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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

> Black Tuesday for DAP

Still reeling from Hee Yit Foong’s shock defection, Perak DAP today dismissed talk of a party split and promised to battle for the electorate’s hearts and minds to support the ousted Pakatan Rakyat governmen’s call to dissolve the state assembly.

The state DAP convened an emergency meeting with party stalwart Lim Kit Siang painting deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as robber of democratic rights after a spate of defections toppled Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin’s administration and led Sultan Azlan Shah to swear in a Barisan Nasional government.

Perak DAP said it will campaign for Black Tuesday by getting the public to wear black apart from distributing black armbands to mourn “the death of democracy” in the state. It will also organise gatherings after office hours to protest the government switch.

The Ipoh Timur MP also sought to rally his despondent party colleagues and insisted there was no party split when quizzed about DAP chairman Karpal Singh’s demand that Pakatan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim quit for the Perak government loss.

“There is no split in the party leadership. We can resolve any differences internally,” Lim told reporters repeatedly when pressed on Karpal’s outburst and criticism of Lim and his son, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for their lack-lustre support over defections, suing the Perak sultan and hudud.

State party secretary Nga Kor Ming echoed Lim’s statement, saying there is room for differences within the party. Hee turned independent claiming she had differences with Nga and his cousin, Perak DAP chief Datuk Seri Ngeh Koo Ham who in turn said he couldn’t fulfil her demand for a new official car as deputy state secretary.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that Hee will get an executive councillor post in the Barisan Nasional government being sworn in tomorrow.

Despite being stung by Hee’s defection, Ngeh grudgingly said defections were practical as current laws forbid lawmakers from contesting any elections if they quit their seat.

“We support an anti-hopping law, 100 per cent. But if an elected rep says he can no longer stand for his party’s immoral practices, then we invite him to resign from his seat,” he said, insisting DAP would not “entice or promise” anything to those who wanted to defect to its ranks.

Meanwhile, Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran brushed off talk of further defections especially among Indian assemblymen who heard Barisan Nasional has reserved seats for them in the new administration. Barisan Nasional has 28 seats, of which Umno has 27 and MCA one, leading to fears that the Indian community will not be represented in the government.

“They think they can do it that way, let them try,” Kulasegaran said, referring to the purported offer - The Malaysian Insider.