(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The KOKS (Knock-out Kit Siang and in Penang also Knock-out Karpal Singh) campaign leaders should explain the slogan "32 is Enough" to the party membership and I assure them that no disciplinary action would be taken against anyone for supporting or leading the KOKS campaign.
Let the delegates at the DAP National Congress in Kuala Lumpur on August 22 and 23 decide whether the KOKS campaign succeeds or fails. I am prepared to step down from the helm of the DAP leadership in which I had occupied various positions in the past 32 years - starting as National Organising Secretary and Editor of Rocket in 1966 and then appointed as Secretary-General in October 1969 when I was then in detention under the Internal Security Act in Muar - if this is the democratic will of the Congress delegates.
There will definitely be no purge or disciplinary action against anyone for joining the KOKS campaign. There is no need for the KOKS campaign to go underground. Let it be an open, fair, clean and democratic campaign.
Yesterday, I expressed distress that there appears to be an agenda in certain mass media to perpetuate the impression that there can be no room for criticism, dissent and differences of opinion in the DAP by continuing to publish false and misleading reports about the DAP, distorting statements made by DAP leaders.
There appears to be another agenda in certain mass media, to perpetuate the impression that the recent DAP troubles are because I am opposed to party reforms and that I want the DAP to remain unchanged as in the past 32 years.
Nothing can be further from the truth. The top agenda of the DAP after the 1995 general elections was party reform, renewal and rejuvenation. In fact, the DAP troubles are the result of trying to push party reforms in the past three years rather than not having party reforms.
Immediately after the Party Congress in November 1995 which elected a new party leadership, the Central Executive Committee at its first meeting undertook to carry out the Congress mandate of party reform, renewal and rejuvenation programme focussed on:
(i) to be self-leaders in an era of relentless change in the political, eocnomic, educaitonal, social and cultural landscape - as in order to lead others, we must first lead ourselves;
(ii) to set an example of life-long learning to be able to generate and work with new ideas in the information revolution of a knowledge-based world where knowledge is power;
(iii) to be team leaders and not just team members in the party reform and renewal movement, whether at national, state or local levels, to be facilitators and spearhead the process of empowerment of new leaders, activists and institutions in the Party.
Although I am myself not satisfied with the progress of party reform, not least because of the lack of co-operation from some party leaders, I would agree with what Ms Wong Kim Lin, a DAP Women Exco who wrote in a letter to the editor to a local newspaper today that DAP "has emerged from the doldrums of 1995 and reached new heights never imagined it could achieve".
These are some of the fruits from the labours of party reform in the past few years although very much more could be achieved if all leaders had put their heart and soul into the programme.
I find it surprising and shocking that party leaders who refused to give any contribution in the post-1995 party reform programme, some even literally going to sleep, could suddenly raise the standard of party reform as a justification for KOKS campaign.
One such leader when a State Chairman never even convened a single state committee meeting for over a year. Another CEC member who is also a senior state leader never bothered about party activities or functions for the past three years, whether at national or state level, and in fact had not attended any CEC meeting for 30 months, absent from 21 CEC meetings at a stretch - all this happening when the party was pushing a programme of party reform and when all CEC members had pledged to be leaders and role models of the party reform programme.
I am not saying that despite such track records, having slept for three years, they cannot wake up to call for party reform, but I think the KOKS leaders owe the party membership a full explanation for their slogan of "32 is Enough".