Zairil Khir Johari. – Photo by Siow Feng Saw
PETALING JAYA, Sept 29 — DAP delegates sent a clear message to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) by re-electing the same 20 people as the ones chosen in the ‘illegal’ party council polls held last year.
Compelled to re-hold elections by the regulatory body, the opposition party’s grassroots voted in the same central executive committee (CEC) lineup that made the cut in the party’s December polls, which the RoS later declared illegal.
Many more of the 2,000-plus delegates who qualified to vote also chose to cast their ballot for the sole Malay representative on the committee, Zairil Khir Johari, pushing his ranking from the bottom rung in December to 12th spot this time around.
The young politician garnered 1,132 votes or 329 more than the 803 votes in the December 15 party leadership election last year.
“I’d like to congratulate those elected and those who cast their votes because they endorsed the decision made by last year’s congress and they elected the same lineup,” party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng told a press conference after holding a brief meeting with the newly elected lineup here.
Many more of the 2,000-plus delegates who qualified to vote also chose to cast their ballot for Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari, pushing his ranking from the bottom rung in December to 12th spot this time around.
The young politician was the sole Malay representative on the committee and garnered 1,132 votes or 329 more than the 803 votes he netted in the December 15 party leadership election last year.
Zairil’s position in the CEC would likely help the DAP dispel its Chinese chauvinist stigma although Lim admitted that more must be done to improve the party’s standing among the country’s Malay majority.
“We have always wanted to show that we are a party for Malaysians. Whether or not it dispel (the allegation), we still have to tackle the negative perception,” he told The Malay Mail Online.
But Lim again stressed that the most important outcome of the elections is the polls results reaffirms the decision made by the grassroots in the December congress and that the party must respect it.
“We are a democratic party and we must respect their choice but what is most important is it reaffirms the decision of the congress last year,” he said.
Apart from Zairil, academic Dr. Ariffin Omar was the other Malay who was appointed rather than elected into the council.
Ariffin was also made a vice chairmen, in an apparent move to strengthen the DAP’s multiracial credentials.
Meanwhile the party maintained all of the office bearers appointed in the December congress.
The polls result also produced a surprise when Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong obtained the highest votes at 1,438, topping party veteran Lim Kit Siang who garnered 1,436 votes.
Kit Siang was first in the last polls.
National chairman Karpal Singh, on the other hand bagged third position with 1,432 votes while his son Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, obtained the fourth highest votes with 1,409 votes, with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng following closely with 1,304 votes.
Others voted into the CEC are:
- Chong Chieng Jen (1,294 votes)
- Anthony Loke (1,263 votes)
- Chow Kon Yeow (1,203 votes)
- Fong Kui Lun (1,193)
- Teng Chang Kim (1,164)
- Tony Pua (1,158)
- Teresa Kok (1,127)
- Chong Eng (1,111)
- M. Kulasegaran (1,088)
- Tan Kok wai (1,088)
- Teo Nie Ching (1,081)
- Boo Cheng Hau (961)
- Nga Kor Ming (956)
- Ngeh Koo Ham (809)