Saturday, April 20, 2013
Party members outraged over possiblility of using symbols of Pakatan allies
IN a stunning misstep, DAP announced yesterday that its candidates will contest the May 5 general election on Pas tickets, sparking outrage among supporters of the two ideologically divergent parties.
Later in the day, DAP added a qualifier — its 53 parliamentary and 103 state seat candidates will present to the returning officers at the nomination centres this morning a letter of authorisation signed by secretarygeneral Lim Guan Eng.
“In the event we cannot use our symbol, then show them the letter of authorisation signed by Pas secretary- general Mustafa Ali,” Lim told a press conference in Penang. Political analysts say DAP’s unprecedented gambit, ostensibly to seek public sympathy, could backfire as the mainly Chinese DAP may have unwittingly played into Pas’ hands.
“This is truly shameful. And all this comes down to the weakness of one person who should take responsibility for it, and that is DAP secretary- general Lim Guan Eng, who should step down,” said Seremban DAP’s Ladang Paroi branch vicechairman A. David Dass.
He said he was ashamed that for the first time in the party’s 47-year history its candidates would have to use another party’s logo to contest in the general election. Muslims cautioned Pas not to sacrifice its principles.
“Pas might as well drop Islam and change its name to Malaysian Socialist Welfare Party,” said former Selangor Pas secretary Norman Toha. DAP life-member Lee Chee Cheng protested the move, saying it was demeaning to the Chinese community.
Pas Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib “welcomed” the move, saying it signalled the beginning of DAP accepting Pas objectives to set up an Islamic state and implementing Hudud.
A political analyst said DAP's decision to use logos of its Pakatan allies could be viewed as a tactical move to condition non-Muslim voters to view Pas favourably as well as dispelling lingering notions among Muslims of DAP's supposed anti-Islam stance.
"They are putting up a drama by projecting themselves as a victim. Now they have no choice but to use Pas and PKR logos when in actual fact there is no issue about using the rocket symbol," said the analyst, adding that the problem was DAP's own doing as it had delayed the RoS inquiry until near the election date.
The flurry of announcements by DAP came after the Registrar of Societies (RoS) had on Wednesday notified the party in writing that it did not recognise the party's office bearers elected on Dec 15.
This followed complaints from DAP members of irregularities in the tabulation of the party election results.
DAP had given RoS until 3pm yesterday to retract the letter. When the deadline passed, the party announced that it would use the party symbols of its allies in Pakatan Rakyat.
DAP speculated that returning officers would disqualify its candidates if is used the party's own logo because of the RoS letter.
The announcement that DAP candidates would contest under the Pas logo in peninsular Malaysia and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat logo in Sabah and Sarawak was made by DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who made the oft-cited "over my dead body" comment whenever Pas brought up the implementation of Hudud.
The decision was made despite assurances from RoS as well as the Election Commission that DAP could still use its rocket symbol for the general election.