Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DAP Elections - Independence vs Feudalism

Over the next 2 weeks, you'd certainly expect to read more commentaries on the upcoming DAP party elections which have been overshadowed by elections in Barisan Nasional component parties. I've written a piece here earlier, but I thought I'll do a short response to a report published in Malaysiakini today.

A party leader who requested anonymity said that should the party’s "feudalistic" ways be maintained, it would make the new talents uncomfortable and lead to an exodus.


"Now there are new faces like Tony Pua and Hannah Yeo. Should they face problems in the CEC, it would be interesting to see how long they last. Those capable of thinking independently will not see eye-to-eye with the party leadership," said the leader.

I've got no clue who the party leader who was quoted is. Accusations that the party is run in a "feudalistic" fashion is not new, and I won't go into that. But having been in the party for coming to 2 years, I've yet to see such feudalism in practice. Of course, detractors will tell me (and have been telling me) that "you ain't see nothing yet".

What is however more mind-boggling is the argument that if you are capable of "thinking independently", then you "will not see eye-to-eye with the party leadership". Which also means that if I'm in agreement with the leadership's policies and views, then I lack the capability to "think independently".

Hence since I've been to a large extent been in agreement with the party leadership's views over the past 2 years, clearly, I'm now part of the feudalism. What type of nonsense is that?

To extend the argument further, does it mean that most of our experienced MPs and state assemblymen, ranging from Teresa Kok to Karpal Singh to Tan Kok Wai to Kulasegaran who are sitting in the current 30-men Central Executive Committee are not capable of "thinking independently" because they support and form the leadership's position?

In any committee, there are often likely to be majority views and minority views. And I'm sure that I'll be in the minority for certain views of mine. But that is part of the democratic decision making process. It doesn't always work out for the best, but it's the best system to ensure that the best overall is worked out. All of us will have to respect that principle.

I'm certain this "feudalism" thing will be played up by interested parties and the media over the next week or so. I can only hope that the reporting is fair and it incorporate weighted views from both sides of the equation.


Anonymous said...

Yes, you are part of the DAP Feudalism now, a vassal to Lim Guan Eng. I'm sure you 'll be a little Napoleon yourself if you get elected to the DAP CEC.

d'Frog Prince said...

how true. in democratic process, everyone must agree to disagree for the process to be effective.

in the same vein, if the majority view differs from the minority, still the majority view has to be followed because that is how democracy should work, right?


KoSong Cafe said...

I was about to blog about this matter but did not get down to it.

Even as a new member, I am uncomfortable whether to be seen greeting MPs and ADUNs for fear of being 'up to something'. I used to be able to meet them and discuss about certain matters. Now, I have to think of the party hierarchy!

In any party there will be leaders and followers, opportunists, sore losers and so on. Eventually, leaders will be supported regardless of what others may put in their paths.

I would put you, Jeff Ooi, Dr. Rama, Liew Chin Tong, to name a few, as being head-hunted for who you are. Some ambitious partymen would naturally be disappointed if they felt being sidelined. Party delegates will know who to support. Taking advantage of loopholes in the rules is only good up to a certain extent.

I still maintain that some old leaders are great and need to be supported. Younger leaders should bear this in mind and not expect moving up as a right. Patience is also a virtue and opportunists can be spotted soon enough.

May the best men win in the coming elections.

I will take the opportunity to meet as many leaders as possible. So see you soon.

Anonymous said...


I am younger than you, but I have been in DAP longer than you, so maybe me memory of DAP trivia goes back a bit longer than you ;-) and so I present to you...

Lingering issues leading to the impression of factional problems in DAP:

0) Wee Choo Keong, who apparently now doesn't have a problem working with PAS HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAH (by the way, has the bugger even apologized to LKS for the wayward corruption allegations? If not, has LKS filed a defamation lawsuit against him? If I were LKS I would have sued him for all the money he got from BN to run MDP's 1999 campaign.)

1) Kerk Kim Hock's defeat in 2004 GE, with allegations of sabotage by a faction loyal to Guan Eng.

2) Guan Eng and Betty being unceremoniously flung out of DAP Melaka state leadership subsequent to 1.

3) Up till one week before the 2008 GE, some DAP Melaka people were still very openly critical of Guan Eng.

4) Last year, a DAP Negeri Sembilan ADUN crosses over to MCA citing factional problems with Negeri Sembilan DAP state leadership (not to worry though, the fella lost his seat in the tsunami)

5) Fong Po Kuan's pre-election tantrum.

KoSong Cafe said...

I don't really know about what happened when Wee Choo Keong left DAP, just remember it as acrimonious.
But I must say he has done a wonderful job as an MP going out of his way to serve.

I am new as a card carrying member but my interest in opposition politics went back to Dr. Tan Chee Khoon's time. His protege, Dr Tan Seng Giaw took over where he left off in Kepong area, seamlessly and many people might think Tan Sri was in DAP too!

I personally feel Po Kuan is juggling as a politician, dutiful daughter, wife, and hopefully mother-to-be. I would put it as being a reluctant politician having to serve the party's interests. We should respect her decisions and not be too critical.

Anonymous said...

"We should respect her decisions and not be too critical."

We shouldn't just sweep these things under the rug. When she issued her "final" decision not to stand for elections, she cited problems in DAP Perak.

Anonymous said...


I think you shouldn't speak too soon. After all you have only been in DAP for just 2 years.

Maybe after 5 years or more, you can be a better judge.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony,

Hope you can comment on the topic PAS Abdul Hadi Awang more qualified to be PM

Anonymous said...


Why people always jump to the conclusion that DAP is so chinese when Karpal Singh reacted to comments made by PAS or Sultans? They forget a non-chinese made respond to comments and not the chinese.

On the other hand, why the chinese in PKR are so silent to comments by PAS. We are looking into the wrong direct and jumping to the wrong idea.

BTW, DAP must attrach more Bumis in order to reflect a multi-racial party. Also fraction does exist in every organisation, but let it not split the the party like MCA.

Best to the future of DAP

As I Was Saying... said...


Congrats. For being elected into the 20-members CEC.