January 5, 2013
DAP Election Fiasco and other related issues
Comment: When I was at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club this afternoon, I was asked by a close friend and former colleague who served with me at a major Malaysian multinational company why I had not posted a thread or two on this blog about recent developments in DAP. He implied that I was biased, and some of his associates even felt that I was on the payroll of DAP. Nothing is further than the truth.
I have posted articles by former DAP Vice-Chairman and ex-Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz (above) exposing the internal politics of DAP, and from the Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini and other websites, which are sometimes critical of DAP. He also wanted to know what my views are on the recent party election fiasco which appeared in the New Straits Times today (read below), DAP’s claim to be multiracial party, and the recent revelation on the Foochow cousins, enfant terrible Ngeh and Nga, in Perak and their business affairs.
The election fiasco has definitely put the DAP in a bad light. It is incredible that this can happen to a party that champions free and fair elections. It is inexcusable and heads must roll after a full investigation is completed. The resignation of its Party Election Director is insufficient to appease the Malaysian public, in particular DAP ordinary members and supporters.
The party leadership must be held fully accountable. DAP Member of Parliament, Charles Santiago (right) puts it correctly when he said.”Just like how we want the Election Commission to explain this and that, those responsible must explain the matter satisfactorily. People want to know how such a thing could have happened.”
Is DAP multiracial party as it claims to be. Having a few Malays in the party leadership does make it so. It is a predominantly Chinese party and that is a fact. But then what about MCA, MIC, Gerakan and even UMNO. Aren’t they race-based political parties? Indeed they are. So what is the big deal!
Our politics is about race and religion and even our voters choose their respective MPs and ADUNs on the basis of race. That is why in order to more inclusive, we now have Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat so that the sectarian interests of the various racial groups in our country are represented in coalition politics. I submit that our politics is based on race and will remain for a long time to come.
On the Foochow cousins, Ngeh and Nga, I recently posted an article by Terence Netto. Theirs is no doubt a case of conflict of interest. It is an example of the nexus between business and politics. DAP and its partners in Pakatan Rakyat claim to champion good governance (Competency, Accountability and Transparency). They must act accordingly, bukan cakap saja (talk only)
That this should happen in DAP, therefore, should be a cause for concern. It shows that even holier than thou politicians in DAP and Pakatan Rakyat are no different from those on the side of our Barisan government who they seek to expose, criticise and condemn. No double standards, please.
So, I expect firm action against the two leaders in DAP Perak. I have not heard anything from DAP that shows it is prepared to discipline them. Is DAP leadership afraid of these two politicians who run a tight ship on DAP politics in Perak? Like my former colleague and the rest of you, I need some answers.–Din Merican
DAP’s Election Fiasco
by V. Shanker Ganesh and Suganthi Suparmaniam| email@example.com
DAMAGING MISTAKE: Error raises doubts about party’s ability to rule country
DAP is finding itself navigating a sea of criticism after admitting to a party polls mistake and then reinstating a Malay candidate to the last spot in its central executive committee (CEC).
The error has raised doubts about the party’s multiracial stance and placed its ability to administer the country under scrutiny.
But more damaging to the party’s credibility are suggestions that the mistake may just be a ploy to endear the party to Malays after it had come under fire for not electing any Malay to its 20-member CEC at its December 15 congress.
While party leaders defended it as an honest mistake attributed to a glitch when transferring the results calculated using Microsoft Excel, there were members who demanded that they explain how a simple polls to elect 20 people from 68 candidates could have been flawed.
The error had forced the party to revise its election results and place Zairil Khir Johari as the candidate with the 20th most votes.This had led to some quizzing DAP’s locus standi in chastising the Election Commission as it had made a mistake in managing a simple procedure.
DAP is the only political party in the country with a provision in its constitution that denies delegates the right to vote for the top leadership. Delegates get to only elect 20 members to the CEC, which can pick national office-bearers and appoint 10 more CEC members.
Some parties asked if Zairil’s improved ranking was a ploy to attract Malay votes as it would show that delegates had voted a Malay leader to the CEC.His position is academic as he had been appointed as a CEC member despite ending up in 39th spot.
Last month’s results saw the party being bombarded with criticisms regarding its failure to elect Malays. Some long-serving Malay members had voiced their frustration about being overlooked, saying the losses suffered by Malay members showed the party had not lived up to its “Malaysian Malaysia” struggle, meaning members had voted along racial lines.
The criticism had compelled Lim Guan Eng to appoint two of those who lost — Senator Dr Ariffin S.M. Omar and Zairil — to become the party’s Malay representatives in the CEC.
Dr Ariffin, who was also appointed as one of the party’s five Vice-Chairmen, had been vocal in warning DAP not to sideline Malays if it wanted to take over Putrajaya.
Following the error, party election director Pooi Weng Keong yesterday resigned from his post and also as a Federal Territory DAP committee member. Selangor DAP Vice-Chairman Charles Santiago said an “explosive” matter like this needed to be explained to the people.
“Just like how we want the Election Commission to explain this and that, those responsible must explain the matter satisfactorily. People want to know how such a thing could have happened.”
He said while it was good the party had come clean about the mistake, many members were unhappy about it and were “asking many questions”.
A party member, who declined to be identified, said it was ridiculous for such a mistake to happen. “I see it as bending backwards to accommodate Malays in the party. Nothing more.It’s the biggest blunder in DAP’s history.”
Gerakan Deputy President Datuk Chang Ko Youn described the development as a farce and the biggest joke in Malaysian political history. “Is it a means to ensure a Malay is elected to the CEC to deflect public criticism of the non-election of a Malay to the committee?Isn’t that a manipulation of the result? The public is suspicious and amazed by this decision. DAP needs to explain this debacle.”
MIC Youth chief T. Mohan said DAP was abusing its own election process just to attract Malay votes.”This action by DAP has become the joke of the year and the party should be called the Dramatic Action Party.”
He said DAP should have a fresh election rather than appoint a sham committee and auditors to do dirty jobs for Secretary-General Guan Eng. “They are not even able to keep their house clean. Only God knows what else DAP leaders would do if given the power to rule the country.”
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Samsul Adabi Mamat said one Malay candidate making it to DAP’s CEC did not change the people’s perception that DAP was a Chinese-dominated party. “One win does not portray the real identity of a party that claims to be multiracial.”
Universiti Teknologi Mara political analyst Associate Professor Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin said DAP must find out how the error happened. Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng said such an error should not have happened and urged political parties to engage external auditors.
Here is Lim Kit Siang’s response:
Honesty still the best policy over Polls debacle
COMMENT by LIM KIT SIANG: Questions have been raised as to how there could be such a huge “recount” discrepancy and mistake in the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) election results where Zairil Khir Johari’s votes for election to the DAP CEC increased by 498 votes from the 305 votes announced on December 15, 2012 to the actual vote of 803 (placing him in the 20th elected position), while Vincent Wu Him Ven could drop 533 votes from the 1,202 votes announced that very day to the actual vote of 669 votes (putting him in the 26th elected position).
The blunder, however, did not arise from any vote counting, as Zairil and Wu’s votes were properly counted and tabulated as 803 and 669 votes respectively but from a computer error resulting in the votes for the last eight candidates (i.e. No. 61 – 68) also being posted with the same votes as those of Candidates Number 31 to 38, as follows, viz:
As a result, Wu (No. 63) was posted with the votes of No. 33 (i.e. 1,202 votes) and Zairil’s (No. 65) was posted with the votes of No. 36, (i.e. 305 votes) when the actual tabulation should have been 669 for Wu and 803 for Zairil based on the ballots cast and counted at the DAP National Congress. There was no element of fraud, manipulation or dishonesty in vote counting and tabulation process.
The blunder in the recent DAP CEC election results is a salutary lesson and reminder to all DAP leaders to always remain honest and humble, guided by the wisdom of the saying “Honesty is the Best Policy” if they are to continue to command the trust and confidence of Malaysians.
Despite the sorrow, I can state with pride that although the DAP Central Working Committee and Central Executive Committee were aware that the blunder is deeply embarrassing and would subject the DAP to a ferocious and merciless political and media onslaught, twisting the distorting the issue with baseless insinuations and allegations, no leader had suggested a cover-up of the blunder and the leadership is united that we should tell the truth to the party and the public and face the negative reactions frontally.
Our political antagonists may see this as a weakness for them to try to exploit and divide the party, but this is in fact a strength where the DAP leadership is prepared to own up to and rectify its mistakes however embarrassing they might be because we believe in humility and “Honesty is the Best Policy”.