The question of whether or not DAP is a democratic party is one that has been asked over and over again.
When former DAP national vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim resigned from the party, he was asked the same thing.
“If you think the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is democratic, then I suppose DAP too is democratic,” Tunku Abdul Aziz told Malaysia Outlook today.
He reminded that this was the same answer he gave back then.
In a 2013 report by the New Straits Times, Tunku Abdul Aziz was asked to comment on speculations of DAP issuing a gag order to close the issue of an internal feud between several of its members.
“If you believe that the DPRK, which is North Korea, is democratic merely because it has the word ‘democratic’ in its name, then so is DAP, which is the Democratic Action Party,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
Today, the social activist’s stand remains the same.
“What North Korea and DAP have in common is the dynasty. The Kim dynasty in North Korea and the Lim dynasty in DAP.
“When a political party has to use the label democracy, then I think we should be skeptical because North Korea uses the same label. If you are really democratic, you don’t have to proclaim it. The people should determine that status (for you),” he said.
Tunku Abdul Aziz said this when asked to comment on DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who presented her views on how DAP was different than the DPRK.
“The members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the DAP are elected by the delegates of branches in the triennial party congress. Every DAP branch will elect office bearers and delegates through Annual General Assembly (AGM) to elect CEC members and state leaders of the DAP,” Kok said in her statement earlier today, adding that both Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng were elected by the DAP delegates in the party Congress through democratic elections within the party.
A practise, which according to her, was unlike the DPRK where all decisions of the party and the government were made by the Leader, for example Kim Jong-un.
“It depends on how you define democracy. To them (DAP) what they do, is highly democratic. What is important is what happens between (party) elections, what kind of daily practice takes place within DAP,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
“In DAP, only a certain number of people are elected to the CEC. The rest are appointed after being nominated by Kit Siang and other members of the CEC.
“What Kit Siang says, goes,” Tunku Abdul Aziz added.
Kok had also claimed that ‘the many undemocratic policies and operations in Umno’ has many similarities with DPRK, particularly on the manner of clamping down political dissents.
To that, Tunku Abdul Aziz said it was a total misrepresentation, and pointed out that it was disingenuous to say that Umno was like the DPRK.
“Many Umno members are openly critical not just of their policies but their presidents. Many choose to leave the party but there is no question on the party placing a gag order,” he added.
Kok’s statement was made following a report by Malaysiakini yesterday, in which Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi had repeated Tunku Abdul Aziz’s previous remark on DAP and DPRK.
Puad had asked if DAP was democratic considering its top leadership was dominated by a family dynasty.
“There are those who had said cynically that if we believe North Korea is a democratic country because it is known as the DPRK, then we can believe that DAP too is a democratic party,” Puad was quoted as saying.