DAP is big enough for Tunku Aziz to remain as National Vice-Chair

May 15, 2012

DAP Is big enough for Tunku Aziz to remain as National Vice-Chair

by Lim Guan Eng
DAP Secretary-General

When announcing his resignation from DAP, Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim cited “irreconcilable differences” with the party leadership in dissenting with DAP’s official position to support Bersih 3.0 to conduct a peaceful sit-in protest in Dataran Merdeka to press for clean, free and fair elections.

DAP is big enough for Tunku Abdul Aziz to remain as National Vice-Chair and accomodate his” irreconciliable differences” with the DAP on Bersih’s quest to conduct a sit-in protest in Dataran Merdeka to press for clean elections

Malaysiakini reported Tunku Abdul Aziz as saying his open disagreement with DAP made Tunku himself choose not to be re-nominated as a senator for Penang when his term expired on 30 May 2012, and stated that he was not sacked from his Dewan Negara’s post by DAP.

Tunku Aziz had also suggested to the party leadership that DAP should subject him to the “same disciplinary procedure as any other party member” for his dissent. As disciplinary action from DAP was not forthcoming he had decided to resign from the DAP to avoid further embarrassment.

I would like to express my sadness at Tunku’s announcement. DAP believes in freedom of speech and that every member and leader has a right to differ. I don’t agree that any disciplinary action should be taken against Tunku for differing with the party on Bersih’s right to do the sit-in protest in Dataran Merdeka.

Indeed there was general unhappiness at all levels in the party that he openly went against the party official position on BERSIH before the rally on 28 April and also after. However, just as Tunku has the right to openly voice his dissent, the party’s right to state its position on such a fundamental policy position as BERSIH must also be respected. The party did not punish Tunku for voicing his dissent openly nor at any stage asked him to leave or resign.

I feel sad about Tunku wanting to leave the party because of differences over BERSIH. After all Tunku had joined DAP because DAP offered a platform to promote integrity and fight corruption.

DAP’s performance in government after winning power in Penang in 2008 has been walking the talk in promoting integrity and fighting corruption. Penang Pakatan Rakyat has taken the lead with open competitive tenders, open disclosure of government contracts and public declaration of assets by leaders.

Not only Transparency International and the Auditor-General Report praised Penang’s financial performance, even former MCA President Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik praised Penang for performing well and been clean from corruption.

Despite Tunku open dissent, the DAP leadership does not want him to leave the party but remain as DAP Vice-Chair. I  hope we can resolve whatever differences within the party in the spirit of comradeship.I will contact Tunku to see him to discuss with him and hope he can change his mind about leaving the party.

36 thoughts on “DAP is big enough for Tunku Aziz to remain as National Vice-Chair

  1. I saw the TV interview last night. Tunku Aziz made his position very clear: he is not against BERSIH3.0’s campaign for free and fair elections, but merely stated that it would be breaking the law if BERSIH leaders demonstrated in Dataran Merdeka instead of Merdeka Stadium which the Government offered as the alternative venue.

    What is wrong with Merdeka Stadium which was the site of the Official Declaration on Independence on August 31, 1957, a venue which organizers of BERSIH2.0 wanted. A major concession by the Najib administration was rejected. BERSIH3.0 chose confrontation and they got what they wanted in terms of response from the Police. I make no excuse for PDRM’s brutal retaliation. I condemn the use of overwhelming force on citizens.

    DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng had overreacted to Tunku’s comments and is now offering an olive branch. It is not likely that the straight talking Prince from Kedah will change his mind. As he had said in the interview, the Tunku had consulted close family members and friends before making his decision to resign his post and his membership of DAP.

    There is no harm for Lim Guan Eng for its PR value to ask Tunku Aziz to change his mind. I would be surprised and disappointed if Tunku Aziz relented after having gone nationwide tv to say that he will resign. Were he to change his mind, he would lose his credibility. Tunku, it is time for you to move on to better things ahead like serving our country.

  2. All this could have been settled behind closed doors. There is such a thing as a vote of conscience. It has happened here. Tony Abbott once disgareed publicly with John Howard. He was not sacked. It went to a conscience vote. Thats it. Nothing to it. Now its a very public divorce , over nothing. In the spirit of getting things right, we must never loose perspective of the bigger picture. Tunku is one of a kind and as most claim , LGE is. So LGE should have recognised this straight away and handled it behind closed doors whilst in public say it is Tunku’s personal view. it takes alot fo effort for relationships to mature. Alot of hard work.

  3. DAP has definitely heard Tunku loud and clear. I hope he would reconsider his resignation. It’s undeniable that DAP has more Chinese members especially the top leadership than other races. Thus, Tunku is badly needed for the party to truly change DAP into a multi-racial and multi-religious party. Furthermore, not a lot of the top leadership has corporate experience like Tunku. It’s a learning process for the party. Should Tunku give the party another chance? I think he should remain in the party not for himself but for all Malaysian like me.

  4. The blog has gone BLUE ???
    Need feedback…is it okay or should I go back to Sunburn?–Din Merican

  5. Let him go if he wants to go. It is wrong for a top official to openly criticise collective decisions made by the party. He was at one time advocating ethics and rules but he himself forgot that he had gone against his own principle.

  6. Why is change so difficult?
    It’s becuz people like mak cik don’t like to be reminded of ‘blue’ sites. Normally they subsist on things like that.
    The fonts were bigger and contrast better for pics, but that would mean more ‘rare earth’ elements used. Go Blue, Dato!

    My advice to LGE is to diam-diam from now on, wrt this and let TA feel around his onus.

  7. ##My advice to LGE is to diam-diam from now on, wrt this and let TA feel around his onus##. -did you make a spelling mistake CLF??

    change is difficult but you got to start somewhere.

  8. “So LGE should have recognised this straight away and handled it behind closed doors..” Kathy

    Its Aziz who should have opened his mouth behind closed door. But he did it twice. If he can make a stand so can the DAP leadership.

    Well, Kit has already wished him all the best. LGE knows Aziz will not return but as an oriental gentlemen he is extending an olive branch. Let’s forget Aziz and move on to more important issues.

  9. So now there is an attempt to kiss and make up? Like MR Ahmadi says it is unlikely that the Tunku will accept this olive branch lest he be equated with clowns like Zaid Ibrahim and Raja Petra Kamaruddin for their back stabbing ways .

  10. Well maybe Tunku should have said it behind closed doors but as a leader LGE should handle it actually instead of letting it get to this. Its called leadership.

  11. “Tunku Aziz had also suggested to the party leadership that DAP should subject him to the “same disciplinary procedure as any other party member” for his dissent. As disciplinary action from DAP was not forthcoming he had decided to resign from the DAP to avoid further embarrassment.”

    That is an invitation to DAP leadership to play the chicken game. As game theorists out there know there can only be one victor i.e. the first one to chicken out loses.

    Tunku Aziz has allowed his usual arrogance to get the better of him.

    Why are we still talking about the man?? It is not like Najib Razak tendering his resignation over his principled stand over an issue. Funny. I cannot even remember Najib taking a principled stand on any of the issues.

  12. “The party did not punish Tunku for voicing his dissent openly nor at any stage asked him to leave or resign” LGE

    I don’t need to know so. I believe so. Time to move on.

  13. time to move on

    the future of malaysia does not depend on TA. the value of the door called Tunku Aziz hangs on two hinges. one, he being malay and the other his royal blood.

    his public endorsment of the present regime speaks for his integrity.

    intellectuals and experts are not doers so you need the politicians to pull the chestnuts out of the fire.

    yes, time to move on

  14. In his NTV7 interview, Tunku Abdul Aziz essentially called upon the public to support Barisan Nasional.

    That’s 180-degrees from DAP’s political position.

    Its either irreconcilable or one of the parties is willing to be a hypocrite.

  15. Tunku Aziz had an illustrious career in Transparency Malaysia in the fight against corruption and opaqueness in government. He was a feisty and gutsy campaigner for transparency and was not afraid to buck the trend that Malays should remain with UMNO. As a result of this, he was treated as a pariah and an ungrateful Malay by Mahathir.

    But when he join DAP and was appointed as Senator he seemed to have lost his mojo. He rested on his laurels and felt good enough to depend on past glories. His voice was muted and he seemed to have gone into deep hibernation. When he was jolted out of his sleep, he dropped a bombshell by renouncing the cherished principles that he had dedicated a great portion of his career to promote. By doing so, he drove a stake through the heart of his dream and adopted the opposite that he had inveighed against. He is putting his trust on Najib’s promises. Are we seeing the replay of the Chandra Muzaffar circus?

    I am scratching my head to understand why Tunku Aziz should do such a drastic parting. One of the causes I can think of was his annoyance with Mohammad Sabu of PAS. Sabu has said some nasty things about the police, and Tunku Aziz who hailed from a police family was livid. Sabu is an activist in demonstration and in order to damage Sabu, he indirectly hit Bersih on the head. Another theory is that he had been turned around by the Special Branch. Money cannot buy him because he is financially independent. The Special Branch might have crashed into his cupboard of skeletons and got him by the balls.

    Tunku Aziz’s reasons for dissenting is lame. Being a veteran warrior with wide experience in tackling recalcitrant regimes, his outburst is childish and petty. He should be the first person (being a senior to boot) to know that breaching party discipline and principles will bring down a ton of bricks on his head.

  16. “The Special Branch might have crashed into his cupboard of skeletons and got him by the balls.” vsop

    Tunku Aziz is no Jeffrey Dahmer.

  17. Err.. reeper (6.01pm), no spelling mistake.
    Onus just means responsibility or accountability. Not onus probandi (too legalistic). The alternative spelling you had in mind is anatomical and not polite, you know..

  18. “Tunku Aziz’s reasons for dissenting is lame. Being a veteran warrior with wide experience in tackling recalcitrant regimes, his outburst is childish and petty” vsop

    Tunku Aziz is no Che Guevara either. Che Det knows that.

  19. I don’t think Tunku Aziz has been bought. Money cannot buy him because he is financially independent and stable. The Special Branch might have crashed into his cupboard of skeletons and got him by the balls. He was compromised.

    Remember every crucial elections or by-elections, the BN had engineered various coups on Pakatan politicians. In 2008, it was Chandra Muzaffar, then the Perak coup d’état, Ezam in one of the buy election, PKR Secretary General, and now Tunku Aziz. This is standard UMNO dirty tricks.

  20. Tunku Aziz woke up one day and realised that he was no ordinary malay .. He had to talk , do and think like a Malay nobleman.. He best make his retreat to the Melaka sultanate.. He had been spending his days in Temasik for far too long.. He needs to be back in the sturdy comfort zone that auspicious nombor 153 provides. Being deemed a beacon of malaysian malaysia is a heavy burden amid something he is reluctant to bear.. Besides , what will DYMM think of him , blood after all is thicker than water.. But how does he make his exit without arousing suspicions he is an advocate of fuedalism vis a vis closet conservative?… Aah! he’ll do a Lee Kuan Yew number on unsuspecting souls ‘ my greatest regret was to pull singapore out of malaysia balloney’ , in TAs case the adequacy of showering words of praises on the DAP meastro Lim , disguised the ruse or did it?

  21. I, as a Malay looks up to LGE n DAP for I believe that it has shed it’s Chinese Labour mentality,What I think DAP need to do right now is an Organizational Development Change Program,there’s a resistance from the ground roots,change you must n that goes to hear dissenting views,n LGE, no one’s an island.If you as the tallest coconut tree and the rest are level n below you,it’s got nice view from up there,but when a storm hits the island,the rest of the lower level coconut trees cannot protect you.You
    must change and groom DAP members regardless of race,they will wither n protect you from the raging storm.

  22. Onus just means responsibility or accountability – CLF
    towards nation, party and ones own race?
    and the lack of it in this case, and the rather egoistic principles.
    yes, just feel around, Tunku Aziz! time to do some exploration of oneself.

  23. tune,

    Yes, see of blue. This is old in poilitics. First you begin by being at the extreme left. Then people stop and take note of you. You then move towards the left of centre. This will get the powers may be excited. They will say we can do business with this guy and begin to send feelers. You will get concerned calls on your handphone and you begin to get the feling that you are acceptable. Then you make that important decision to move to the centre.Then suddely OMG thay have got you with the Festival Hamper you get the feling that you are now also acceptable. Then slowly but surely you also see the light and begin to see things in the ‘ right perspective’ and derive an agreeable sensation from the feeing l that they are not that bad afterall. There more ‘badder’ people that these guys. So let me do some good. While you are at this stage out of the blues you will get an invitation for a good meal. ‘Walla’ the relationship is consumated and you slowly move to the right of centre.

    But like the game of football it can only be true to its substance if you live by bread (principles) alone. Once FIFA allows players to score goals with their hands that will be the end of football. Many Third World countries have come to the sand conclusion that even the richest country in the world does not have enough resources to buy the citizens required to remain in power by democratic means. Today many of them are on their knees because people like ‘T A’ did not speak up. I have said many times and I wish to repeat that only free and fair institutions of government run by people who are impartial and independent can build a strong and viable state. The use of force or eye for an eye will make us all blind. We have to constantly put our shoulders to the wheel, so to speak, and through the non violent means available keep government running the affaires of the state in accordance with the rule of ‘football’

  24. What I thought the Tunku said originally was that the alternative site ought to be accepted by organisers of BERSIH as the venue will make no difference to their essential message.

    A fair comment but dragged out of proportion by all sorts of theories unconnected to the original comment.

    Yes, perhaps we should move on.

  25. Keep our eyes on the final goals:

    1. Regime change — an end to the current repressive, kleptocratic UMNO-BN regime that is threatening to move us from a Third World country to a Fourth World country (failed state, collapsed state)

    2. The creation of a state and society based on the principles of Social Democracy (like the northern European countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland)

  26. That’s right, Isa : CLF says ” Typhoon in a tea-cup….” ! Come to think of it, it was NOT even dissent but a mere innocuous statement by Tunku. Approval given, but merely to abide by Directive of authority re change of Venue ie : Approval of ” Peacefull ” Assembly ( not as things eventually happened, where things turned Ugly & unruly) –
    Why do we interpolate & blew his statement out of proportion ? Innocuous statement, not even a dissent, – if there’s going tobe a change of heart now on both sides it may be Good. :
    Big things small heart is no Good – but, small things, big heart will definetely be Good…. for the Nation, not for narrow Sectarian Interests !

  27. Now Aziz is attacking LGE.
    Din, allow me to repeat this. He is no better than Ibrahim Ali, Hasan Ali, Zulkifli Nordin, and if I may add, Chandra Muzaffar.
    You call him a man of integrity?

  28. Whatever our final goals, we shall get there only by conciliation and not confrontation. Goes without saying that this applies to both sides.

    Whatever transpired at BERSIH2 is immaterial… the fact is that for BERSIH3 the authorities DID make a conciliatory gesture. Had the organisers of the rally accepted it, they would have had the upper hand. Instead, they let an opportunity go waste.

    PR made an even bigger blunder. Their decision to latch on to the rally will one day come to haunt them.

  29. I like vsp’s conspiracy theories best.

    1. Yes, the Tunku could possibly be getting his own back at Mat Sabu’s outburst against the police (vis-a-vis the communist insurgents) by hitting at PR.

    2. “Another theory is that he had been turned around by the Special Branch”. This is simply juicy. Imagine Special Branch having the wherewithal to rattle Tunku’s skeletons in the cupboard.

    3. Citing the likes of Chandra and Ezam only add substance to his theory that BN have done these dirty deeds before.

    If we are not going to move on, let’s at least make it interesting, huh?

  30. Right Sam01, he is worse than Lee Lam Thye.
    If he just left without spilling all the bullshit, I would have at least remained impartial. But now, with all these stunts I have no respect for him anymore, no matter what he did before Monday.

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