There has been plenty of debate and finger-pointing recently claiming the BN was arm-twisting the Registrar of Societies to ensure DAP did not contest in the coming general election.
However, before one hurls just accusations, we must also look at the other possibility as to whether the call for re-election of the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) actually came from within the party itself.
Look back to February this year when three of DAP’s assemblymen and a party stalwart resigned, citing a lack of confidence in the party leadership.
It is no secret there is plenty of unhappiness and dissatisfaction within the party itself, especially over the father-son monopoly of Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng.
Over the years, with increasing number of younger members voicing calls for reform and change, Kit Siang who has for years been controlling the party, felt threatened, especially from the likes of the ever-popular skin doctor – Dr Tan Seng Giaw.
Even back in 2013, when the ROS ordered a re-election of DAP’s CEC after it found irregularities and manipulation of votes by the party in its December 2012 election, there were strong rumours that this was prompted by complaints from within DAP.
This discontentment continued to grow over the years and finally when the bubble burst, members, including the Malacca four – Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him, Bachang assemblyman Lim Jak Wong, Kesidang assemblyman Chin Choon Seong and Duyong assemblyman Goh Leong San quit.
Among the reasons cited for calling a re-election in 2013 were vote-rigging and dubious counting of votes.
Many pointed to Kit Siang’s blue-eyed boy, Anthony Loke as man behind the scenes, ensuring his puppet master remained in power.
DAP insiders revealed that had the CEC elections gone on without any interference or manipulation, there was a strong likelihood that the two Lims would have been slowly forced into retirement.
Another reason for the unhappiness within the DAP is the sudden close rapport and co-operation the leadership has chosen to forge with Tun Mahathir.
This was pointed out by former DAP national vice-chairman, Tunku Abdul Aziz, who said many DAP members were disillusioned with the leadership’s closeness with Mahathir.
“Mahathir was an enemy to the party. Why is there now a complete departure from our principles?.”
Tunku Aziz, who left the DAP in 2012, said there was a strong possibly more would leave the party.
This was echoed by former DAP members who feel party members opposing the Lim leadership should take this opportunity to make their voices heard.
“It is time for the dissenting voices in the DAP to be heard. Stop the whispering and make use of the call for fresh election of the party’s CEC,” said a former member.
He said Kit Siang had clearly overstayed his welcome, describing him as a master politician.
“He has been there for the last 50 years. During that time, he has stepped on many people’s toes and never tolerated dissenting voices. Now is the time, make the change,” he added.
However, leaders of BN component parties feel the DAP may just end up fighting the ROS all the way and take the matter to court rather than hold fresh elections.
Legally, the DAP has the option of filing for a judicial review since it was an administrative directive by the ROS.
Once leave for a judicial review is granted, the party could ask for a stay order from the court to suspend the ROS directive.
In 2014, the DAP had also filed a judicial review when the ROS threatened to declare illegal the CEC elected in 2013.
The party then withdrew the suit when the ROS said the current CEC could function pending its investigation.
For the record, back in October 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi told parliament that the probe was still on because the party had not taken measures as per ROS suggestion – which was to hold fresh elections.
Considering this, the DAP’s claim that the ROS deliberately delayed the call for a fresh election for four years to allegedly sabotage the party’s chances in the GE is not valid.
The DAP knew all this while that the 2013 CEC election was invalid.