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State Pulau Pinang

DAP members protest over party polls fiasco

GEORGE TOWN: MORE than 40 people staged a lunchtime protest against DAP's recent party polls at Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's service centre, here, yesterday.

Led by Sungai Bakap DAP member S. Sivasamy, the group, which marched to the Air Putih assemblyman's service centre in Jalan Air Itam, called for "justice to prevail" and demanded the party hold a new central executive committee (CEC) election.

Sivasamy said they were unhappy with the CEC election result, which they alleged had elements of fraud.

"We want DAP to hold another election since the previous round was not clean," he said after the 20-minute roadside demonstration.

Sivasamy said since he joined the Sungai Bakap branch 30 years ago, this was the first time he had heard of a CEC election having problems with vote-counting.

"I am embarrassed," he said, adding that Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, should explain why the vote-counting was fraught with problems.

The group had gathered in Jalan Empat off Jalan Air Itam before marching to Lim's centre. The same group had staged a demonstration at Komtar last Friday.

Lim did not respond to a text message from the New Straits Times for comments on yesterday's incident.

On Sunday, DAP lifetime members Ladang Paroi branch vice-chairman A. David Dass and secretary Mahendran Krishnan demanded the party act on complaints by members unhappy with the election process, or risk facing a revolt.

Dass said DAP's leaders should hear out their members, even though they might not hold high positions, or they would walk away from the party.

Dass said: "Without the support of grassroots members, the party would be nowhere. Our voice must be heard, otherwise, more members will show their dissent."

He said the election result was a fraud and grassroots members would not stop showing their dissent over the matter until a fresh election was held, with an independent auditor tabulating the votes.

"Lim Guan Eng and his father, Kit Siang, and chairman Karpal Singh are giving the impression that they are scared of losing their places in the top spot (in the CEC) if a proper and legitimate election is held."

He said grassroots members went to the Registrar of Societies because party leaders had refused to listen to them.

"If they can't listen to the voices of their own members, how can they listen to the voices of the people?"

He said there needed to be an end to the party's family dynasties, which had run for about 30 years.

"I love the party and I will never resign. All members are asking for is clean governance and a fair chance for all."

DAP had admitted to a polls mistake and installed a Malay candidate, Zairil Abdullah, in the last spot in the CEC.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein called on disgruntled DAP members to go to the RoS to discuss the election fiasco.

"We have received a memorandum from DAP members who were unsatisfied with the results, and I have been informed that the RoS will meet them so that they can present evidence or information to substantiate their allegations."

Several DAP members last week had lodged a complaint to the RoS, urging it to investigate the party election. Dass and Mahendran yesterday lodged their complaint with RoS director of management M.D. Desmond Dass.

David Dass said in his letter: "I am shocked by the way in which unscrupulous DAP leaders had manipulated the democratic election process by declaring a candidate (Zairil Abdullah), who had lost, to be a duly elected member of the CEC three weeks after the election." Additional reporting by Michael Murty

Source: New Straits Times