George Town – The results of DAP party elections held on 12th of November, in particular, the dismal failure of Prof Dr P.Ramasamy to get elected into the 20-member Central Executive Committee (CEC) despite for his roles in the party, has become the popular debating topic in Tamil media and Indian based social media groups.
Ramasamy himself has not made any official statement on his loss, but a Tamil daily, ‘Tamil Malar’ carried a statement on Thursday, 16 November 2017, purportedly made by Ramasamy, stating that in democratic party elections it is normal for a leader to lose. Ramasamy goes on to say in that statement that one of the reasons for his failure to secure a seat in CEC is the absence of almost 50% of the eligible delegates who failed to turn-up for the voting.
Ramasamy also argues that however, he managed to get full support from the Indian delegates to the DAP convention and the reason for his loss is not that he was always attacking MIC and its leaders. According to reports out of the total 2,576 eligible voters only 1,356 turned up for the DAP elections. Ramasamy managed to poll only 359 votes.
Ramasamy seems to be missing one important point which he has conveniently avoided in his statement. Political observers are fully aware of DAP’s election process and it is normal for leaders to lose but the bone of contention is that he was not even appointed as one of the 10 nominated members of CEC by the DAP leadership.
DAP sources say that there was a list of candidates ‘endorsed’ by the DAP leadership and Ramasamy’s name was not on the list. Only those ‘favoured’ by the DAP leadership managed to secure a seat in CEC.
Political observers also question as to the importance of Deputy Chief Minister’s post for an Indian when that person is not even appointed as a member of the CEC by the party.
The DAP elections and the subsequent appointment of nominated members of CEC have also raised some questions about DAP championing itself as a multi-racial party. Of the 20 elected CEC members, 16 were Chinese, 3 were Indians and only one was a Malay.
Of the 10 appointed CEC members, none were Indians.
There are several reasons attributed to Ramasamy’s failure to secure a seat in CEC. His continuous attacks against MIC and its leadership and the manner he handled the ‘Golden Chariot’ issue are cited as some of the reasons for his loss. But above all, Indian leaders in DAP are of the opinion that there are clear indications that the DAP leadership is sidelining Ramasamy and preparing a new Deputy Chief Minister II to replace him. That is why he is not even incorporated into the CEC as a nominated member.
There are speculations that Ramasamy would be moved out of Penang for a Parliament seat, possibly Cameron Highlands. Alternatively, he could be simply dropped from DAP’s candidates’ list for GE-14.
The likely candidate to replace him as Deputy CM II is late Karpal Singh’s son Jagdeep Singh Deo, who is currently serving as Datuk Keramat State Assemblyman. He is also one of the EXCO members of the Penang State government.
Such a move is already clearly sensed by the Indian DAP leaders. One Indian leader, refusing to disclose his identity, agreed that such a move is possible. Although most of the Indian DAP leaders are aligned to Ramasamy, none dare to voice in his favour at this point in time as most of them are aspiring to be candidates for GE-14 which is only months away.
However, one non-government organisation (NGO) from Penang has already fired the first salvo!
According to Tamil media reports, an Indian NGO known as “Voice of Penang State’s Rights movement” under the leadership K.Raman has passed a unanimous resolution at its Annual General Meeting held recently which states that “If Pakatan Harapan forms the next state government after GE-14, only a Tamil should be appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister II”