Side Views

Which is bigger, Karpal or DAP? — Ahmad Sani Said

March 19, 2012

MARCH 19 — Here we go again in the Democratic Action Party (DAP). Its national chairman, Karpal Singh, is showing what democratic action is by continuing his spat with Dr P. Ramasamy.

These two DAP leaders are a good example of what happens when a party takes power. It gets to their heads and they think they are indispensable. In this case, Karpal, the veteran lawyer and opposition politician, thinks he is bigger than DAP when ticking off its disciplinary panel for not taking action against Ramasamy.

It’s true, then. One is a godfather, the other is a warlord. And both believe they make the party.

For Ramasamy, he has tasted victory once and is now Penang deputy chief minister (II) and deputy secretary-general of DAP. Karpal, however, should know that his top position as national chairman and senior opposition leader has come with a price. He lost the 1999 general election in Jelutong by 775 votes although the country was riding Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Reformasi fever then.

He still lost despite DAP, PAS and the then Keadilan under Barisan Alternatif putting a strong show against Barisan Nasional (BN). Maybe Karpal has forgotten the bitter taste of defeat. Just maybe he thinks he is way bigger than DAP.

But, sir, you come across as a bully now. Are you so vindictive that you are not seeing the forest for the trees? Are you threatened by Ramasamy?

Get off the pedestal of national chairman, of godfather, of being the party’s top man and see your actions from the view of a man in the street. Is ticking off Ramasamy more important than celebrating DAP’s 46th anniversary and pledging to do better in the next general election?

Since 2008, so many people have joined DAP, PAS and PKR to ensure we have a better Malaysia. But if this better Malaysia brings the same behaviour as the leaders of BN, why should we even bother?

You have a huge responsibility, Mr Karpal Singh. You have a party to chair and lead to win the next general election. Not to stoop low and tick off a colleague in the party over his offence. The disciplinary committee has done its work. Everyone is psyched up for the general election. Except you.

You must decide in favour of the party. Its ideology, its mission and vision must be your priority. The best people to win the general election. So what if someone thinks he and his friends will be candidates? It will be up to the central committee to decide. You can blow your steam there. You can show your power there.

Don’t do it in public. It shows you are not in control, not in command of the party. It shows how petty you are. Far be it from me to lecture you on politics and public image. So I hope you do what is best for DAP and Malaysia.

Your immediate goal is to win your seat, and for DAP and its partners to win the general election, not waste time washing dirty linen in public and pushing out your rival.

If you want to do that, go join MIC or MCA or Umno.

* Ahmad Sani Said reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.