Old Guards within the Party, like Tunku Aziz Ibrahim, are too set in their ways to want to welcome change in the way they treat diversity of opinions among their ranks and the Youth Wing are impatient for change which has alluded them that they view opinions that do not appear to carry their message of change as being an obstacle. You do not have to choose one or the other.

    Tunku Aziz is just voicing out what some are feeling apart from his own. I happen to disagree with him. But then since when do we have to throw the baby out with the bath water?

  8. What law?

    If the laws of Nature can be broken what more can one say about man made laws ? Then there are also rules of engagement…And what about decency and fair play?

    The law is not an ass, the ones who want to win at all costs by shifting the goal posts to prevent their opponents from scoring, are the biggest asses! So how does one deal with such asses? Are we talking about selective laws or rules here – that it is unlawful to assemble peacefully but it is lawful to cheat to cling on in power!?!

    What about law and order? Can there be law without order and order without law? More importantly, does the government has the moral authority to demand order from the rakyat when those who walk the corridors of power and their servants who are entrusted to protect the rakyat impose unfair laws?

    Anyone who supports the imposition of unjust laws is not human but an ASS. May I humbly suggest that such asses go visit their vets to get a reality check. 🙂
    Ocho, it has been while since we last heard from you. Decency and fair play in Malaysian politics? All I know is that it is about money politics and that is the game Najib is playing with voters…millions upon millions are being dished out. After that when he is back in power, he will introduce GST and raise taxes to recoup and reduce domestic debt. Wait and see. There is no such a thing as a free lunch (Econ 101).–Din Merican

  9. LGE is arrogant? You obviously don’t know the man! Go ask Mat Sabu who spent time with him in the same cell in Kamunting Detention Centre. Or perhaps you want me to tell you the time I visited him at Kajang prison with one of the lenses of his reading glasses missing and the wardens refusing to allow Lim Kit Siang the father to replace it?

    Kathy, you have just shown what damage an armchair critic can do – making judgement and worst still, pronouncing it publicly, based on a mere event you do not even understand! Merely quoting Austalian political norms don’t carry much weight if it ain’t relevant, mate!

    It is so simple, if you join a party, you must be with the party. That is the reason for the association, in the first place. If you do not agree with the party manifesto, get out, the door is always open. But you cannot be a member of the party and public denounce the same.

    If a boy do not agree that Be Prepared should be the motto of the Boy Scouts movement, he shouldn’t be in the patrol. If you do not agree that the bicentennial magazine should be RM100 each and even the patron Tuanku Sirajuddin be made to pay, don’t come for the launch dinner! One can’t just have the cake and eat it at the same time.

  10. Yup ‘bug, i’ll agree with you about LGE, who is a very humble fella. Appears arrogant to those who read only his words and gets gelled by his Tancho hairstyle. He’s actually very personable, humorous and approachable, like LKS. Doesn’t suffer fools, but is sometimes surrounded by a coterie of such. Goes with the turf, i guess.

    Anyway, i feel that this whole thing is but a cyclone in a tea-cup. It’ll dissipate soon enough, unless Tunku Aziz is goaded. Just let it rest for a couple days.

  11. Its a classic case ,TA having had a stint serving in the inner circles of UN succumbs to the charter on demos and the appropriate way they should be held .. His modesty takes the front seat and it says , its obligatory of him to dispute agendas that’ll bring about avoidable chaos…Whats wrong with that? I am in support of the Bersih cause as much as those who appreciate fairplay , i believe Tunku Aziz does too.

    Whatever setbacks he may have , Tunku Aziz is a man of utter conviction as seen in how meticulously thorough he is in regulating his speeches and numerous write-ups with the intent to reach out to all Malaysians unlike madir for instance , who is only interested to convince a particular race and a select few.

    Tunku Aziz , considering his stature and race in particular had taken a leapt not many privileged citizens of his standing would do, and digesting his reasons for hopping in the DAP bandwagon all the more so amplifies his aspirations of the kind a leadership he wants for the country.

    Penalizing him for a minor fault(of which I do not deemed as a fault) will make DAP a LAUGHING STOCK to people like me…

  12. When you voice your opinions it should be at the right time ? Tunku ‘s timing was made with evil intentions ! No two ways about it! LGE had this right to tell him off after all as Sec-Gen he is entitled to make known his displeasure ! Remember this Tunku gave his views in a sinister mask thinking people involved in Bersih march are duds. This Tunku could never understand why we must toe party lines…perhaps he still thinks he is still in Transparency International.

  13. The rakyat anger is boiling over and especially when their attempt to do a sit in (a sit in is probably foreign to Polis and the Magistrate) peacefully. Then when asked to sidperse, it will take sometime for a large crowd to move away, some like to mingle and just lepak lepak while waiting for the LRT or take the later train home. No reason for Polis to shoo people away by using tear gas. The crowd was not aggresive but became aggresive when provoked.

    Tunku Aziz had led a good life, rather a sheltered life, probably enjoyed all the good things that other Malaysians don’t have or can only dream of. Entertainment to Tunku Aziz may be a large screen home theater complete with surround sound 7.1 whiile for the ordinary Mat it’s whats free at the padang oe park. Dinner for Tunku Aziz would probably be at one of the exclusive clubs or 7 star hotels while the ordinary May will have to settle for nasi ayam or teh tarek and tosai. Now Tunku Aziz can say “Let them eat cake” while the only cake Mamat have is bingka ubi kayu.

    The government is out of touch with the populace and the only way left is to take to the street peacefully that is. Is that hard to accept?

  14. If Tunku Aziz accept DAP…he should adhere and balance his role within the benefits of his party and not doing somethings misaligned outside the DAP …and speaking public pula of his belief . If he is strongly disagree with BERSIH…why he not making noise in his exco meets…if he believe DAP….he should not voice openly and shows himself how good obedient law-maker and undirectly or unintentionally back stabbed DAP. As for Kathy…if LGE arogrant….then whats about NAJIBE………..

  15. it is not necessarily success and subsequent power that breeds arrogance. a person like Tunku Aziz, elder, intelligent, experienced and of higher social standing should have been wise about what he is saying and fully aware of the consequences. his insistence that he did right by saying what he said is nothing other than arrogance.

    yes, CLF it will blow over in a couple of days and we’ll be doing Clean 3.0 in London. the bobbies won’t dare sprinkle us with chemical water and gas us with CS.because the Queen won’t be amused and bet she’ll be wearing yellow too!

  16. I do believe Tunku Aziz is a man of principle and integrity, highly intellectual and full of wisdom. But his stand on BERSIH 3 is rather idealistic, simplistic and naive. Succuming and be summisive to skewed and suppressive laws, and oppressive and whimsical rulings and decrees, because he wants to be a law-abiding “lawmaker”, he would not be able to achieve the type of transparency, clean and minimal corruption society that he has been advocating for a good part of his life. How “law-abinding” do we think BN government have been? Cow head demonstration, mock funeral, burger-stand in front of your house, there are just too numerous to list here. Whether in the stadium or in the open square, the risk of viollence is always there. Come to think of it, thing could have been worse if the crowd were trapped inside a stadium when fracas happens and with tear gas fired and water cannons shooting around and people running about. Just too scary a thought. Btw, in the words of the current Senate president, its members were supposed to be men and women of knowledge, integrity and creditibilty. But what we see the majority are people of charaters of the like of Ezams, Nalas ans UmmIs. and other characters who used it as the backdoor to enter the “cabinet”. It has functioned more as a rubberstamp and a “halfway house” for discarded politicians of the BN government. Perhaps the Tunku can take up the cause of and campaign for transforming the Senate into a pillar of really noble and functional law making body, in the similar mould of other advanced democracy .

  17. Tunku Aziz chooses to be the spokesman of UMNO. Every UMNOputras cheer him on and he got prominent display in the MSM for being a “hero”. That why I said he is a misfit in a place where he does not belong. He insults the 200,000 people who came out on a mission for peaceful assembly and called them law-breakers, just like what the oppressors did. He did not recognize the fact that the disturbance could have been carried out by agent provocateurs and planned by the oppressors to discredit Bersih. The Bersih peaceful rally could have left rotten eggs on the oppressors’ face but at the last minute when the rally was called to disperse a saving grace was engineered to justify the use of violence by the oppressors. Never had Tunku Aziz condemned the disproportionate use of violence meted on the people, and rubbing salt into the wound, he appeared to have endorsed that the people deserved it. He is more particular on the bad laws of the oppressors than on the principles he once fought for. Perching on his high horse, with his holier-than-thou attitude and clinging to his privileged position in society, he spurned on the “masses” for wanting to level the playing field.

    I am perplexed why such a fine specimen of a gentleman could have turned 180° to endorse bad laws. This man has been totally compromised, following the exact footsteps of Chandra Muzzafar the former uber-champion of causes but now compromised.

  18. Mr Bean @ 8.32 pm – Absolutely correct in what you say, its only ” a ” Dissent about not breaking the Law, what’s the big fuss by DAP ? As CLF puts it cleverly, the whole thing turned into ” a Cyclone in a tea-cup “, Silly !
    Let’s recap or revisit the former Mcca CM who was accused of molesting the school-girl, LGE spoke vehemently in support of the girl & family, justifiably as many saw it. Except the AG who closed the case by looking at the cold-print of Police papers.

    Believe it or not, besides most non-Malays who supported LGE, the most forcefull were the DISSENT within the BUM-NO;s ranks to get rid of this alleged Mollester – true enough, he WAS ousted from power, remember ?

    The voice of Dissent, however solitary, works in a democracy, even if the law doest not work at crucial times…..

    Can i also not dissent, my Question is the CPM tried infilterating into Trade Unions & Workers’ Organisation, but for the Capitalist British, they would have succeeded…hence the accolades by Mat Sabu. Why is DAP interested in MTUC at this juncture, may i ask ?

    Come on, we have to uphold this vital principle : There is no Obligation without Right, but conversely NO Right without Obligation ( or Responsibility) – There must always be Reciprocity ( Mutual & Reciprocal )

  19. Hi DDM,

    I’ve been kind of busy but I make it a point to visit your blog daily while enjoying my morning kopi o. No time for MSM 🙂
    Have a wonderful and productive weekend.

  20. Greenbug, I have met the man ok. It is not from an armchair observation. It was something he said in public left a bad taste in my mouth. It reminds me too much of the current arrogance and I am very very cautious a person. I dont give anythign to anyone easily. I did not agree with his demeanour in public. But I will give it to you, perhaps I do not know the man personally.

    What I am simply saying is I want for issues and policy , I vehemently do not want personalities anymore. You see i am not as sentimental as you all are. For me its either you give us sound polices to issues or you are out. The nation doesnt have time to play suck up again.

    Yes, anakrakyat , The current administration is arrogant and have forgotten who they serve and so I do not want another. I do not like the politics of personalities at all. Look around you whats happened in the past?

  21. And he is not against Bersih, he is against breaking the Law. I have said before he is no dumb fool and he does not play into Umno’s games. He went inro DAP and showed his courage. Do not belittle the man . He has more principles than all of us here . There is a difference here. I am the first to tell of the Umno poeple but when a man is of integrity , then no I dont agree. What should have happened is he should ahve been spoken to internally and LGE should have said that is his personal view not the party’s. End of story. To say he has embarras anyone is , over the top as far as I am coincerned. Tunku may be different in his stand but there you go. A quiet chat behind closed doors is all there is to it.

    I have been immersed into a nation where democracywork and thats what I wish for . Not about personalities but about issues and policies.

  22. I go through a system where merit is what it takes. Even to apply for a job is a full time job in itself to justify in this competitive country why you should be chosen over 80 others. So I am beyond sentimental. Comprendo? It is about policies that work and if they dont, kick them out. Simple.

    I live in a country where I can say somethign in the face of a politician and he will have to take it. Thats because they serve the people not themselves. They are CLEAR about all this. So I dont agree ways of Malaysian politics. As far as I am concenred he was surrounded ( Again) by those who think he would favour them above others. I do not like that what i saw and what he said. It reminds me of the current regimes , all over again.

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