Tunku Aziz never ‘suited’ to DAP, says Dr M
PUTRAJAYA, May 16 — Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim’s exit from DAP is not surprising as he had never belonged there, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed said today.
“I thought from the start he [was] not suited to be in DAP; I don’t know why he joined,” the former prime minister told reporters when asked to comment on the ex-Bank Negara advisor’s exit from the opposition party on Monday.
The former DAP vice-chairman announced his resignation from the party following his clashes with Pakatan Rakyat leaders over his criticism of the Bersih 3.0 sit in.
The open criticism had moved DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng publicly censure Tunku Aziz for saying that Bersih should not go ahead with an illegal street protest despite the party making a clear stand to back the electoral reforms movement’s April 28 rally.
In an interview with The Star published today, the founding president of Transparency International Malaysia said the rebuke gave the impression that what he had said was against the party as well as Bersih, and this was why he decided to “withdraw from the party.”
“I am not against the party. I am just against the attitude taken by the party secretary-general, particularly when he falsely accused me of going against the party decision to support Bersih. I have always stood for free and fair elections,” he said.
A distant relative of the Kedah royalty, he said he has always supported Bersih but only disagreed with proceeding with an illegal gathering after the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and police had refused to allow the movement to use the historic square for their rally.
The 78-year-old also told The Star that he felt “a deep sense of relief at being freed from the tyranny of a demagogue.”
DAP has tried to reach out to Malays, who make up 60 per cent of the 12-million strong electorate, by recruiting leaders such as Tunku Aziz.
But he has conceded his failure to win over the community to the Chinese-dominated party that has been accused by Umno of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam.