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DAP to sue elected rep defectors for RM5m

June 17, 2010

Written by Sharon Tan & Regina William
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 22:41
The Edge

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP will enforce the agreement signed with its Perak lawmakers which stipulates a penalty of RM5 million if an elected representative leaves the party.

Speaking in the wake of Malim Nawar state assemblyman Keshvinder Singh’s resignation from the party to become a Barisan Nasional-friendly (BN) independent, Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said Keshvinder and Jelapang state assemblywoman Datuk Hee Yit Foong who turned independent last year had signed the agreement.

“After discussion, we have decided that we will enforce the contract signed between the lawmakers and the party when they became candidates. Hee and Keshvinder have signed an agreement that they will quit their post if they were to leave DAP. They will also pay compensation of RM5 million to the party,” Ngeh said at a press conference in parliament lobby on Wednesday, June 16.

He said the party had not enforced the contract earlier because it did not want people to perceive that the party was trying to punish its representatives or gain from the contract.

“The public opinion is now that these people must not benefit from betraying the constituents.

“Legal action must be taken against them,” said Ngeh. He will get the consent of the top leadership at the upcoming central working committee meeting, he said. Party leaders such as Lim Kit Siang, party chairman Karpal Singh and secretary-general Lim Guan Eng are in agreement with the course of action, he said.

Ngeh told the press that Keshvinder had been driven to turn independent by financial and personal problems. He said Keshvinder had sought help and Titi Serong assembly member from PAS Idham Lim Abdullah had provided the money to reclaim Keshvinder’s car which was repossessed by the bank.

He said Keshvinder has not disclosed the amount of his financial commitment, but had owed the party a few thousand ringgit. Ngeh told the press that Keshvinder had told him that a clerk in Keshvinder’s law firm had committed CBT involving over RM40,000.

Asked if Keshvinder had left the party because he was unhappy with Ngeh’s leadership, Ngeh replied that Keshvinder had said that turning independent had nothing to do with the state party leadership.

In George Town, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng used the current World Cup fever as an analogy in his reaction to Keshvinder’s resignation. Guan Eng blamed the “hands of bookies” for Keshvinder’s situation.

Lim said the “goal” scored by the BN with Kesvinder’s move was a “foul”.

“Even in football, during a match, you cannot switch sides and say you want to play for the winning side or for another country.

“That is not how it works. It is the same in Malaysian politics as such acts are not acceptable, but are being permitted.

“It is like scoring a goal using your hands instead of kicking the ball in.

“In Sibu we won honorably, but here the BN won by false means,” a visibly upset Lim said at a press conference.

Expressing his shock and disappointment over Keshvinder’s action, Lim said there had been no complaints from him about problems faced in the constituency.

“He stood for the general election on a DAP ticket, as an opposition candidate and he knew very well the difficulties which are often faced by the opposition in terms of development funds.

“I believe the people of Malim Nawar can see what is happening and I am sure they will return the seat to the DAP in the next general election.

“If he has any honour, he should vacate his seat as the people voted for the DAP, and not for him. It was not his personal victory for him to opt to become an independent candidate.”

Keshvinder had cited a lack of funds for development in his constituency and disappointment with the DAP, and also his loss of confidence in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as his reasons for quitting the party to become an BN-friendly assemblyman.

Keshvinder is the second DAP state assemblyman to resign after Jelapang’s Hee, whose resignation led to the collapse of the PR-run Perak government early last year, as another two PKR state representatives had quit at the same time.

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