Monday 24 September 2012

Ex-DAP leaders: We are not with Tunku Aziz

The four ex-DAP leaders who were mentioned by the speakers during an anti-DAP ceramah in Penang last week are upset their names were dragged into the latter’s campaign to denigrate their former party.

The former party leaders Gooi Hock Seng, Teoh Teik Huat, Goh Kheng Huat and Ong Hock Aun have since joined PKR and have remained cordial with their partners in DAP.

penang anti dap forum 220912 04Gooi, a practising lawyer, said he was surprised when he was informed that the speakers, including former DAP senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, welcomed his presence at the ceramah.

Gooi, who was former Bukit Bendera MP, said he was even more surprised when Tunku Aziz made such a claim when he was not in Penang at the time.
“If he chose to invoke my presence as a former DAP member to lend credibility to his campaign, I think he should come to his senses as we don’t belong to the same league,” said Gooi, who was a former PKR supreme council member.

“He should do his homework, not all former DAP members behave like him. My past personal differences with the DAP are strictly private,” said Gooi in a strong statement.

Gooi, the former state party deputy chief prior to 1998, denied that he was anti-DAP,  saying that he maintains a cordial relationship with many DAP members.

He added that probably Tunku Aziz was  not aware that he had been a member of PKR since 2000.

At ceramah out of curiosity

Gooi was responding to the anti-DAP ceramah held by Tunku Aziz and three former party members - Selangor chief Teresa Kok’s former volunteer assistant Tan Chee Chong, sacked Sepang parliamentary liaison committee member Tan Tuan Tat and sacked former member Yap Kon Ming.

Tunku Aziz, a former Transparency International chief, joined DAP in 2008 and departed dramatically in May, after his stand against Bersih 3.0 which was against the party’s stand.

The two-hour ceramah comprised of DAP bashing, especially directed towards its leaders - secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, and senior party adviser and Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang.

Gooi and Teoh, the former state chief, had contributed to the 1986, 1990 and 1995 election campaigns and were fully in charge of the party’s strategy, direction, slogans and policy on the slate of candidates and even the choice of candidates.

The duo fell out with the party leadership during the 1995 general election over the use of the Robocop image to symbolise the Tanjong 3 campaign.

According to Kit Siang, who was then party secretary-general, the symbol was exploited by former prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,  BN leaders and the media to “belittle and  attack” him as a robot and a soulless person.

penang anti dap forum 220912 leafletGooi, Teoh and several others were also implicated with allegedly trying to rid the party of Kit Siang and Karpal Singh, in what was widely known as the KOKs campaign.

When contacted, Teoh said he attended the talk at the Leong See Kah Miew hall in Penang on Friday, with three others “out of curiosity”.

“I was there with two others as observers. Former DAP Nibong Tebal MP Goh Kheng Huat was there with me. I feel that probably the speakers mistook the other two, who were my friends, as Gooi and Ong, though the two were not present,” said Teoh.

“I don’t know Tunku Aziz, so I do not see any reason why he must welcome me,” added the former DAP Bagan MP.

When asked if he saw the actions by the speakers as an attempt to create the impression that the four had joined forces with them against the DAP, Teoh said, “That seems to be the whole idea.”

However, he felt that the attempt was unnecessary as the four maybe ex-DAP members but they had never been against the party.

“We never had any problems with DAP. There was only differences in leadership style. Whatever we did not like, we expressed it,” said Teoh, who also joined PKR around 2000 and remains a member.

“I still support DAP until now. I support its policies like multi-culturalism and Malaysian Malaysia. We only speak on issues, and not on personalities and personal attacks.”

‘Don’t misuse our names’

Ong, a current life member of PKR, was also upset his name was mentioned, especially when he did not turn up at the event and was not aware of the matter until he read about it in the newspapers.

“I love DAP and appreciate DAP until today. Until today, I still tell people to vote for DAP. I do not have any problem with DAP,” said the former DAP assemblyperson for Air Itam.

Ong joined PKR in 2007 and stood as a candidate for the Air Itam seat, which he lost, and is currently the Jelutong PKR information chief.

“Please do not misuse my name. I was shocked and surprised to learn that my name has been mentioned in the forum. I am not with them. I do not have any problems with DAP,” he told Tunku Aziz and the other speakers.

Goh, who jumped to PKR during the 2004 election, said he merely stood outside the fence to observe the ceramah as there was a big screen outside the hall.

He added that he was probably recognised by several people who had informed Tunku Aziz and other speakers about his presence.

penang anti dap forum 220912 01He stressed that he was at the ceramah as an observer and as a member of the public who went there out of curiosity as he had never listened to Tunku Aziz speak before.

“It is not because I agree with him or want to join forces with them. They never approached me and it is definitely impossible for me to join their coming ceramah as a speaker,” said Goh, who left PKR after the 2008 elections, when contacted.

The speakers had said they would go on a road trip to expose the DAP and would go as far as Sabah and Sarawak if they were invited to do so.

“I am currently not a member of any political party. Every citizen has the right to listen to any ceramah, no matter if the speakers are from BN, Pakatan or NGOs,” he said.

When asked to comment about Tunku Aziz’s speech, Goh said, “No comment”.

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