“The fact is, Gobind Singh and gang can do nuts even if the RoS, for some reason or other, chooses to deliver the letter during Christmas, something the party’s legal counsel knows better than you and me”
THE THIRD FORCE
The DAP’s national legal bureau chairman, Gobind Singh, today issued a 48-hour ultimatum (READ HERE) to the Registrar of Societies (RoS), demanding that the RoS serve the party with a notice telling its leadership – now illegal – to re-elect its Central Executive Committee (CEC).
In doing so, Gobind deliberately and contemptuously gave the impression that the RoS was twisting the arm of the party just to keep it in a state of suspended animation.
But that is a lie.
To understand why that is, we would have to re-examine events – some, not all of them – as they had unfolded from the 4th of December 2012, 19 days after the DAP conducted its 16th National Congress and CEC election.
On that day, the party’s returning officer, Pooi Weng Keong, shocked the entire nation when he announced a “technical glitch in the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet” that the party used to tabulate the election results (READ HERE).
The fact that the announcement came almost three weeks after polls concluded breathed new life into rumours that Lim Kit Siang and his son, Lim Guan Eng, were complicit in a scheme to extend the latter’s tenure as secretary-general of the party.
On the 9th of January 2013, a group of disgruntled party members took the matter up with the RoS, demanding that the party leadership be compelled to conduct a fresh election to restore public confidence in the DAP.
Then, on the 18th of April 2013, the RoS, which resolved not to recognize the CEC on account of the complaints, advised the party to resolve disputes that arose from claims of electoral irregularities, failing which the party could face deregistration.
Weeks later, on the 30th of July 2013, the RoS issued a letter to the DAP, informing the party that it found the “tabulation error” reason to be unsatisfactory. The letter was delivered to the party a day after Home Minister Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi affirmed a decision by the RoS not to recognise the CEC.
The very next day, a very recalcitrant and egotistical Guan Eng told a press conference in Gobind’s presence that the DAP would not adhere to the RoS directive until it was given “a concrete reason” by the statutory body, in writing, explaining why it needed to comply.
In doing so, Guan Eng, by his own volition, chose to turn an internal party conflict that arose from its leadership’s own failure to uphold integrity into a matter of national interest, warranting interference by Zahid Hamidi, the Minister in charge.
But that was not the first time Guan Eng cross swords with the RoS or Zahid.
On the 19th of April 2013, the DAP secretary general told a press conference at Wisma DAP in Penang (READ HERE) that the RoS was “playing politics” to sabotage the party’s chances at the (then upcoming) general election, adding that the “evil and wicked” Barisan Nasional government was using “underhanded tactics” to undermine the DAP.
These allegations and others like them, uttered and implied by Guan Eng and his father, Lim Kit Siang, were designed to fan unrest, suggesting that the government had deliberately used the RoS as a weapon to sabotage the DAP and end Guan Eng’s career.
On the 25th of September 2013, Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming reiterated an earlier stand by Guan Eng that Barisan Nasional was “creating a smear campaign,”denying claims that the DAP CEC was illegal.
Six days later, Guan Eng blatantly and condescendingly rejected the RoS directive to hold a CEC re-election simply by saying the party leadership – which, on account of the RoS directive, was illegal – was “unhappy with the decision.”
Ironically, this is the same Guan Eng who demanded that the RoS serve the DAP with “concrete reasons” as to why it should hold re-elections.
On the 12th of August 2013, the DAP held an emergency meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the directive by RoS and resolved to come up with a plan of action to address the issue.
Three days later, the party announced that it would convene a ‘Special Congress’ to re-elect its CEC, with the late Karpal Singh pointing out that the party resorted to do so despite finding the RoS directive lacking “the sanctity and authority of law.”
Karpal said this in spite of an earlier warning by the RoS for the party to amend its constitution to legitimise a ‘Special Congress’ (to elect the CEC), which, for all intents and purposes, was (then) unconstitutional.
In fact, on the 2nd of September 2013, the RoS confirmed that it had yet to receive necessary documents to validate a ‘Special Congress’, warning the party to comply with all procedures before conducting a re-election.
Karpal knew that the RoS spoke the truth, but chose to confuse the public instead.
His statement was therefore testimony to claims by disgruntled delegates – some 700 of them, denied the right to vote in December 2012 – that the party’s leadership had no intention whatsoever of conducting clean and fair elections.
On the 29th of September 2013, the DAP re-elected its CEC in yet another botched election that denied the same delegates from casting their ballots, allowing instead some 500 illegal delegates to vote.
To date, the party has yet to submit comprehensive minutes of the re-election process despite being asked repeatedly by the RoS to do so.
When Gobind issued the 48-hour ultimatum to the RoS today, it was 2013 Karpal all over again, hoodwinking the rakyat into thinking that the DAP had the upper hand, that it was being bullied by the statutory body in a Barisan Nasional led conspiracy to sabotage the party.
The fact is, Gobind Singh and gang can do nuts even if the RoS, for some reason or other, chooses to deliver the letter during Christmas, something the party’s legal counsel knows better than you and me.
In other words, Gobind Singh told you guys another big, fat lie.
Note: A grammatical error was corrected at 2.35 am Malaysian time without distorting facts contained within the original version of the article