- PRU: Pakatan Perak sudah sedia tumbang BN, kata pengerusi DAP
- Ngeh says jealousy behind ‘dictator’ label
- Perak DAP accept’s Kula’s decision, will not ‘force’ him
Posted: 18 Nov 2010 07:19 AM PST
Oleh Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider
November 17, 2010
AYER TAWAR, 17 Nov - Empat hari ini selepas pemilihan sengit, DAP mengisytiharkan Pakatan Rakyat Perak sudah bersedia untuk menghadapi Barisan Nasional (BN) jika pilihan raya umum tergempar diadakan dalam waktu terdekat.
Berbanding negeri-negeri lain, Pakatan Rakyat Perak dikatakan lebih padu di sebalik krisis politik yang menimpa negeri itu awal tahun lalu, menyebabkan kerajaan negeri jatuh ke tangan BN.
Pakatan Rakyat masih melihat perubahan awal 2009 sebagai satu bentuk 'rampasan kuasa' oleh BN, yang turut membawa kepada krisis perlembagaan negeri.
Dalam temu bual eksklusif, Pengerusi DAP Perak yang baru Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham berkata, sejak 'rampasan' kuasa lebih setahun lalu, kesemua pemimpin dan ahli Pakatan Rakyat di negeri terus-menerus bekerja keras untuk memastikan satu lagi "kemenangan", yang lebih besar berbanding 2008, dalam pilihan raya umum ke-13.
"Saudara-saudara kami dalam Pakatan Rakyat, kami sangat rapat di Perak, bukan hanya disebabkan krisis tetapi disebabkan kami mempunyai pemimpin-pemimpin yang baik, disegani, matang dan berupaya.
"Dan, ya, kami sudah bersedia (untuk menghadapi pilihan raya umum). Sebenarnya kami berada dalam persekitaran pilihan raya sejak (kuasa) kerajaan negeri disambar. Dan, sekarang pilihan raya akan dipanggil pada bila-bila masa, kami sudah bersedia.
"Saya percaya jentera pilihan raya kami berada dalam kedudukan mantap," kata beliau kepada The Malaysian Insider di sini.
Bagaimanapun Ngeh mengakui, ekoran siri peristiwa ketika krisis perlembagaan selepas kuasa kerajaan negeri disambar, jentera Pakatan Rakyat kini amat terdesak untuk mendapatkan lebih banyak dana dan dalam kadar secepat yang mungkin.
"Apabila jentera kami diperkaya, maka kami boleh bergerak dengan lancar. Kami telah membelanjakan jumlah yang banyak bagi membiayai perbelanjaan khususnya untuk membayar kos kepada BN ketika kes mahkamah," kata beliau.
Pakatan Rakyat Perak terlibat dalam siri kes mahkamah ke atas BN sejak Februari 2009, dalam usaha mengisytiharkan kerajaan negeri sebagai tidak sah.
Pun begitu, bekas exco kerajaan negeri kanan Perak ini berkata, pihaknya sudah berjaya menyaksikan kemajuan dalam menerokai sokongan di kalangan pengundi kawasan luar bandar di mana ia kalah besar di tangan BN pada 8 Mac 2008.
Pada 2008, Perak yang secara tradisi dikuasai, BN jatuh ke tangan pembangkang dengan perbezaan hanya tiga kerusi.
DAP menyapu bersih di kesemua 18 kerusi yang ditandingi khususnya di kawasan Lembah Kinta manakala PKR menang di tujuh kerusi manakala PAS pula enam.
BN pula terus bertapak di 28 kerusi, kebanyakannya di kawasan luar bandar yang majoriti adalah pengundi Melayu. MCA menang satu kerusi manakala MIC kalah teruk.
PKR, DAP dan PAS membentuk kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat pada awal pagi 9 Mac 2008 - sehari selepas pengundian.
Bagaimanapun kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat tumbang ekoran tindakan tiga wakil rakyatnya - dua dari PKR dan seorang pemimpin DAP keluar dan mereka bertindak sebagai anggota mesra BN.
Selepas siri usaha perundangan untuk memperoleh kembali kuasa kerajaan negeri, Pakatan Rakyat Perak kini memberi tumpuan untuk mendapatkan semula kemenangan dalam pilihan raya umum tergempar yang dijangka diadakan tidak lama lagi.
Dewan Tertinggi BN akan mengadakan mesyuarat Sabtu ini, dijangka memberi tumpuan ke atas persediaan menghadapi pilihan raya umum ke-13 dan konvensyen mereka.
Di Perak, halangan besar Pakatan Rakyat ialah mendapatkan undi orang Melayu khususnya di kawasan-kawasan separa bandar dan luar bandar yang ditandingi Umno pada pilihan raya umum 2008.
Bagaimanapun Ngeh kekal yakin bahawa disebabkan gabungan ketidakadilan yang disebabkan oleh BN dan prestasi kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat selama 10 bulan, pengaruh mereka di kalangan pengundi terus mengalami peningkatan.
"Kami percaya dan berharap bahawa kini kami memiliki sekurang-kurangnya 40 peratus sokongan pengundi Melayu dari kawasan luar bandar," katanya.
"Secara ideal, sasaran kami bukan untuk menang dengan majoriti tiga kerusi. Kali ini, kami meletakkan sasaran untuk menang dua pertiga daripada 59 kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri di Perak," kata Ngeh.
Ngeh juga mendakwa berdasarkan pada sentimen umum pengundi di kawasan-kawasan kuat Umno, pengundi-pengundi Melayu kini lebih terbuka ke arah Pakatan Rakyat.
"Ia satu perubahan besar. Sebelum Mac 2008, DAP tidak boleh menaikkan bendera di kawasan-kawasan itu. Kami tidak boleh masuk langsung wilayah mereka.
"Tetapi sekarang, mereka mengalu-alukan saya dan apabila saya datang, saya bercakap kepada kehadiran sekitar 2,000 orang, saya merasakan diri saya dialu-alukan," kata beliau.
DAP, kata beliau, sudah tidak lagi dianggap sebagai parti "cauvinis Cina atau parti komunis."
Begitu juga sebaliknya kata Ngeh sambil menambah, pengundi komuniti Cina juga sudah tidak bimbang dengan parti-parti berorientasikan bukan Cina.
Kata beliau, mereka sudah mula menerima parti-parti pelbagai kaum seperti PKR dan PAS yang berlatarbelakangkan dasar Islam.
"Ini yang kami lakukan sekarang bagi memastikan ada sokongan bukan Melayu bagi PKR dan PAS di kawasan yang DAP tidak bertanding," katanya.
Kata beliau, pihaknya kini dalam proses memujuk masyarakat Cina agar tidak bimbang dengan kedua-dua parti itu dan sedang bergerak untuk melepasi halangan-halangan sedemikian di Perak.
Bercakap mengenai strategi, kata Ngeh, gandingan Pakatan Rakyat sudah ada perwakilan di kesemua 24 bahagian Parlimen di negeri itu.
"Kami sudah membentuk jawatankuasa perhubungan Pakatan Rakyat di setiap kawasan Parlimen, diwakili oleh sembilan orang, dengan tiga wakil daripada setiap parti," kata beliau.
Tambah beliau, setiap parti komponen Pakatan Rakyat juga dijangka menyediakan perkhidmatan di kawasan yang kemungkinan mereka akan bertanding dalam pilihan raya umum ke-13.
Ngeh juga berkata, peruntukan kerusi membabitkan ketiga-tiga komponen Pakatan Rakyat dijangka sama seperti dua tahun lalu.
"Ia bukan satu masalah bagi kami. Benar, DAP menyerahkan dua kerusi kepada PKR, tetapi kami tidak bergaduh sesama kami untuk kerusi.
"Apa yang penting ialah hubungan kami kukuh. Itu sebabnya, Pakatan Rakyat Perak sangat rapat... kawasan anda dianggap sebagai kawasan kami dan kami melihat kami sebagai pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat, bukan hanya pemimpin parti sendiri," kata beliau lagi.
Pada 8 Mac 2008, DAP bertanding di 18 kerusi, PKR di 20 kawasan manakala PAS pula 21.
Posted: 18 Nov 2010 07:08 AM PST
By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider
November 18, 2010
AYER TAWAR, Nov 18 — Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, who easily won re-election last weekend as Perak DAP chairman, is claiming that jealousy is behind the widely-held perception that both he and his cousin Nga Kor Ming are dictators.
In an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider earlier this week, the veteran leader, who is now into his seventh term as state party chairman since 1998, lamented that the term "dictator" was likely pinned on him by people who disliked him and Nga were jealous as they had become so popular in the party.
Describing it as the scourge of Malaysian politics, Ngeh pointed to the example of the father-son team of DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
"We see it often in Malaysian politics. And like Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng, even though they have both served time in prison, people call it a dynasty.
"What dynasty, I would like to ask? I would like to point to the example of how the church preaches that a pastor who does not push his son to become a pastor like him is not setting a good example. Because being a pastor is a sacrificial position and before you ask someone else to sacrifice, you have to be willing to sacrifice your own son first," he charged.
He pointed out that Kit Siang's willingness to sacrifice his own son in prison to fight for the rights of the people should be considered as "exemplary" instead of a "dynasty".
"I know them so well. They have sacrificed so much for the people and both even went to prison for it," he said.
Ngeh noted that the reason why both he and Nga were accused of being dictators was purely psychological as it played on the basic human instinct of jealousy.
"It is just about that... the basic human instinct: jealousy. They see us up there as cousins and they call us dictators because we are both in power and we are cousins.
"It is totally unfair," he said.
Ngeh (picture) pointed out that if he was a substandard party leader and had a bad track record, he would not have been voted back into power during Sunday's polls.
"If Ngeh and Nga are lazy, if Ngeh and Nga are corrupt, if Ngeh and Nga are seeking benefits for themselves and not sacrificing, if Ngeh and Nga are not doing work, if Ngeh and Nga are for any reason, negative, then by all means reject us.
"But do not reject us when we have been sacrificing so much; our time, our money, our family and personal lives, do not reject us simply because we are cousins... it is totally unfair," he said.
Ngeh added that the negative perception of him and Nga had prolonged because they had always chosen not to react to accusations.
"I have said that I would willingly suffer the injustice of being denied the right to reply and be subject to hurtful attacks assailed against me than to put my party in jeopardy and cause the mission of the people to be derailed.
"A good soldier is willing to keep a secret to safeguard a nation and risk being shot. This bad impression is given because I do not reply in the media. But it is a cost I would rather pay than to speak on the outside and cause the whole party to suffer," he said.
Ngeh acknowledged that the accusations had begun even during the time when Pakatan Rakyat helmed the government in Perak, noting that they were merely "a pack of lies".
Among others, former PKR assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu, had levelled numerous complaints against both Ngeh and Nga, claiming that the duo often bulldozed decisions through during state executive council meetings.
All were a part of the state executive council line-up following Election 2008.
Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman had claimed in earlier interviews that their anger with Ngeh and Nga had been one of their primary reasons for abandoning Pakatan Rakyat (PR), a move which had caused the downfall of the Perak PR government in February 2009.
Besides them, former DAP assemblyman Datuk Hee Yit Foong had done the same and had also complained that the cousins had sidelined her when they refused to offer her a spot on the state executive council line-up.
"Firstly, both Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman never spoke out in our meetings. We made hundreds of decisions and only on one or two issues they spoke out and we were in agreement with their arguments.
"We were very professional and (former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad) Nizar (Jamaluddin) was very good. We would always go one round and ask everyone for their opinions... it was a perfect power-sharing formula and never before was it ever this democratic in the government," Ngeh said.
On Hee's case, Ngeh claimed that he had been very fair to have offered her the post of deputy Speaker in the state assembly.
"Her qualification was only up to Form Five and not that I am saying it's a bad thing or I am looking down on her. Then, she is also a polio victim and she often complains about travelling. To be an exco member, you have to travel.
"So I thought that the perfect position to give her was the deputy Speaker's post," he reasoned.
Ngeh also denied that he had manipulated the votes on Sunday, pointing out that it was close to impossible for him to have forced such a large number of delegates to vote for him.
"We have 175 branches and over 1,200 delegates. It is impossible for me to control the minds of all the voters to choose me. In fact, one-third of them did not vote me and this shows there is freedom to exercise the right not to vote for me.
"How could I be dictatorial just because people voted for me? I do not have a gun to threaten them, I do not have anything to entice or seduce them to my side. But if the people, by my track record, want to vote for me, if they think I am popular, then what is wrong with having a huge majority?" he said.
During Sunday's polls, the Ngeh-Nga cousins made a near-clean sweep of the 15 posts on the Perak DAP state leadership committee and sailed to an easy victory.
While the duo had polled the top two highest number of votes, their arch-rival in an opposing camp led by former state deputy chairman M. Kulasegaran failed to even make it onto the team.
Kulasegaran and team members like Thomas Su Keong Siong, Keong Meng Sing, Cheong Chee Khing, Seah Leong Peng and Frankie Wong failed to secure a spot on the state committee.
Only one person in his camp scraped through in last place — Jalong assemblyman Leong Mee Meng.
The results were a resounding slap in the face for Kulasegaran, the Ipoh Barat MP, who for months had been attacking the cousins, accusing them of being difficult to work with and too top-down in their leadership style.
The leadership crisis flared last month when an angry Kulasegaran threatened to quit his state posts in the party following an unresolved dispute with the Ngeh-Nga cousins during a special meeting in Ipoh.
Although the leader was finally convinced to stay, tension between the two warring factions continued to rise and Sunday's polls were a crucial stepping stone for Kulasegaran and his team to topple the cousins in Perak.
Despite their failure, the cousins and the newly-elected team of state committee members decided to co-opt Kulasegaran back into the state leadership as vice-chairman.
But Kulasegaran has yet to decide on the offer.
He has instead charged that there were irregularities during Sunday's polls, claiming that there were 50 questionable branches represented by 350 delegates who were allowed to vote in the convention.
Ngeh however refuted this, pointing out that the state leadership did not have a hand in conducting the polls.
"Let us just move forward. The delegates have spoken. And I would like to clarify that everything was organised by the central executive committee. All our agents were from out of state.
"The qualification of branches was decided by our party headquarters and the Registrar of Societies so I think we should no longer question that. Everything was done professionally... let us move ahead and plan for the future," he said.
Posted: 18 Nov 2010 05:52 AM PST
POH, Nov 18 — The Perak DAP leadership has accepted M.Kulasegaran's decision to reject its offer to be vice-chairman and will not "force" the leader to change his mind.
State chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham told The Malaysian Insider this evening that the party would respect his former deputy's decision but still hoped to work closely with him.
"We still wanted him to work with us in the state committee, which was why we invited him onboard.
"However, if he has rejected the offer, we cannot force him to change his mind," he said when contacted.
Ngeh added that the party still considered Kulasegaran as invaluable to Perak DAP due to his seniority and political experience.
"We still hope to work with him in the future, in his capacity as an experienced and capable politician," he said.
Ngeh would not field questions on whether Kulasegaran's decision was a direct snub of his leadership, expressing hope that the issue would not be played up in the media.
"I think it is best we lay it to rest, there is no need to comment on these presumptions. Kulasegaran has the right to make his decision and we respect it," he said.
In a media statement today, Kulasegaran announced that he would not accept the party's offer to be vice-chairman, citing the present circumstances in Perak DAP as his primary reason.
"After having weighed all opinions and taking into consideration the present political development and circumstances within Perak DAP, I have decided to decline the cooption offer from the state committee as a state committee member and as state vice chairman," he said.
The leader had suffered a major defeat during last Sunday's party polls when his entire team of supporters were wiped out from the state leadership.
Kulasegaran himself, formerly a deputy chairman in Perak DAP, had failed to secure a spot in one of the 15 state committee posts up for grabs.
The polls results were vastly different from the party's previous elections in 2008 when Kulasegaran emerged top and polled the highest number of votes, above both his archrivals in the party, Ngeh and his cousin Nga Kor Ming.
This Sunday, it was both Ngeh and Nga who polled the top two highest votes and those said to be on their team sailed to an easy victory, snapping up 14 of the 15 state committee posts.
The duo was later reappointed to their original posts with Ngeh as chairman and Nga as the party secretary.
Only one member of Kulasegaran's team made it into the team – Jalong assemblyman Leong Mee Meng – but even then, she only scraped through at the last 15th spot.
Despite being the former state treasurer, Leong was not given a post in the committee.
Others like incumbent state committee members Thomas Su Keong Siong, Seah Leong Peng, Keong Meng Sing and Cheong Chee Khing, as well as newcomer Frankie Wong, all known Kulasegaran supporters, failed to make the cut.
Despite this, the newly-elected committee agreed unanimously to co-opt Kulasegaran back into the team as vice-chairman, along with former vice-chairman A. Sivanesan and three others.
The party's constitution provides for the co-option of five state committee members, to be handpicked by the newly elected team.
Tomorrow, Sivanesan, a close ally to both warring factions, will announce his decision in a press conference at 11am on whether to accept the vice-chairman's post.
Earlier, the Sungkai assemblyman had told The Malaysian Insider that he was uncomfortable with the idea of entering the state committee through the "back door", pointing out that he had lost in the polls and fully respected the decision of the delegates.
Today, he said that before making his decision, he would take into account several factors including the issue of party unity and feedback from his supporters and party loyalists.
"I have been receiving many SMSes from leaders and supporters so I will take everything into account. But whatever it is, the party's interest must come first," he said.
When asked if he would likely accept the post, Sivanesan declined to comment but added, "I will say this much – I will not let down the people and the party."
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