MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Dr Mahathir: Umno breaking into factions under Zahid’s leadership

 Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya September 3, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya September 3, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Umno, under its current party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, is a divided party that is being pulled in different directions, according to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former Umno president claimed in an interview with news portal MalaysiaNow that there were at least three separate factions within Umno: one with Zahid at the helm, another under deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, and the last under former party vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who is currently foreign minister.

“Now Umno is divided. There is this faction and that faction. One faction says this, another says that. How will you lead Umno, which faction?” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the interview published today.

“What Umno do you want to be president of?” he added.

Dr Mahathir was the president of Umno for 22 years until 2003. He later quit the party — for the second time — in 2016 due to his differing views with then party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership.

Dr Mahathir subsequently founded Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) which joined the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, which led to their victory over the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition in the 2018 general elections.

However, he was later ousted from PPBM following the PH administration’s collapse in end February and his forced resignation as prime minister.

The 95-year-old is now the chairman of a new party named Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), but recently said he will not contest in the next general election. malaymail

FGV ‘disappointed’ over US restrictions after improving labour standards


FGV Holdings Berhad says it has taken measures to protect the rights and welfare of its workers.

PETALING JAYA: FGV Holdings Berhad (FGV) has reiterated its commitment to the rights and welfare of its workers after US authorities imposed restriction on its products following allegations of forced and child labour.

In a statement, FGV said all issues cited in the US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) decision to detain their palm oil and palm products have been the subject of public discourse since 2015.

It said measures have been taken to correct the situation and that the company does not tolerate any form of human rights infringements or criminal offense in its operations.

“FGV’s efforts are well documented and available in the public domain,” it said, adding it was disappointed with the CBP’s decision despite the measures it has taken to improve labour standards.

Yesterday, CBP said the directive against FGV followed a year-long investigation that revealed forced labour indicators, including restriction of movement, physical and sexual violence, withholding of wages and excessive overtime.

FGV listed its various efforts to uphold labour standards and human rights, including sourcing migrant workers only through legal channels since 2020. It said the recruitment of migrants is also in accordance with international standards.

“FGV does not practise the retention of its workers’ passports and has installed a total of 32,250 safety boxes throughout all its 68 complexes, as an option for migrant workers to keep their passports safely.

“In fulfilling the rights of workers to adequate housing, FGV has, over the past three years, invested approximately RM350 million to upgrade housing facilities for its workers by constructing new residences in our plantations all over the country.”

It said workers are provided with medical coverage for outpatient care and an “unlimited allocation for inpatient treatment”.

FGV also said it acts on allegations of physical or sexual violence, intimidation or threats, and takes the necessary action, including reporting such instances to the authorities.

It also said it is taking part in the Fair Labour Association (FLA) and is implementing a long-term and comprehensive action plan under the FLA.

This, it said, comprises initiatives to further strengthen various aspects of labour practices such as recruitment, human rights training, working and living conditions.

“FGV’s action plan for 2020 was adopted on March 31, 2020 in consultation with the FLA and with various other stakeholders including civil society organisations.

“FGV’s affiliation to the FLA is subject to a rigorous validation exercise and public reporting. FLA’s report on FGV’s progress on the implementation of the action plan is published on FLA’s website.” - FMT

Dr M says he’ll never forgive Najib for destroying ‘my party’ Umno


Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the people have rejected Najib Razak.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he will never forgive former prime minister Najib Razak for destroying Umno.

In an interview broadcast on Malaysia Gazette, he was asked if he was willing to forgive Najib like how he seems to have reconciled with his former adversary, Anwar Ibrahim.

“No, that is different. I cannot forgive someone who destroyed my party.

“His (Najib’s) actions have caused people to hate the party,” he said.

Mahathir said that when Barisan Nasional won the 13th general election in 2013, Najib had more supporters than he (Mahathir) ever received.

“But now, people reject him and Pak Lah. He even performed worse than Pak Lah,” the
nonagenarian said, referring to his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mahathir spent much of his first 22 years in power grooming Najib to take his place. Yet, shortly after Najib finally took office in 2009, Mahathir turned on him, citing worsening race relations and a tougher business environment.

The attacks continued for years, and Mahathir in January 2018 offered himself as a prime minister candidate for Pakatan Harapan while de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim was in jail.

Najib believed Mahathir turned away from him because the political veteran was obsessive about control and about calling the shots. - FMT

YOURSAY | Kudos to Shafie but Sabah needs a ‘warrior’


YOURSAY | ‘A leader must also be able to make a difference, just like the late Adenan Satem in S’wak.’

Shafie knows he can't get the numbers, won't entice defections - source

Bobby0: According to Luyang assemblyperson Phoong Jin Zhe, despite returning to the "dark ages", Warisan Plus will continue to sow hope for the people in Sabah.

“Hope” is not the right word. The exact words needed are to “get down to work right away”. Do with whatever resources available to win the hearts of your constituents.

Time will fly and in two years we will face another major election. This will show exactly as to which leader had really contributed to his constituents.

You can be the wakil rakyat, but if you are not seen in your area or not contributed in any way, there will be some effects to your position in the next elections.

Warisan and ex-chief minister Shafie Apdal had done a great job at the elections. It is their coalition partners that have let them down, especially Upko.

It is these areas that need extra effort. Maybe more service centres or whatever help, even how small, may go a long way to change the people's outlook at Warisan in the next elections.

Areas where they lost by small margins need extra attention. There are small important ways for people to feel your presence. It can be in giving people free tuition. Help them in small chores. Help them in their daily life.

It is work, work and work that will make a difference. Even if the odds are stacked against you.

FairMalaysian: Indeed, “hope” is just a hopeless word that somehow found its way into the ridiculed dictionary of politicians. Just show that you can turn that elusive "hope" into a tiny bit of reality, people will love you.

This can be an excuse if Warisan was never the government. An opposition party that has never been in power will face handicaps and resort to "hope". But having been the government for more than two years, Warisan’s lacklustre leadership can grace the pages of failure in a storybook.

Don't take my word. After being in the stranglehold of Taib Mahmud's leadership for many, many years, a charismatic Adenan Satem, just at the doorstep of Sabah, showed all Malaysians what you need to be a leader.

All he needed was just a few weeks to win the hearts of Sarawakians. Shafie may not measure up to Adenan but as I see it, he is not the person who will make the difference and can be the leader who can lift Sabahans out of their present predicament.

Sabah needs a "warrior" - the people of Sabah have been inundated with such low-quality politicians who masquerade as life-saving leaders. None of them, the present chief minister and his three ‘stooges’ are anywhere near feeling the pulse of Sabahans.

The Wakandan: It is not enough just to be decent, Shafie has to be outstanding and make a difference. Adenan turned the norm perpetuated by Taib upside down. He was not afraid to do that.

He made English the second official language and accepted the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) despite brickbats from Umno and PAS from the Peninsular.

In Sabah, a real leader would turn the state upside down to revamp totally the corruption and the misdeeds done by the previous BN government.

Otherwise, as long as you continue to follow the previous norm, you are not bringing any changes but perpetuating what already existed.

Shafie could not impose radical changes because, basically, he is Umno at heart with Dr Mahathir Mohamad as his mentor and leader.

He is just a better personality than Musa Aman, that is if we want to close one eye to the billions that were lost in Sabah when he was a BN federal rural development minister.

Simple Truth: One good thing that came out of this situation is that Shafie and Warisan Plus did not go about buying support from the “frogs”.

If they did that, then they are no better than BN and PN. They would have lost to the pirates and mercenaries where money is the name of the game.

Warisan Plus will now have to prepare for GE15. They lost because they were confident of winning and were deceived by poll analysts.

There was no real effort to get voters to return, and reports of rising Covid-19 cases in Sabah perhaps caused low voter turnout.

PKR will need to rethink about being in East Malaysia when their performance has been continually disappointing.

It’s better for it to focus on Peninsular Malaysia where its support is becoming weaker by the day because their president is more engrossed on being prime minister.

Salvage Malaysia: Warisan and Pakatan Harapan shared a common problem. They didn’t know how to create economic wealth and growth for the rakyat and the country. Instead, subsidies were taken away all in the name of BN bankrupting Malaysia.

I hope Harapan leaders learn a good lesson that in the end, the blame game won’t help but real progressive actions to grow the economy is the major deciding factor. Take a cue from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s politics. Talk less and do more.

Fake Liberals: @Salvage Malaysia. Oh, sure, what a bang-up job he's doing - promising handouts after handouts, as if we are printing cash in some basement.

I wonder what's going to happen when we run out of cash “to stimulate the economy”.

Undecided: We should not blame the voters who are impoverished. Until we have experienced such poverty, it may not be fair to judge them.

If anybody that should bear the blame, it is those Malay Muslim leaders, both past and present, who refuse to put an end to the New Economy Policy (NEP) and its replacements, a flawed system that has spawned many abusive and corrupt politicians, business leaders and cronies.

These political leaders have no qualms in using race and religion to divide us in order to continue this evil get-rich-quick scheme. They are the ones who bribe voters or politicians for support.

The more enlightened and fortunate among us must work harder to bring about change in this entrenched system of using race and religion to divide us so that politicians can continue to steal from the country through corruption and abuse - which caused 1MDB.

That's the only way out of Malaysia's predicament. - Mkini

Geng 21 member wanted over attempted robbery and murder in JB


Johor police chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay holds up a picture of the suspect, believed to be involved in a robbery and attempted murder. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: Police are tracking down a member of “Geng 21”, who was involved in an attempted robbery and killing, as well as a shooting incident in front of an apartment at Permai Plentong, here, in early March, this year.

Johor police chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the suspect, a local man known as B Sarjit Singh, 23, was from Kampung Sungai Plentong, here.

He said that in the incident on March 8, three suspects of “Geng 21″ armed with a pistol tried to rob four men, aged 19 to 28 years, who were in a vehicle in front of the apartment.

The suspect, who was also driving a vehicle, rammed the back of the victims’ vehicle and fired five shots, one of which pierced the right thigh of one of the victims. However, the robbery attempt failed.

Following that, the Johor criminal investigation department (CID) set up a special investigation team that was assisted by Bukit Aman CID on Sept 10, which led to the arrest of seven men aged between 23 and 44 to assist in the investigation.

Three men were arrested and charged under Section 3A of the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971 which carries the death penalty upon conviction. One of the suspects was also charged under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA),” he said.

Ayob Khan said the suspect arrested under POCA had nine criminal records involving kidnapping, drugs, gambling and other criminal activities.

“Geng 21 is believed to be involved in violent crimes such as murder using firearms since 2016 and is one of the eight gangs identified as still active in the state,” he added. - FMT

Ex-AG Apandi demands compensation for abrupt dismissal by Mahathir


Former attorney-general Apandi Ali has categorically stated that his dismissal from office was unlawful and thus null and void. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali is demanding compensation from the government for “unlawful termination” by Dr Mahathir Mohamad two years ago.

In a letter of demand sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on Sept 30, legal firm Shukor Baljit & Partners said Apandi categorically stated that his dismissal from office was unlawful and thus null and void.

“As a result, our client had suffered damages, including but not limited to, loss of earnings and other benefits from July 27, 2018 to July 26, 2021,” said the demand letter sighted by FMT.

It is learned that monetary loss suffered by Apandi during that period is about RM2 million.

The legal firm said a suit would be filed after seven days of the notice unless Apandi received an offer of restitution and damages acceptable to him.

Apandi’s term had seen a series of controversies from the day he replaced Abdul Gani Patail whose services were abruptly terminated for what the government said were health reasons.

Also, in early 2016, Apandi cleared the then prime minister Najib Razak of wrongdoing in 1MDB, a bone of contention by Mahathir and the opposition he was leading.

The letter said Apandi, a former Federal Court judge, was appointed by the King on the advice of the prime minister (Najib) for a three-year period until July 26, 2018.

It said Apandi’s appointment could only be terminated by the King pursuant to Article 145 (5 ) of the Federal Constitution.

Just before the 14th general election in May 2018, Apandi’s tenure was extended by another three years.

Pakatan Harapan ousted the BN government with Mahathir returning as prime minister for the second time on May 10, 2018.

The letter said the chief secretary to the government in a letter dated June 5, 2018 notified that the King had consented to his termination but that there was no evidence to that effect.

It said the dismissal was decided by the prime minister himself, and that he had abused his position and committed the tort of misfeasance in public office.

“The prime minister had conducted himself with the intent to cause or induce a breach of contract between the government and our client,” the letter stated, adding that Mahathir’s conduct then was one of “colourable exercise of power”. - FMT

1MDB asset recovery requires foreign cooperation, says MACC chief


There is still a long way to go to complete investigations into 1MDB, according to the MACC, (AP pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Asset recovery under the 1MDB case requires a lot of cooperation and coordination from foreign countries, says Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Azam Baki.

He said, as such, there was still a long way to complete investigations into the case.

“What can I say so far, the MACC is working with other agencies to recover the people’s money that has been misappropriated abroad.

“The MACC is working with various countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Singapore,” he said in a special interview with Bernama in conjunction with MACC’s 53rd anniversary, which falls tomorrow.

Azam said the MACC was taking proactive measures to track 1MDB assets and recover them, adding that he could not comment further on the case as it could affect the investigation and ongoing trial.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin previously said the government was committed to continuing efforts to recover 1MDB-related assets as well as prosecute individuals and parties involved in the scandal. - FMT

Take up low-paying jobs for now, fresh grads told


New graduates entering the job market are expected to face many challenges in an economy impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

PETALING JAYA: A sociologist has advised unemployed fresh graduates to take up lower-paying jobs for now, as they struggle to look for jobs in the midst of the economic impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Denison Jayasooria, a research fellow at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), said this would require a change of mindset but only for the short-term.

“They should not push away low-paying jobs, but this is for two years at the most. Then they can move on to other opportunities as the economy picks up,” he told FMT.

“During this period, self-employment might be the best option. Get the unemployed graduates into induction camps jointly organised by the higher education and human resources ministries.

Dennis Jayasooria.

“Share with them different options like entrepreneurship and social enterprises,” he added.

Higher Education Minister Noraini Ahmad had said about 75,000 of 300,000 fresh graduates were projected to encounter challenges in getting jobs in the first six months after graduation because of the impact of Covid-19.

She said a ministry study showed that 41,161 graduates remained unemployed. With an additional 75,000 to graduate this year, it is estimated that 116,161 graduates need to be given attention to further increase their marketability.

Jayasooria, a policy analyst, said this was a sad situation as youths with degrees were usually touted as the cream of the crop of society and the pride of their family.

“However, their hopes are dashed when they can’t secure a job. One major issue could be their field of study or even their social and language skills,” he said.

“Though the private sector would not invest in further training for new and young potential workers, the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) has been investing in training young people for better jobs.”

Jayasooria also called on the higher education and human resources ministries to look into the quality of education offered and language competencies in order to produce better graduates.

Over in Sarawak, state tourism, art, culture, youth and sports minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state was not spared the pandemic’s impact on new graduates.

Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

According to the Statistics Department, as at 2019, there were a total of 42,100 unemployed in the state.

Although the state government absorbed some unemployed graduates through its Graduates Enhancement Training Sarawak (GETS) initiative, Karim said it would not be able to resolve the problem.

“Graduates and those who are laid off from employment due to Covid-19 must not be too choosy in searching for jobs. They must be able to accept a lower salary.

“What’s important is that there’s a decent job to do even with minimal pay as the (Covid-19) situation that we are facing now is a global problem,” he told FMT.

Karim said GETS was launched in 2009 to address unemployment, especially among graduates. It was part of the Sarawak government’s initiative to train unemployed graduates to enhance their employability.

He said unemployed graduates who registered themselves under this programme would be assigned to government departments, agencies or private companies as GETS interns for 12 months, and paid a training allowance of RM1,000 per month.

“So far, many of them have performed reasonably well under this programme.”

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said there was a weak labour market right now as firms grappled with the challenges of resuming business in the midst of the pandemic.

MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan told FMT that most employers might not be able to offer job opportunities, while those that could, would not be able to offer it for the long-term due to the uncertainty of their business’ sustainability.

Shamsuddin Bardan.

“Securing a job would depend on a person’s skills and experience. Graduates who are more agile and flexible will be in a better position to find employment.

“They have to be digitally savvy and able to accept new forms of employment relationships, such as in the gig economy and e-commerce platforms,” he said.

Shamsuddin stressed that fresh graduates should be constantly upgrading their skills and knowledge, in view of the greater demand for digital literacy and technology know-how right now.

“It is also critical that they can communicate well in written and spoken English,” he said.

Shamsuddin called for greater collaboration between education institutions and industries to address the issue of mismatch of skills, saying the latter could inform the former on the expectations that talents were required to meet. - FMT

Stranded on campus, matriculation student questions the 'double standard'


According to a student, matriculation colleges have not allowed their students to travel home on the weekends for almost two months now.

Implemented in early August as a Covid-19 preventative measure, the student’s college allows parents to visit, but they can only see their children at the college gate.

These rules do not appear to apply to students at polytechnics and universities. These two higher-learning institutions are governed by the Higher Education Ministry, while matriculation colleges come under the Education Ministry’s purview.

Yesterday, The Star quoted an official who confirmed that the Education Ministry, Health Ministry and National Security Council were reviewing the bar on allowing matriculation students out of colleges on weekends.

Their final decision is expected to be announced later today.

The student, who only wanted to be identified as M, told Malaysiakini that he usually returned to his home in Selangor twice a month.

“We have not been allowed to go home since early August…

“Parents can come to see their children, but only at the gate. They are not allowed to enter the college premises,” he said when contacted.

While he understood the rationale behind the ruling, M questioned why his peers taking diplomas at polytechnics and foundation courses at universities were not subject to the same restrictions.

“I see this as being unfair.

“Because we are around the same age, but only the programme (we are taking) is different.

“I am disappointed, but what can I do? We can only follow the rules from the top,” he said.

The Star previously reported that some matriculation students were facing mental health issues after being confined to the campus grounds for an extended period of time.

According to the Education Ministry website, all 17 matriculation colleges are slated to break for the semester from Oct 12 to Oct 18. - Mkini

YOURSAY | Priority should go to fixing potholes, not renaming roads


YOURSAY | ‘Instead of renaming roads, there are many KL roads that need repairs.’

Minister wants Jalan Palestin to replace English road names, not Raja Laut

2 cents: Naming a road to "Jalan Palestin" in support of the Palestinian cause and a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is merely symbolic. I'm sure Malaysia could do more in this area.

Never mind the symbolic effort, Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa appeared totally clueless on this matter. It was "Jalan Raja Laut 1" that got renamed, not "Jalan Raja Laut".

Raja Laut as a historical figure still has its place in history in the form of a major road that stretches from Jalan Tun Perak to Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah.

On the other hand, Annuar, are you trying to say that Charles Walter Hamilton Cochrane, the most senior administrator of the Federated Malay States from 1930 to 1932, does not deserve a place in history?

Malaysianheart: When there are so many new roads in housing estates that just have numbers, why not give these roads new names?

In the first place, those roads with historical names were named precisely of some significant event or person or place for us to commemorate and remember.

Leave these road names as they are. They are historical records of sorts. We should keep them and cherish them.

It is like you want to change your ancestor's name to something else just because they are no more around and you want to forget them.

Can we at least have some respect for our history to remind us of where we came from and how we got here?

Bobby0: History is one of the main drawing points for tourists. And it not only attracts tourists but reminds us of our past.

It shows our forefathers’ contribution to our nation. Each road sign signifies the contribution of somebody great or his sacrifice for the nation.

We cannot eradicate history, even how much we try. The records are there in the archives for anybody that has the interest to see. Even now at a click of the button, the full information appears on a screen before us.

Charity, as they say, starts at home. We should first learn as to how to take care of our own first before we reach out to others.

How many roads in Palestine have even one Malaysian name or even some sort of significance to our nation?

Ranjit Singh Malhi: Big minds focus on significant changes to develop the nation and promote greater unity. Small minds focus on changing road names which only result in "syok sendiri" (self-satisfaction).

The British were part of Malaysian history, and despite some shortcomings, left behind a strong civil service and a robust legal system. Palestine has little to do at all with the history of our nation.

What a shame. May God bless Malaysia and provide our leaders "hidayah" (guidance) to lead the nation effectively to greater heights.

Olxrev: First of all, is renaming a road to whatever really that important? Especially compared to the current situation faced by us - that being the Covid-19 pandemic?

Secondly, rather than renaming roads, why not go and fix roads that require repairs. There are many suburbs I am pretty sure need new roads or repairs.

TheTruthPls: Is this is all this minister is good for?

Is anyone bothered with the atrocious condition of the roads in Kuala Lumpur, especially around Jalan Klang Lama and Jalan Kuchai Lama? So many uneven roads and full of potholes, especially in front of the wet market.

Ubi-Wan Keledek: Of all the problems they need to address in the country, they are obsessed with renaming roads to 'show support' for certain other peoples. I wonder if they understand the word “priority”.

And by the way, have they conducted a survey to ensure Malaysians support the idea?

The Middle Man: One can only shake one’s head to read the shallow standards of our politicians barking on unimportant issues and ever ready to spin the racial overtones they are known for.

At this rate, don’t expect our country to progress at all.

Falcon: This a classic social engineering and subtle deleting of the nation's history by covert operations such as this.

It started long before in stages in other areas. So where does it end?

At the root of all these clandestine deliberations is a vulgar, race, religion fascism at play. Is it a move to create a fake historical narrative to feed the current gluttonous and racist appetite of some people to deny facts that certain communities contributed to what Malaysia is today?

And no shame in adopting fiction as part of one's history? What delusion, denial and hypocrisy.

ZainiHussin: It looks like certain Malaysians’ mindset has been ‘colonised’ by the Arab culture. They are our new ‘colonial’ masters.

Forever colonised, Malaysians have no identity of our own. We should now work to attain ‘merdeka’ from them. So pathetic. Wassalam.

Norman Fernandez: Now that Jalan Raja Laut 1 has been changed to Jalan Palestin, all because to show the world that Malaysia stands in solidarity with the Palestinians, it is also time for Malaysia to change other road names.

To show our solidarity with Kashmir, we can change Jalan Masjid India to Jalan Kashmir. Not forgetting the Uyghurs, maybe we can also consider changing the name of a road in Jinjang to Jalan Xinjiang or Jalan Uyghur.

Lastly, and for the moment to show that Malaysia is committed to becoming the voice for the Rohingyas, it is only appropriate a road in Selayang be renamed Jalan Rohingya or Jalan Rakhine.

Let us show the world, our commitment to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and defenceless. 

Hopefully, the 57 Muslim OIC countries can find a street in their country to name it after Malaysia too. - Mkini

DAP grassroots urge party not to take action against Ronnie Liu


More than 40 DAP members and grassroots leaders gathered in Petaling Jaya today to urge the party's disciplinary committee not to take action against Sungai Pelek assemblyperson Ronnie Liu.

This came after Liu was issued a show-cause letter by the committee for a comment he made on Facebook, in which he claimed that there are Johor DAP Youth leaders who plan to work with former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali in a bid to return to government.

Petaling Jaya DAP branch member Louis Phan revealed that Liu has given his explanation to the committee, as demanded in the show-cause letter, and a decision by the committee is still pending.

However, Phan voiced concern that Liu would lose the chance to contest in the party election slated at the end of the year if the committee suspends his membership for three to six months as a punishment.

Phan revealed at a press conference yesterday that Liu has explained to the disciplinary committee, as requested.

He said that it would be unfair of the party to take action against Liu, since the latter merely expressed his personal opinion, and did not represent the DAP, when he responded to a comment posted on his Facebook page.

“The party election is coming soon, probably at the end of the year. We don't want to see Ronnie’s membership suspended for a few months and for him to lose the chance to contest as a central committee member or even to the Selangor state committee,” Phan (above, sitting at left) said.

The press conference was called by seven branches from Petaling Jaya originally, and it garnered support from 84 branches throughout Selangor, he added.

The DAP branch leaders present were from five branches - the Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Klang, Kajang and Semenyih branches.

On the other hand, Seksyen 19 Semangat branch chairperson Wong Yau King (above, sitting at right) described Liu as a veteran party leader who is highly respected by the people and the party grassroots.

This is because, according to Wong, Liu has been an outspoken leader and always fights for the people on the frontline, without fear or favour.

Thus, Wong hopes that the DAP would not make a fuss over a small issue, but to encourage more leaders to speak out bravely.

Wong said it was normal for party leaders to exchange views in social media. What Liu did was simply to convey a message to another leader - and he did not make any accusation against anybody.

Ronnie Liu

Klang DAP Socialist Youth wing secretary Simon Kong said: “Since DAP has defended freedom of speech on various issues, we should have democracy within the party too. Any opinion should not be devalued, otherwise, we’re slapping our own faces.

“Ronnie’s comment was just telling what he heard before. He didn’t name or defame anyone. For us, Ronnie is the one who always tries his best to help the people.”

On June 18, Liu posted his personal views on former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on his Facebook post.

In one posting,  Liu responded to Johor DAP treasurer Poh Eng Guan, in which he said: “I received complaints last night that some of the young leaders in your state are now talking about working with AA (Azmin Ali) just to go back to the government. That’s not the way.”

Although Liu didn’t name the ‘young leaders’ or indicate which political party they were from, he received the show cause letter from the party’s disciplinary committee in September.

DAP disciplinary committee chairperson Chong Chieng Jen stated in the letter that he received complaints from the party’s Johor state committee that Liu’s statement implicated the integrity and good name of the young party leaders in Johor.

Thus, Liu was asked to give an explanation on this issue, within 14 days. - Mkini