MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Monday, November 29, 2010

The Jenapala Story

By Jonson Chong

Please allow me to paint a concise picture about Jenapala and his alleged sacking. As far as I know, of course.

I first met him during the March 2008 general election. He was one of those asked to speak at a ceramah I organised in Brickfields (whilst I was the election agent of the candidate for Lembah Pantai, none other than Nurul Izzah). I had no clue who he was then. All I knew was that somebody up there wanted him to speak on that occasion. So he did.

Anyway, the next time I saw him was when both of us were appointed as deputy secretaries-general (together with two others) after the “successful” election campaign by KEADILAN. I was happy to continue working with Saleh (he was the election campaign manager for Nurul Izzah).

Later, we discovered that Jenapala was an undischarged bankrupt. When Anwar was informed about this, he said someone is supposed to pay off the debt for Jenapala. Thus, Saleh was asked to KIV the matter and keep Jenapala for the time being.

Then, at some point, after a long delay, Saleh quietly asked Jenapala to resign because he didn’t want both the party and Jenapala himself to be embarrassed. Jenapala resigned as suggested. Conveniently, in April or June 2009, when the new deputy secretaries-general were appointed (I was replaced and “promoted” to Communications Director), Jenapala was left out of the new line-up.

Later, for reasons unknown to me, Jenapala decided to agitate against the party and apparently announced the formation of a new party at a press conference. (The new party didn’t take off.)

Nevertheless, the Biro Politik decided in August 2009 that, if Jenapala was really involved in forming a new party, he must be sacked. The matter was not conveyed to the disciplinary committee although they were tasked to act on that decision. So, unfortunately, no one followed up on this decision; i.e. check whether Jenapala was involved and recommend to the MPP to sack him (the MPP is the only body with the authority to sack members). You can see the minutes of the meeting at Malaysia Today.

So, yes, it’s true, there was an intention to sack Jenapala. But not in February 2009. The decision was made only in August 2009, after it was reported in some Tamil newspapers that Jenapala announced that he was forming a new party.

Yes, it’s also true that Jenapala is not fit to be a deputy president of the party. But he is entitled to contest if he is still a member of the party.

And, finally, yes, that is Saleh’s “digital signature” on the letter. But it was printed on that letter without authorisation. It was neither drafted by me (as the then deputy sec-gen in charge of disciplinary matters) nor approved by Saleh, the former sec-gen (and my boss at that time).

If there was no forgery, then some tiny people must have cobbled that letter together for the current sec-gen, Saifuddin, to show and tell at the press conference. Jokes aside, it is pertinent to ask why the lawyers for the party attempted to retract the letter as part of the evidence after it was filed in court.

P.S. I am willing to help the party officials, or even the police, if they choose to investigate these “technical” details. Of course, I’d prefer the former to call me first.

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