PRESS STATEMENT DATED 27 JULY 2023 BY
YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY,
FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG
I FULLY understand that the candidate renewal process in DAP or any other party for that matter is something normal.
The DAP party leadership must engage in this process through consultation and discussion.
The national leadership cannot override the feelings and sentiments of the state leadership and that of the grass root members.
DAP, as the name suggests, is a party that holds to the principles of democracy and fair play and therefore, it goes with saying that meritocracy is the key consideration in the selection process.
The recent DAP selection process for candidates chosen to stand in the Penang state election on Aug 12 leaves much to be desired for.
The state committee provided a list of candidates, but the actual outcome seems to be something else.
A few weeks before the announcement of the candidates, a list termed as “fake” was circulated about the state line-up.
Seven incumbents were not in the list, four Exco members and three assemblymen.
It was rumoured that there was a devious attempt to remove the seven who are close to the present caretaker chief minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Anyway, since it was “fake list” it was dismissed as something not worthy of consideration.
It was argued by an exco member that the party will do the right thing.
However, while the final announcement was made on July 25, there was, however, another list that was circulated in the wee hours of the morning.
Later during the press conference, DAP’s secretary general Anthony Loke admitted that the circulated list was indeed the final one.
Interestingly, the so-called “fake list” that appeared a few weeks ago had close resemblance to the final list except for some minor changes.
The effect was that with the exception of one candidate, the six others seen as aligned to the anti-Chow Kon Yeow faction were weeded out.
What I am saying is that DAP cannot be seen as using jargons such as “bringing in new blood”, among others to camouflage the real reasons why those aligned to Chow were chopped off.
If rejuvenation required the older candidates to go then what explains the weeding out of three incumbents, two of who are in their mid 40s and late 30s respectively?
Having said that, DAP must come up with more responsible and transparent approach in explaining the renewal mechanism in Penang.
I wish that the party had some respect for the candidates who were dropped rather than a last-ditch attempt to meet them and say that they accept the decision of the party.
DAP has a long presence in the country both as an opposition party and of late component of the unity government.
Given this, the public particularly its supporters expect the party leadership to be above board in the selection of candidates.