(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The DAP CEC at its meeting on June 3 has decided to bring forward the DAP Congress scheduled for December to August 22 and 23 to allow the party to elect a new leadership, especially as general elections may be imminent. This will also enable the party as a whole to decide the future direction of the party.
In view of the bringing forward of the Party Congress, the State Conventions for this year would be held after the Party Congress.
Some newspaper reports today have given the impression that the DAP Central Executive Committee removed Sdr. Wee Choo Keong as National Publicity Secretary and suspended Sdr. Liew Ah Kim as National Vice Chairman and Sdr. Fung Ket Wing as National Treasurer because they made criticisms against party leaders.
Nothing is further from the truth. The Central Executive Committee removed Choo Keong as National Publicity Secretary because it has lost confidence in him as National Publicity Secretary. The same situation applies to Ah Kim and Ket Wing.
The three CEC leaders showed no interest in the Sympathy, Support and Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng Round-Table Conference in Ipoh on the morning of May 24, which featured panellists like Aliran President, A. Ramakrishnan, Perak Consumers Association Chairman Abdul Rahman, Sivarasa Rasiah of SUARAM, Tunku Aziz of Transparency International, academician Charles Santiago, social activist and former MP, Fan Yew Teng, but were only interested in convening a Perak combined branches' meeting in the afternoon where baseless allegations and falsehoods were made against national party leaders.
A week later, on May 31, the same thing happened. The three CEC leaders showed no interest in "The Gathering of Legal Eagles" in support, sympathy and solidarity with Lim Guan Eng, which was disrupted by the Police in a most high-handed and undemocratic manner, but were only interested in going down to Malacca to convene a Malacca combined branches' meeting where more baseless allegations and falsehoods were made against national party leaders.
These actions have been most damaging to the spirit, morale and unity of party members all over the country at a time when the DAP is still trying to recover from the worst electoral defeat in the 1995 general elections.
The DAP is in the midst of launching and mobilising a national campaign for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance arising from the Lim Guan Eng case. The support from the public in the past two months has been tremendous. It is most regrettable that there are DAP CEC leaders who not only disagree with the national campaign for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance arising from the Lim Guan Eng case, there have also been attempts to ensure the failure of the campaign.
The removal of Choo Keong as National Publicity Secretary is not a disciplinary action against him, but because the CEC, which appointed him to this position in the first place, had lost confidence in him, for instead of being the prinicipal officer of the party responsible for the propagation of the party's message, he has chosen to act in a manner creating dissension and disunity among party leaders and members.
This has resulted in unanimous resolutions by the Perak and Malacca State Committees complaining against him, and plunging the Malacca DAP State Committee into an unprecedented crisis of the State Chairman, Sdr. Sim Tong Him resigning to accept responsibility for convening the Malacca combined branches meeting at the request of Fung Ket Wing, and the Malacca State Committee resigning en bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Sim to declare that the Malacca crisis was created not by Sim but by the three CEC leaders.
The DAP CEC did not decide whether Choo Keong, Ah Kim and Ket Wing had committed breach of party discipline, as this is a matter which had been referred to and to be decided by the Disciplinary Committee, which is headed by Sdr. Ahmad Nor. What the CEC decided on June 3 was that Choo Keong, Ah Kim and Ket Wing had not acted in keeping with their responsibilities as national leaders, resulting in the removal of Choo Keong as National Publicity Secretary and the suspension of Ah Kim and Ket Wing as National Vice Chairman and National Treasurer until the outcome of the disciplinary inquiry.
I know that there is great disappointment that the DAP seems to be going through troubled times again, just at a time when the people are looking up to DAP for leadership in the midst of a prolonged multiple national crises, whether the 11-month-old national economic crisis, the water shortage crisis, the information deficit crisis, the crisis of confidence in the judiciary and good government.
I am the most saddened of all, for this is the time when all energies and efforts should be channelled and directed at organising, mobilising and uniting the people to stand up for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in Malaysia.
The DAP CEC can turn a blind eye to CEC leaders who do not want to take part in the national campaign for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance arising from the Lim Guan Eng case, but when CEC leaders seek to demoralise party spirit and morale in the campaign to the extent of spreading falsehoods and baseless allegations against party leaders, creating dissension and disunity among party leaders and members, as happened in Perak and Malacca in the past two weeks, the CEC cannot remain indifferent. The party does not want what happened in Perak and Malacca to happen in other states.
As the disciplinary committee has been charged with an inquiry into complaints by the Perak and Malacca state committees, it is only right that the Disciplinary Committee be allowed to carry out its investigations and findings.
Although the CEC has taken action to remove or suspend their national posts, Ah Kim, Ket Wing and Choo Keong remain CEC members and their state posts remain unaffected. I personally hope that factors that led to the CEC action could be resolved, and as I told Fung Ket Wing yesterday, I hope that there could be a new beginning where every party leader could come together to work for the greater good of the party and country.
I call on all party leaders and members to rally together to demonstrate that our determination to propel the campaign for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance would not be dimmed or diminished by what has happened. May be there are those who hope that the campaign for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance could be derailed and the momentum that had been created by over 40 Support, Sympathy and Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng activities in the past two months would be broken.
It is our duty and challenge to ensure that this is not the case, for the issues involved is larger than that of any individual person or political party, as it involved the great issues of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
In this connection, I wish to announce that the signatories to the Pantai Kundor Declaration on June 2, who were to be panellists at a sympathy, support and solidarity with Lim Guan Eng forum which the police refused to issue a permit, have decided to constitute themselves as a Council for Justice, Freedom, Democracy and Good Governance.
They are Dr. Sanusi Othman, Secretary-General of Parti Rakyat; Mohamad Sabu, PAS MP Kubang Krian, Dr. Mohamad Nasir, protem chairman of Socialist Party Malaysia; Ahmad Nor National Vice Chairman, DAP; Lim Guan Eng and Abdul Muluk Daud, Deputy Secretaries-General and myself.
The Council for Justice, Freedom, Democracy and Good Governance will hold its first meeting next week to discuss the issues and programme of activities for the national campaign of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, and one of the first issues to be taken up is likely to be the water shortage crisis in the Klang Valley.
If there is good governance, the people of Klang Valley should not be suffering from such a water shortage crisis as they live in a country with abundant rainfall.