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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Even if DAP cannot contest, its candidates can

From recent ROS actions, it appears there are some who are trying to frighten the DAP from contesting the coming general election. The ROS has threatened to deregister the party if it did not hold fresh CEC polls.
But even if the DAP is not allowed to contest, its candidates cannot be prevented. There is always the possibility that DAP candidates can contest as independent candidates or even contest under the umbrella of the PKR, Amanah or Bersatu. Is this something illegal?
The conduct of the ROS on the DAP matter is not only unprofessional, but very shameful.
More than a week has passed, the ROS has not written a letter to the DAP informing it about the invalidity of the party's 2013 CEC elections. The DAP is eagerly waiting for an official letter, following which the party will decide its next course of action. So, why the silence of the ROS? Perhaps it has not received any recent directives from above?
Is the ROS serious about the misconduct of the DAP, or is it being directed to destabilise the party as the general election is around the corner? Why was there a necessity for Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to support the decision of the ROS, and why was there a need for a meeting between both the parties before the announcement was made to the public?
The delay on the part of the ROS to send an official letter would indicate that there is really nothing wrong with the DAP's CEC elections in 2013. However, it was likely a political decision that the ROS had to adhere so as not to announce the acceptance of the elections results in 2013. There was a high probability that the ROS was asked to keep the party in abeyance about the invalidity of CEC elections in 2013.
Why did the ROS testify in the court during DAP's judicial review in 2014 that its advice to the DAP was advisory and that it was not binding? Why was there need to give an impression in the court that the DAP's conduct of elections was "acceptable"? But subsequent to this, the ROS refused to give any letter to the DAP, although the party waited anxiously. Why was there a need to play this hide-and-seek game with the DAP?
Delegates list request unreasonable
Ultimately, a few days ago, why drop the bombshell to say to the public that the DAP 2013 CEC elections were null and void on the basis that the party did not adhere to delegates' list of 2012. After waiting for four years and knowing very well that it would be impossible for the party to use its 2012 delegates list, why suddenly announce the 2013 delegates list was unacceptable?
If the DAP wants to conduct fresh polls, how can it use the delegates list of 2012? The ROS knows very well that it would be impossible for the party to use the old delegates list, as few have left the party and there are some who have died.
I have doubts that the ROS would ever send a letter to the DAP about the irregularity surrounding the 2013 CEC elections. The whole charade about the invalidity of the DAP's CEC polls in 2013 is just a figment of the wild imagination of those who hold the reins of power in the country. The formation of the new coalition of Pakatan Harapan and the central role of the DAP is not lost upon those in Umno who fear that the outcome of the coming general election might not be in their favour.
Even if the DAP is not allowed to contests in the general election, its candidates can always contest under the different political parties in Harapan. I am sure that PKR, Amanah and Bersatu might be more than willing to allow the DAP candidates to use their party symbols.
If Umno/BN is that powerful and popular, why fear DAP for posing an electoral threat? Isn't democracy and freedom about legitimate contest and competition among different political parties? Why use political power to subvert the democratic process?

P RAMASAM is Penang deputy chief minister II.- Mkini

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