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Karpal’s one-seat proposal laid to rest

 | November 9, 2012

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng says the party will decide which candidates will be allowed to contest in the state and parliamentary seats.

GEORGE TOWN: It looks like Karpal Singh’s one man-one seat proposal has been shunted aside. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party’s central committee will decide on which candidate will be allowed to stand in state and parlimentary seats.

Lim said this will be decided on a case-by-case merit.

He added that the party needed to study the situation in-depth before deciding on whether to field a candidate for both parliamentary and state constituencies, as it very much depended on political strategy and winnability of the person.

He said the party central executive committee’s (CEC) decision was unanimous at its meeting on Monday.

Lim, who is Penang Chief Minister, also urged all party members not to talk about the one man-one seat issue publicly, especially to the Barisan Nasional-controlled mainstream media as it would affect both DAP and Pakatan Rakyat.

“Refrain from publicising an internal party mechanism to the mainstream media, which is intent on portraying and harming DAP and Pakatan negatively.

“Such negative portrayals are sensationalised to distract attention from the failed policies, lies and crony culture perpetuated by BN,” Lim said in his blog posting.

Party national chairman Karpal Singh mooted the one man-one seat formula early last year to expand the party’s electoral opportunity to fresh, younger, dynamic and energetic members.

A survey by FMT revealed that the overwhelming majority of party members and even the public backed Karpal’s idea.

They argued against preferential treatment to special ones because “all candidates were expendable and not indispensable”.

They felt they would be better represented as many had realised only greedy, selfish and power- crazy candidates would want two seats.

Conflict of interests

Currently, DAP has nine double seat elected representatives.

Apart from Lim, who is Bagan MP and Air Putih assemblyman, Penang has executive councillor and party state chairman Chow Kon Yeow as Tanjung MP and Padang Kota assemblyman and Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy as Batu Kawan MP and Prai assemblyman.

Perak has party’s state chairman Ngeh Koo Ham as Beruas MP and Sitiawan assemblyman and secretary Nga Kor Ming as Taiping MP and Pantai Remis assemblyman.

Selangor’s executive councillor and party chairman Teresa Kok Suh Sim is Seputeh MP and Kinrara assemblyperson while DAP’s Negeri Sembilan chairman and Youth chief Anthony Loke Siew Fook is Rasah MP and Lobak assemblyman.

In Sarawak, there are Sibu MP and Bukit Assek assemblyman Wong Ho Leng and Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen.

In immediate response, former DAP grassroots leader Tan Tuan Tat slammed Lim’s media gag order on the issue as a routine party tactic to deprive members’ rights to voice their opinions and support Karpal.

He said it was wrong to stop party members and the public to give their views on such an important national issue as it involved taxpayers’ money.

He said given that the double-seat holders did not want to hear negative views, the CEC imposed a gag order to shut the members’ mouth.

“How could the CEC solely decide on the crucial issue without listening to grassroots?” asked Tan, formerly DAP’s Taman Seri Sungai Pelek branch chairman and Selangor publicity secretary.

He alleged the gag order was to isolate the subject matter as a CEC’s prerogative merely to safeguard the Lim Dynasty’s political interests.

“How could the CEC make a fair and just decision on it when majority of its members are double-hat wearers?

“It’s conflict of interests,” Tan told FMT.

He proposed DAP set up an independent internal panel that would exclude CEC members and double-hat wearers, to get feedback from grassroots members across the country on the issue.
He challenged the CEC to decide on the one man-one seat issue based on the feedback as grassroots members must have a “big say” on the issue.

“I’m sure the majority of grassroots would call for a one man-one seat proposal for all candidates without exemption to the rule,” claimed Tan.

Do you agree with Karpal Singh’s ‘one candidate- one seat’ policy? Take part in FMT Poll to express your opinion.


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