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Borneo, DAP, Sarawak, Sarawak Politics, Sarawakian

BN components must remain united















SETTLE internal disputes. That was the recent call of Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman and Sarawak Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

With the election for parliamentary constituencies looming in Sarawak this is indeed a timely call.

The people’s trust is earned and it can only be earned when BN shows true unity, leadership and vision to lead this State to greater heights.

As human beings, there will always be conflict. This is only natural, but I believe that all BN component members love their parties and at the heart of all their efforts is wanting only the best for Sarawak .

It is indeed time for everyone to take a good hard look at the true cause of their parties, swallow their pride and do what it best for the people, not for the individual.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) Penang convention over the weekend is a good example of what happens when politicians lose sight of their call to service and think only of personalities and power.

There were protestors, banner carrying, jeering and name calling — all by DAP members themselves.

Supporters of Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P Ramasamy demonstrated against DAP chairman Karpal Singh, calling him a “pensioner” while the former stood by his remark of the latter being among the “godfathers” in the party.

Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N Rayer and Bagan Dalam assemblyman A. Thanasekaran were condemned for speaking out against Ramasamy. Rayer had accused Ramasamy of having begged to be appointed deputy chief minister.

The protesters labelled Rayer a liar while Thanasekaran was criticised for not being able to carry out his responsibilities as an assemblyman.

Wow! How can you gain the respect and trust of the people if you cannot keep your own house in order? This is what happens when the focus of your political mission is simply to gain power.

The brouhaha at the DAP Penang convention should be a lesson to BN component parties.

Remember the true mission of your parties — to serve the people and bring this nation to greater heights.

Pehin Sri Taib also pointed out that no one would be neglected under BN rule as all the ingredients of the party’s development agenda depended on the skills of the rakyat.

“In this respect, I call upon all communities, irrespective of ethnicity, to pool our resources together to realise our struggles in transforming our society into an industrious, knowledgeable, and innovative one in line with our quest to become a developed nation”.

The report from The Borneo Post:

CM: Unity crucial for BN to stay in power

By Lee Ya Yun

KUCHING: Unity in all BN component parties is crucial for BN to continue to rule the country, said Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday.

In the context of Sarawak, he said the four state BN component parties should undertake serious efforts to settle all internal disputes so that there won’t be any negative perceptions which could jeopardise the people’s confidence in the ruling coalition.

The chief minister added that it was the target of the State BN to continue its victorious streak in the next general election, which is expected to be called soon.

“To friends and comrades of BN Sarawak, let’s stay united and work as a team so that we can deliver good results for BN in the 13th general election. It is vital for us to settle any internal disputes so that people would not lose their confidence on us just because of the problems,” he said at the opening of the 22nd triennial delegates’ conference (TDC) of SUPP here.

His text-of-speech was read by Minister of Housing Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is also PBB deputy president.

Taib expressed confidence that by strengthening the spirit of unity, the state BN would one day be able to regain those seats that were lost to the opposition during the 10th state election in April this year.

“The main reason we lost 16 seats to the opposition was due to “dirty tricks and propaganda by our opponents.”

However, he also admitted that “our policies were not clearly understood in certain urban areas”.

In the April 16 state polls, BN lost 12 seats to the DAP, three to PKR and one to an independent candidate.

Taib assured that no one would be neglected under BN rule as all the ingredients of its development agenda depended on the skills of the rakyat.

“In this respect, I call upon all communities, irrespective of ethnicity, to pool our resources together to realise our struggles in transforming our society into an industrious, knowledgeable, and innovative one in line with our quest to become a developed nation”.

The opening ceremony was graced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Also present were SUPP president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, secretary-general Datuk Sim Kheng Hui and organising secretary-cum-SUPP presidential hopeful Datuk Seri Peter Chin.

A report from The Star:

Truce bid fails and DAP war worsens

By Zalinah Noordin and Winnie Yeoh

BUTTERWORTH: Attempts to broker a truce between DAP chairman Karpal Singh and Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy have broken down with both sides openly attacking each other now.

Both factions traded insults while some 150 supporters of Dr Ramasamy demonstrated against Karpal, calling him a “pensioner” while the former stood by his “godfather” remark.

Karpal retaliated immediately, warning Dr Ramasamy to behave and snubbed him by asking aloud “who is Ramasamy?”

The quarrel between the duo at the annual Penang DAP convention held at a hotel here yesterday shocked DAP leaders in attendance as many had presumed that the issue would be handled delicately, especially after DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang’s 11th hour intervention on Saturday to strike a compromise.

His efforts came to nothing when one group went ahead to stage a protest outside the venue while Karpal lambasted Dr Ramasamy in his address.

On the sidelines, Dr Ramasamy was unrepentant when asked whether he would withdraw his “godfather” remark which was first reported in a Tamil newspaper.

“I do not understand the meaning of that word (apologise). I am not intimidated,” he said.

In his speech later, he sounded conciliatory by stating that he was willing to leave the DAP: “I will go home to Sitiawan (Perak) to (regroup).”

He said that he would do so as his pride was at stake.

Opening the convention earlier, Karpal demanded that Dr Ramasamy retract his “godfather” remark and apologise.

“Who built DAP?” the Bukit Gelugor MP drummed across the hall. “It is the veterans who built the party and we should not forget their sacrifices. The party would not be around without their sacrifices. I do not mince my words.”

Karpal said Dr Ramasamy “cannot just join DAP and impose things his own way.”

No one can be a warlord in DAP, Karpal stressed.

At one juncture, Karpal was disrupted by a war of words among members who had to be calmed down.

The uproar affected the convention as 10 out of the 13 speakers addressed the flare-up between the duo.

At the end, Dr Ramasamy walked over to the wheelchair-bound Karpal to shake his hands but the latter was seen turning away his face.

The protest was held outside the convention’s venue at Pearl View Hotel here by supporters of state party deputy chairman Dr P. Ramasamy, who has been criticised by the trio for his ‘godfather’ remark after he went on to name several of his cronies as candidates for the next general elections.

Penang DAP meeting turns chaotic

By Sharanjit Singh, Audrey Dermawan and Looi Sue-Chern

PRAI: The state DAP convention started off on an explosive note yesterday morning, with protestors with protesters showing disrespect towards party chairman Karpal Singh and jeering two state party leaders RSN Rayer and A. Thanasekaran.

The remark had since escalated into Rayer accusing Ramasamy of having begged to be appointed deputy chief minister.

Rayer’s ‘expose’ that was reported in the press last week angered Ramasamy’s supporters, who demanded an apology from the Seri Delima assemblyman.

The protesters at the hotel’s entrance bore banners that condemned both Rayer and Thanasekaran for speaking out against Ramasamy.

The banners in Tamil, English and Malay read: ‘Indians do not insult Indians’, ‘the deputy chief minister post is not something begged for’, ‘Who are you Rayer? Traitor of Indians’, and ‘Our full support to YB Prof Ramasamy’.

Rayer was also labelled a liar while Thanasekaran was criticised for being lacking in carrying out his responsibilities as an assemblyman in Bagan Dalam.

The protestors, who had gathered at the hotel entrance from 8am, initially stood quietly while holding up their banners, but at 9.45am they became rowdy as soon as Karpal Singh arrived.

They shouted ‘we want Ramasamy’ and ‘where is Rayer?’ as he exited his vehicle on his wheelchair.

His aides and other party members quickly surrounded him and ushered him into the building before any reporters could get an immediate response from the reverred party leader.

Thanasekaran, who arrived about two minutes later was also booed.

It was meanwhile learned that Rayer and Ramasamy had arrived too but had entered the hotel through a different entrance.

Although New Straits Times could only make out some 50 active protestors at the scene, Taman Alma DAP chief David Marshel claimed that 200 people were involved.

He said it was wrong of both Rayer and Thanasekaran to call for press conferences to criticise Ramasamy, as it was an internal party matter that could be discussed at the convention.

“There were many internal channels they could have used but instead they went to the press…this showed that they were playing politics,” he told reporters.

However, when asked whether it was right to further blow up the matter by holding a protest, he said it was right to do it so that the sentiments of Ramasamy’s followers could be made clear.

At about 11am, an hour after state party members had entered the hotel for the convention, the protestors left the scene.

Meanwhile, the NST, TV3 and Malay daily Utusan Malaysia were barred from entering the convention for coverage.



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