Is Lim Kit Siang’s ‘do-it-yourself’ appointment as DAP adviser a reflection of the democracy he is constantly trumpeting about?
Since 1969, the top leadership of DAP has been the ‘sole preserve of Kit Siang’, according to the party’s former national vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim.
Referring to recent reports of DAP members deserting the party, Tunku Abdul Aziz said the matter has cast a dark, sinister shadow on the true nature, form and substance of the party’s top leadership.
“The resignations in such large numbers are symptoms of deep-seated structural and leadership issues, which have now been thrown into sharp focus because of a general loss of confidence in leadership,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said at a press conference at the Eastin Hotel in Petaling Jaya today.
He was referring to recent reports stating that 182 DAP members in Malacca left the party citing the actions of DAP leadership contradicting the party’s original struggles.
Last month, three assemblymen and one MP in the state also announced their resignations from DAP.
Meanwhile, Kit Siang’s use of the word democracy, which is also part of the party’s name, is dishonest and he knows it, Tunku Abdul Aziz said, considering that many view the party’s leadership style as verging on dictatorship.
“DAP adviser Kit Siang rules the party as though it is his own fiefdom or kingdom and its only purpose is apparently to promote his and his family’s self-serving political interests and ambitions,” the social activist said.
Tunku Abdul Aziz added that this practise is deemed acceptable by its members as they have been led to believe it is a small sacrifice to be made, in order to wrest power from the Malays and to weaken the Islamic influence in Malaysia.
“Many DAP members have woken up to the reality of the leadership that has been dominated by Kit Siang, arguably the longest one man show of any political party in the world,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
He further stressed that there was nothing democratic about the leadership of DAP as dissent is not tolerated.
“Those who agree with everything he says, and follow his instructions blindly, move up the party ranks, but those who don’t are sacked or forced to resign.
“Kit Siang can try all he wants to deny that he is a dictator, that he is racist, or anti-Islam in his blog postings but his actions speak louder than words.”
With regard to that, Tunku Abdul Aziz called upon the Gelang Patah MP to make a public declaration that he is not a dictator and is not ruling the party as a ‘family business’ with his son Lim Guan Eng.
“Given the present state of disharmony, dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the Lims’ leadership which some may regard as generally repressive and regressive, lacking in openness, it is highly likely that more will leave the party,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
Touching on his own personal experience of being in the party previously, Tunku Abdul Aziz said the inner workings of the party’s top management is to keep dissent at bay.
“There is no space for dissenting views within the party. Anyone foolish enough to ignore this unspoken rule lives to pay a heavy price.
“That is how the two Lims, father and son, have maintained their stranglehold on the party which is to rule by fear. However, with the recent resignations, this no longer seems to be working in their favour.
“I repeat that it is expected many more resignations will take place between now and the 14th General Election because members are beginning to open their eyes to the reality of the party leadership,” he said.
What is more important, according to Tunku Abdul Aziz, is how will the Chinese community help to play a meaningful role in the development of a united Malaysian nation if the DAP practised a brand politics rooted in stirring hatred against the culture and institutions of the Malays.
“Surprisingly, DAP Chinese members are waking up and asking to know the answers,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said.