In The Name of Democracy in D.A.P

The easiest way for politicians to get away from bearing any responsibilities from a mess they create is by crying out the overly used excuse of ‘conspiracy’ which by now is a staple in the Malaysian political scene.

Latest of course we have the current DAP leadership blaming the decision made by the RoS ordering them to conduct fresh elections as a conspiracy concocted by the Home Ministry, instead of admitting and correcting their administrative shortcomings.  The typical story board that is being displayed is that this is part of a Barisan Nasional strategic move to weaken the current DAP leadership by forcing ROS to act on a key opposition party.

I admit that it does sound enticing as one could relate this to a move made by Frank Underwood in an episode in House of Cards, there is however one key problem here and that DAP isn’t exclusive in crying out the BN conspiracy line by now;

“BN (Barisan Nasional) and the PM got involved in putting pressure on the MIC to reject the results of our validated 2013 election.They are also the reason for the party to side with the detractors,”

That quote was taken on the 20th of June 2015 directly from Datuk Seri G Palanivel, then MIC President,  a member of the cabinet and senior member in the BN  Supreme Council.

The thing is…. DAP isn’t that special

 A couple of years back ROS also ordered MIC a founding member of the Barisan Nasional coalition to hold fresh elections after receiving complaints about discrepancies by its own members in regards to their 2013 party elections.

If anyone wants to argue that this was a grand conspiracy by BN to topple the then incumbent MIC president (as he ousted himself technically later on) one has to reject that notion on the logical basis of the original ROS order which ordered MIC to hold fresh elections for their CWC (central working committee) and the vice presidents posts only, which means that the president’s post remains secured.

In fact even the favourite straw man and grand cospirator of everything in this country, UMNO, also had to face something far greater than re-eletions as the party was deregistered in 1988 by the courts in reference to the Societies Act of 1966 the very same act that was referred to in asking DAP to hold fresh elections now.

I remember vividly how my late father Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat who was the first Secretary General of the newly formed UMNO Baru had the gargantuan task of rebuilding a fractured UMNO from the ground up to face the 1990 general election. Even under such circumstances, he delivered 127 seats out of 180 seats in the Dewan Rakyat followed by the largest electoral victory for BN under Tun Mahathir’s premiership in the 1995 general election.

Cast aside the smokecreen

From timing to the question of coincidences various excuses will be propped up to avoid the public from focusing on the crux of the problem which in this case what started this whole thing in the first place.

It started off with complaints made by DAP members who pointed out several issues in the December 2012 party elections which included irregularities in voting tabulations. One of the key dispute was the result involving Zairil Khir Johari who was contesting for the 20 slots available in the central executive committee. Results announced after the polls ranked Zairil on the 36th spot thus disqualifying him from the CEC.

Then, in a rather peculiar manner this result was retracted and replaced with a new tabulation which bumped Zairil’s position 16 spots above ranking him on the 20th place thus earning him, the sole malay leader contesting the last seat in the CEC. A technical glitch in Microsoft Excel was blamed in this highly peculiar error.

This was of course disputed and a special congress was called in September the following year. However this special congress then created another dispute in regards to the list of delegates allowed to vote in it, of which logically speaking it should have been based upon the list of delegates who were recognised in the 15th December 2012 CEC election.

DAP was advised then by ROS to conduct a fresh poll via a national congress to avoid disputes yet this was snubbed by the DAP leadership which went ahead with their special congress ignoring the warnings issued. Furthermore to avoid the public perception that they are being unfair,ROS announced that their investigations and findings into the irregularities shall be postponed until after GE13 to avoid issues of deregistration for DAP upon entering the 2013 general elections.

Focus on the democratic process

One could argue that bureaucracy and technicalities are hampering and restricting DAP to function as an effective political party, but the same can be said in the MIC and UMNO cases that I just mentioned. I know the reasoning and technical requirements seems petty to some but it is key in ensuring that the democratic rights of every member of a registered society is protected upon.

Just as how the decision to protect the rights of 11 UMNO members led to the deregistration of the party, what is right and correct need not neccesarily deem to be popular.

Though some may argue that the current timing isn’t concise to call for a party election, by right the current leadership’s mandate has expired as it passed the 3 year mark. They should have had party elections already if it wasn’t for the decision by the CEC to extend their tenure.

For a party that positions itself as the champion of democracy having told to return to the democratic process to re-affirm your mandate shouldn’t be that controversial.

I would like to reiterate the stand that this verdict by ROS had nothing to do with us in the Home Ministry, it is purely a technical thing and I consider this to be a policy implementation issue.

But I am moved to write about this and explain on the facts to the matter as I read statements by certain individuals who seem to purposely conflate this matter with the ministry thus turning this rather straight forward issue into a mess which seems to have the goal to confuse the public.

I ask that everyone cast aside the political rhetoric and focus on the crux of the problem which is ensuring that the democratic process of every registered bodies be protected and upheld.

Let us allow RoS to do their job in accordance to the guidelines stipulated in the Societies Act without fear or fervor and let us not be hamper nor discount the rights of every ordinary members of any political parties in exercising and upholding their democratic rights.

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