Tunku Aziz Quits DAP

May 14, 2012

Breaking News by Malaysiakini

Tunku Aziz Quits DAP

Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, the most senior Malay leader in DAP, has tendered his resignation from his Vice-chairperson’s post as well as his party membership.

His decision to quit the party, which was announced tonight, comes as a major blow to the DAP as it gears up for the general election which some believe could be held as early as next month.

He, however, will not join another political party, quashing rumours that he may defect to UMNO. “I’m not a frog,” he insisted.

NONEIn tendering his resignation, Tunku Abdul Aziz acknowledged that by exercising his right of dissent, he has gone against the party’s position on BERSIH 3.0 – where some 200,000 took to the streets last month in demanding for free and fair elections, resulting in clashes between the protesters and the Police.

He said due to his open disagreement with the party, he had chosen not to be re-nominated as a senator for Penang, indicating that he was not sacked from his Dewan Negara’s post by DAP when news broke that his term ending May 30 was not renewed.

“I felt that my position was no longer tenable and that I would no longer be able to serve Penang and my party,” the one-term senator told Malaysiakini.

According to Tunku Abdul Aziz, he had suggested to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who is also Penang Chief Minister, that the party should subject him to the “same disciplinary procedure as any other party member” over his action.

“Unfortunately, up to now, that was not forthcoming. In order not to prolong the matter and avoid further embarrassment, I have decided to relinquish my post of DAP Vice-chairperson and tender my resignation as a party member with immediate effect.”

‘I had to draw the line’

Tunku Abdul Aziz stressed that he expressed his views on BERSIH3.0 out of “personal conscience” and it was done based on his “sincere belief that our country will always take precedence over sectarian interest”.

“I had to draw the line and I chose to affirm my right of dissent when as a legislator in the Senate, I felt defying the law was unacceptable.”

NONEHe said he had always advocated the need for free and fair elections, and that he had been consistent and unwavering on the matter.

“Throughout my career as a professional manager and a civil society advocate, I stood for respect for the Rule of Law, good governance and proper public conduct,” said Tunku Abdul Aziz, who is the founder of anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M).

“I criticised the organisers of BERSIH3.0 when they refused to accept Merdeka Stadium as the alternative site after the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, with the authority of our courts, declared that Dataran Merdeka was out of bounds and violators of the court order would be breaking the law.

“The right to assemble was granted, and I was convinced then as I am now that if Merdeka Stadium was accepted as the venue for the sit-down rally, the ugly scenes we witnessed on April 28, 2012 would not have occurred and our country would have been spared of yet another trauma after BERSIH 2.0 in July last year.”

Fitting end to short political career

Abdul Aziz joined DAP in August 2008 – five months after political tsunami which saw the Pakatan Rakyat opposition making significant gains at the last general election, winning five states including Selangor and Penang.

A year later, he was appointed senator representing Penang, giving him the distinction of being the first DAP senator.

NONEA distant member of the Kedah royal family, Abdul Aziz began his career in the police force before joining Guthrie Corporation and later served as an adviser for Bank Negara. He was instrumental in setting up TI-M, an NGO dedicated to fighting corruption.

Abdul Aziz described his resignation today as a fitting end to his brief foray into politics, which lasted no more than four years.

“In traveling throughout the length and breadth of our country over the last few years, I have met and interacted with a lot of Malaysians from all walks life and learned much, which I now can put to good use for the next phase of my life,” he told Malaysiakini.

“After a brief period of rest and reflection, I shall return to civil society advocacy and public service. I stand ready to serve our country to the best of my ability.”

40 thoughts on “Tunku Aziz Quits DAP

  1. Paradise lost for Tunku Aziz?
    by Tay Tian Yan@www.themalaysiainsider.com

    MAY 12 — As widely expected, Tunku Abdul Aziz’s senatorship was not extended by the DAP.

    As if that is not enough, he also finds himself coming under scornful assaults and branded a traitor. The disciplinary committee demanded an explanation from him, and some in the party wanted him removed.

    Tunku Abdul Aziz joined the DAP three years ago in the midst of widespread cheers, making him the highest positioned and most reputed Malay member the DAP had had since its inception.

    He was offered the party’s vice-presidency, and thanks to his popularity, the party experienced unprecedented metamorphosis to become a truly multiracial entity.

    The cold treatment accorded to him has stemmed solely from his dissident views on the Berish 3.0 rally. “I have no intention of getting myself embroiled in the rally controversy any more. All that has come to my mind is a story I have read some time ago.

    John Milton was a 17th-century English writer, second probably only to William Shakespeare in literary supremacy. His time-honoured epic “Paradise Lost” underscored the fall of humanity in the pursuit of freedom, quoting the chapter in Genesis where Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.

    In “Paradise Lost” there are the Heaven, the Hades; the Angels, the Satan; the Darkness, the Light; the Exaltation, the Decadence.

    Wasn’t the April 28 rally a vivid reflection of “Paradise Lost”? Milton had his own real-life experiences.

    He met, fell for and later married 15-year-old Mary Powell at the age of 32.

    After their marriage, he discovered they could not actually get along well. His young wife went back to her mother’s house, not returning for the following three years.

    He wanted to put an end to the dysfunctional marriage, but was barred from doing so by the Church then.

    Out of desperation he penned the famous Divorce Tracts, declaring true matrimony to be a marriage of body and mind, but if the body and mind have become dissociated, people should no longer be bonded by the covenant of marriage as this would contravene human nature and the will of freedom.

    As such, he said, everyone should be entitled to the freedom of divorce.

    His doctrine could possibly be accepted by people today, but not three centuries ago.

    He was suppressed and locked up for his heretical thinking.

    Milton was least subdued, instead his ordeal energised him to think profoundly about the true meaning of freedom. In the “Areopagitica” he later published, he proposed the theory of self-rectification of truth, arguing that only with the freedom of speech would truth become more explicit with arguments. The so-called “truth” that has been erected through oppression would never be able to pass the test of time and become the real truth.

    At the same time, Milton also advocated the freedom of thought, declaring that no one — be it a regime, political party or individual — has the privilege of scrutinising a person’s freedom of speech or thought on condition it does not pose any harm to other people.

    Milton’s freedom of speech has since become the harbinger of democratic politics.

    Like anyone else in this world, Tunku Abdul Aziz is entitled to the freedom of speech, and the DAP’s action against him only attests to the democratic qualities and bearings this party holds. — mysinchew.com

  2. “In order not to prolong the matter and avoid further embarrassment, I have decided to relinquish my post of DAP Vice-chairperson and tender my resignation as a party member with immediate effect.” Tunku Aziz Ibrahim

    There you go, almost word for word as I had predicted in the earlier thread.

  3. Idealism, reality and the ability to discern between the two is not a cardinal virtue of people who are stuck in a uncompromising position. Pride goes before the fall, and Tunku Aziz is no pragmatic statesman. Transparency that turned out translucent instead, defending the indefensible.

    I think LKS will be disappointed – but what the heck, it’s better to drop a loose cannon than to shoot oneself in the cojones!

  4. Tunku Abdul Aziz did the right thing. I respect him for it. Even if he were to join another party it is his right to do so. After all in Malaysian politics we see so many frogs hopping about. But the Kedah prince is not a frog. He will return to civil society advocacy with lots of political experience. This is a big blow for DAP coming at this time when election is on the horizon. Cry Geranimo.

  5. Haha.., i seriously doubt the exit of TA will be a setback. More like a pat in the back. PKR and PAS head honchos weren’t exactly enamored about this guy, remember? As i said, a loose cannon with a hair trigger.

    But i sort of respected him for what he never could do – rid corruption and really see to transparency in governance. He missed the whole forest/jungle for a couple of gahru (scented wood) stands – the Law of Olfactory Delusion.

  6. Abg din.I request your permission to link this news to my blog.Thanks
    Okay. No permission required to use contents from this blog, provided integrity of content is respected.–Din Merican

  7. NO NO NO , not at all a ‘setback’ !
    1) the been humiliated so-called pendatangs, esp young ones, without the lap-dogs from mca & gerakan, ARE for DAP !!
    2) the self-claimed aslis , those getting only the crumbs, are for PKR !!
    3) the fence sitters of others , pls pray & act wisely for your next generations !!

  8. Yup, he did the right thing in the wrong fashion. It’s not about LGE nor the DAP goons. I vote for them, but don’t give two hoots about their perceived chauvinism and two dimensional idealism. Democratic internally, they’re not.

    It’s that TA couldn’t see the difference between cynical Law and true Justice; and at his age.. He couldn’t see the cynical contradiction of “transformation”, without the results orientation, that this Administration brandishes about.

    If governance is difficult and requires ‘experience’, what was he doing joining DAP without political ‘experience’? He said it – Naive. I would have thought he would have gone quietly into the night, and rise as a phoenix the next. But it becomes obvious he was hedging, when he said that PR has no experience and that being an ‘uncompromising’ fella that he is, was making apologetic noises for the establishment – of the difficulty governing a disparate country like ours. Therein, he’s lost whatever Integrity, he so cherishes.

    ‘You can’t have the cake and eat it’, is a paradox he has to live with.

  9. For all DAP talk about democracy, freedom of speech and etc etc, it is all a bunch of crap. Their Malaysian Malaysia thing is nothing but empty talk. Tunku was Godsent to the party, and yet the clowns in DAP cannot agree to disagree with Tunku.

    The voters will teach DAP a lesson come 13GE

  10. It’s his right to quit the party since they disagree on certain issues and it’s wrong that DAP didn’t very least give him chance to explain his stand. But I am curious why he made this statement:

    “The government is listening. Although I belong to the opposition party, I can see the merit of what they are doing. Give them a chance to show that what they are doing is for the benefit of all,”

    This statement sounds more like a campaign for UMNO. Why he gave NTV7 an hour interview? I didn’t watch the interview. Did anybody watch the interview? I am just curious what he said in the interview.

    Anyway, I just hope he’s not another trojan horse.

  11. How come Tunku Aziz can keep mum and tolerate corruption, opaqueness and police brutality aplenty in the UMNO regime and yet quibble about the people’s aspiration for a clean and fair election? He is a political naiveté and a misfit for opposition politics; and if we were to follow his desire not to rock the status quo, then it would take us another 1,000 years, or not at all, to effect change. Since joining DAP, Tunku Aziz has been travelling as a passenger and he had lost his earlier gutsiness from his Transparency Malaysia tenure.

    Tunku Aziz’s dissent against his own party is a personal vendetta between him and Mohammad Sabu of PAS. Mohammad Sabu had said some nasty things about the police, and Tunku Aziz who hailed from a police family was livid. He should have settled the matter with Sabu’s party but instead he couched his personal affront as a disguise to dissent against the Bersih’s rally. If he had confronted or challenged Sabu, I would whole-heartedly support his stand 100%. Sabu is an uncouth politician, no doubt about it. In other words, Tunku Aziz is not honest with himself.

    it’s no use crying over spilt milk and get sentimental over him; let’s just carry on without him.

  12. By the way, I know Tunku criticize Bersih 3.0 for not following the law and how it was hijacked by political party. It’s his right to give this view. However, did he make any comment about the excessive force the PDRM used against protestors? I tried looking for such comment but I could find it.
    Anak Malaysia,

    I talked to Tunku Aziz about the role of the Police and its agents in the crackdown after 3.00pm when Ambiga gave the order to disperse peacefully. He said that this matter is being examined by an independent panel led by Tun Hanif Omar and would not like to prejudge the panel. He hopes that this panel can come up with some recommendations concerning the rules of engagement for crowd control. This is necessary since demonstrations of this scale will be frequent in the future. Malaysians have overcome the fear of repression.–Din Merican

  13. One person quitting DAP is not going to change the political landscape of Malaysia. It didn’t radically change DAP when he joined. There was no exodus of members joining DAP when Tunku Aziz joined DAP. Life goes on. Guess it’s best for both Tunku Aziz and DAP.

  14. If there is no compatibility, get the divorce lawyer and sort the differences- why confuse the kids with petty arguments day in day out!

    Kalo sudah tak bisa beraman lagi, panggil saja notaris Pak, perceraian bisa diatur, apa guna berterusan gaduh dan berkelahi!

  15. Tunku Aziz could well be the towering Malay whom I’m sorry to see leave DAP but I can’t resist the impression that, for all his life experience and work with TI, he’s basically still a very naive one.

    Firstly even as a stickler for rules and order, he has shown himself totally ignorant of history especially where it demonstrates the need for civil disobedience against an entrenched, corrupt and totally recalcitrant regime. He also displays surprising tactical stupidity, after having so recently witnessed how BERSIH 2.0 was screwed over by Najib after compromising for Stadium Merdeka as venue instead. In this regard, he’s out of touch with both the real world and the sentiments of the Rakyat.

    Secondly, hasn’t it occurred to him that the timing of his op en dissent seems almost deliberately to undermine his party’s support for BERSIH’s stand on freedom of peaceful assembly?

    Thirdly, shouldn’t he realize his public venting on NTV7 would in effect be yet another “stick-it-to-’em” moment, knowing the propaganda impact it will have on the ABU movement at this crucial run-up to GE13?

    Fourthly, how can he now turn around and say this regime is a “listening government”, and also a “legitimate government, elected by us” when the whole point of BERSIH questions the integrity of the electoral system, and by extension possibly the legitimacy of its main beneficiary over the past 50 years too?

    I’m not about to say he’s been “bought over” by UMNO at this time, preferring instead to believe it’s more due to poor judgment that’s subsequently reinforced by selective perception arising from his differences with the DAP.

    But I’ll be watching his words and actions closely from this time on. The truth will come out soon enough. I hope he doesn’t turn out to be another version of Chandra Muzaffar.
    I know both Chandra and Tunku Aziz. I worked closely with the Tunku during our days in Bank Negara and Sime Darby. They are very different people. So, you are comparing an apple to an orange. Their motivations are not the same, but both are failed politicians. They tried politics, but learned that they are not suited to the political game where the rules are not as clearly defined as in academia and corporate management.

    I too tried my hand at the political game indirectly by being attached to Anwar Ibrahim’s Office for 2 years. I learned quickly to appreciate what politicians have to do and go through, and the consequences of their political involvement, and decided that politics is not my cup of tea. Some people like PM Najib, Anwar, Nurul Izzah, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng and Azmin, for example, are made for it.I know I do not have the temperament.So I withdrew, and chose to be an analyst of sorts so that I can continue to learn about human behaviour and political leadership.–Din Merican

  16. the future will be shaped by young people not those who have passed their best before date.

    he did’nt shine in anyway when he was in DAP and he’s not going to shine in the civil society at his age. look at Mahathir, they get funny ideas with creeping proximity to the final resting place. don’t forget idealism is for others not for oneself.
    he being an elderly experienced person lets give him his due respect.

    Gandhi’s philosophy was not theoretical but one of pragmatism, that is, practicing his principles in real time.
    Asked to give a message to the people, he would respond, “My life is my message.” — Mohandas Gandhi

    lets move on

  17. If there is no compatibility, get the divorce lawyer and sort the differences- why confuse the kids with petty arguments day in day out!

    Kalo sudah tak bisa beraman lagi, panggil saja notaris Pak, perceraian bisa diatur, apa guna berterusan gaduh dan berkelahi!

    — Greenbug

    In divorce law terms, the ground for divorce here is irreconcilable differences differences. Alternatively, it is the abandonment of the marital res. One spouse has refused to have sex with the other spouse.

    Goolbatok Singh is wondering if he could be of service.

  18. Forget about being a Towering Malay, Tunku is a Towering ” Malaysian” like Lee Lam Thye – he dared…he is no Coward like many others who merely beguile others with Pretensions : wanting to be ‘Malaysians’ but not really wanting to be…..
    Lee Lam Thye, Chandra Muzzafar & Tunku who are Towering Intellectuals, should be woo-ed by the United Nations, like Jomo Sundaram, and be of service to Humanity rather than narrow sectarian interest of Racism, which Malaysia is, because of Cowardice & Pretences….go away….shooo

    Intellectuals are of different stuff : ” He also serve who only stand and wiait ” – John Milton, poet laurette, no ordinary man.

  19. He was never a party man. Come to most of the ugly demos by PERKASA
    and Umno youth he kept real silence as a senior malay vice chairman. When UMNO Police and the Mayor of DBKL goes against Bersih 3 he was
    real quick to act on his own party. HE IS A REAL SOLD OUT AND VERY

  20. I think this is the major problem with blue blood: they always think they are right all the time.This Tunku may have found success elsewhere but he is politically naive.

    LGE may have made some mistakes in handling Tunku but a party cannot afford to have its members not toeing its line. I think the exemption is UMNO: they dare not take any action against Tengku Razaleigh.

  21. Thanks sir for the reply. Why didn’t Tunku inform the party before giving an interview to NTV7 which is control by the government. The right way would have been informing a party and issue a written statement. That’s the gentleman way, right?
    Why must he inform the party? He was invited by NTV7 in his own personal capacity. To be fair, NTV7 should now interview LGE in his capacity as DAP’s Secretary-General to tell us his side of the story. If you watched and listened to the Tunku’s interview, you will note that he was very respectful of DAP leadership.–Din Merican

  22. Both LEG and TA did the right thing. LEG and TA has handle the matter “professionally” as politician should do.
    TA, as Dato analysed is indeed not suitable for politics and I agree. Politicians can be seen to obey or break all rules. It’s all about situational. They swing to either extreme whenever things are in their favours. No truly man of principle as TA. Politicians are like what the Chinese says, “follow the wind”.
    As for LEG, he is a season politician and I am very sure he knew that after TA comment things will develop as it is. LEG has a greater concerned for party discipline. Should he keeps quiet on TA remarks he will set precedent that open the doors for for members to say whatever they wish and this is more damaging that losing TA.
    This incident is unfortunate like many we are witnessing and about to witness in Malaysia. I am very sure TA would never give up DAP if situation permit and the same goes for the leaderships in DAP.

  23. He joined a ‘democratic’ party but found autocracy instead. If he had stayed longer, he would probably find it worse. Good decision, Tunku.

  24. “Should he keeps quiet on TA remarks he will set precedent that open the doors for for members to say whatever they wish and this is more damaging that losing TA.”

    What’s wrong with having a diversity of views from within the party? Except that Tunku Aziz’s statement was not well crafted to take into consideration the exigencies of the moment, shall we say? It is bad timing on his part.

    For there to be a real change, MPs in Parliament should be allowed to speak their own views and those of their constituents which may diverge from that of the national party leadership; but when it comes to voting there’s the Party Whip and it is his job to keep everybody in line.

    If we want to be true to the principles of democracy we should show more tolerance to diversity and diversity of views is just one.

  25. “I know I do not have the temperament. So I withdrew.” Dato

    Rest assured that you made the right decision. Before you had your falling out with Anwar Ibrahim I did write here on this blog that you were not suited to the rough and tumble of politics. Neither is Tunku Aziz Ibrahim and I do not believe he had the full support of his extended family for that decision. He threw himself into the deep end of the pool but is unwilling to swim the way those in the pool needed him to do.

  26. Another bangsawan quit story. Bangsawan can cannot withstand the storm in politics and simply politically naive though one may argue that he is a man of principled. But being principled alone amounts to nothing when you wants to effect change.

    His resignation has little significance on DAP. What DAP needed is not blue blood like TA but rather someone like Mat Sabu, who can move the masses on the rural ground of Malay heartland. Blue blood can only influence that limited number of like minded who yearns for comfy status quo. Mao TseDong reigned supreme in Communists PRC simply due his ability to rally the peasants not the royalties. Politics to some extent is a number game and you need the majority to gain power, not simply few principled guys.

  27. Dear Sir

    Firstly, I don’t really know Tunku and reading your comment I withdraw my negative. I just felt it’s common courtesy to let the leaders know about the decision before annoucing it on TV.

    Maybe it not that bad for Tunku and DAP. As long as DAP and Tunku continue to serve the people but the approach will definitely be different. Maybe this is a good example for people to think twice before joining any political party. By the way, didn’t Dr. Kua Kia Soong left DAP too. So, we shouldn’t be surprise for this to happen to Tunku.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your personal experience with Tunku on this blog.
    an, thanks for your comments. Tunku Aziz is a wonderful friend and colleague. I respect his integrity. –Din Merican

  28. Typo on my previous comment –
    I withraw my negative view about Tunku based on your comment. Thanks

  29. I think Tunku has thin skin. He cannot take criticism of his actions. Perhaps he does not have the emotional toughness to take on the dirty politics of the country. Perhaps he should go back to Transparency International where he can have a go at others without worrying about getting a whiplash.

  30. How many have met Tunku personally?, Dont judge the person from what you read or he quit DAP, he disagreed abt bersih……. He had his reasons…
    I have met the Tunku a few times on a non political arena….we live in the same neighbourhood, few doors frm each other…. He is as human as you n me
    He’s just a man….a friend, a husband, a father… hope u guys out there get to meet him….

  31. We need to separate the man fron his political views. Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim’s plunge into politics was nothing short of dramatic. Normally a very private person, his public persona came under public scrutiny like all politicians, public officials and public figures.

    (Dato, if I may suggest this is becoming hard to read)

  32. Xrey, don’t be a sentimental fool.

    As a person, Kutty Supremo is one hell of a nice guy. But that is not the point. It is the public face that matters in the public domain.

  33. Btw, your Eulogy or Extolation of John Milton above, is greatly appreciated, dinobeano. Thank you so much for your Effort in making the elucidation, for the Rise & Fall of Man is but a trial an individual soul has to undergo before he can understand ‘salvation’ : Gold is always treated under fire, but evermore retains its lustre – butf only IF we could come to its ultimate purpose, which is to achieve as the Poet says : He also serve who only stand & wait….. Such is to attain ” Paradise Gained ” As an ascendancy from Paradise Lost !

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