(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): In order to acquire some legitimacy, the KOKS campaign is flying the slogan of "party reform", although in the past three years, the KOKS leaders have shown no interest or concern whatsoever about the party reform, renewal and rejuvenation programme undertaken by the Central Executive Committee in implementing the 1995 Congress mandate.
Some of these KOKS leaders literally "slept" for three years after the 1995 general elections, refusing to participate whatsoever in the party reform, renewal and rejuvenation programme, whether it be party meetings or the various conferences on information technology, anti-corruption, women's issues, labour, education, health, the haze disaster, economic crisis or the Support, Sympathy and Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng campaign.
Now, they have suddenly woken up and are also shouting for "party reform". Their sudden conversion to "party reform" would definitely have greater credibility if they had participated fully in the party reform, renewal and rejuvenation programme in the past three years, or if their proposals for party reform, renewal and rejuvenation had been rejected and ignored in the past three years and they have decided to take them to the Party Congress. Unfortunately, this is not so, as some of these KOKS leaders have just slumbered like Rip Van Winkle for three years.
Some of these KOKS leaders are responsible for the common set of proposals for amendments to the Party Constitution submitted by 22 branches and which the Central Executive Committee would ask the DAP Congress to set up a Constitution Review Commission to have a wide-ranging review to make the Party Constitution more attuned to changes and challenges of the times and to convene a Special Party Congress on party constitutional amendments within 12 months.
I for one am quite open to the proposal for direct election for the post of DAP Secretary-General by DAP Congress delegates, and I think it deserves the fullest consideration and debate in the party.
But this is not because the present system of election of the DAP Secretary-General is undemocratic and autocratic, as the DAP Secretary-General as well as all national officials are first elected by delegates to the Central Executive Council, before there is an election of the office-bearers.
KOKS leaders who claim that the present system of election of national leaders is undemocratic through a two-tier electoral system are less than honest and sincere, for if this is the case, how could they accept leadership position for so long under such an electoral practice.
However, the proposal that all the principal DAP national posts should be directly elected can only cripple and paralyse the DAP leadership and enchain it in inaction, division and irrelevance.
The DAP would never have achieved our political position today as the largest Parliamentary opposition party and the foremost hope of Malaysians in their aspirations for a just, free, democratic Malaysia with a good government if the DAP had been crippled and paralysed by a Constitution which makes it impossible to have a united, disciplined, committed and cohesive leadership.
I will like to know which political party in Malaysia or outside the country have all the principal national posts, whether Chairman, Secretary-General, Treasurer, National Organising Secretary, National Publicity Secretary, National Political Education Director, International Secretary directly elected by delegates?
This is because the Secretary-General, the National Treasurer, National Organising Secretary, National Publicity Secretary, National Political Education Director and the International Secretary have to work as one team, and not everyone an independent power centre answerable only to himself or herself because of direct election from the delegates.
If the worst enemy of DAP wants to cripple and paralyse the DAP national leadership, there is no better way than to have the DAP Party Constitution amended to provide that all the national principal office bearers are directly elected by the delegates.