Will the DAP be able to undo the damage and bring Tunku Aziz back into the fold? (Graphic by Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: The resignation of DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim from his party post and membership last night provoked mixed reactions online, and left the senator’s former comrades scrambling to deal with his departure.
Tunku Aziz came into conflict with other leaders in the DAP before the April 28 Bersih 3 rally, saying he opposed the rally despite his party’s support for it. Party leaders distanced themselves from his criticism of Bersih and then took action, deciding not to extend his senatorship.
During an interview on NTV7 last night, Tunku Aziz said he was resigning from the party “based on what they have said and given the very deep chasm, very wide differences now which are irreconcilable”.
Blogger Hantu Laut praised Tunku Aziz for his decision and criticised the DAP.
“A man with so much integrity yet the party that shouted the loudest about corruptions in the country abused his judgement on such triviality as his consternation of Bersih 3’s unlawful activity,” the blogger wrote, adding: “Maybe, it's a blessing in disguise for the Tunku, he was never made to fit in such chauvinistic and histrionic environment.”
“Obviously, a little success has made DAP big-headed and arrogant,” he said.
Another blogger, Sri Tri Buana, said the treatment of Tunku Aziz by the DAP “only proves one thing: there is no place for Malays in that party except those willing to become puppets”.
“The DAP is an ethnic Chinese party. Clearly. Other ethnic groups are only decorations and trophies,” the blogger said. “And as or the name Democratic Action Party, the DAP is the most undemocratic party. It’s not led by a President but by a Secretary-General and politburo. Like communists.”
Parpu Kari wrote in his blog: “Finally a high-ranking Malay in the DAP leaves that racist party!”
“I want to congratulate Tunku Aziz. You are someone who is decisive! I respect you,” he said.
Blogger Tunku Aishah said Tunku Aziz should not have joined the DAP in the first place.
“Tunku Aziz made biggest mistake when he joined DAP. He should have stayed as an NGO and fight what he believes in to make the country better,” she said.
“DAP is not a democratic and clean party as they claim to be,” she added. “They are the worst dictator. It's all about family in DAP. Hope Tunku Aziz will join some NGO soon.”
Not all of the commentary on Tunku Aziz’s resignation was praise. There was backlash as well, with several critical comments appearing at Malaysia Today.
“Tunku may have refrained from badmouthing DAP leaders. However, to appear on UMNO-controlled media to indicate support for BN is bad enough. There is really no need to go on TV to announce his resignation,” one commenter wrote.
“If he was a gentleman, he could have quietly left without making a fuss,” the reader added. “Tunku going on TV is a psychological blow against DAP and PR. Has he turned or is he being manipulated? Or plain naive? It is anyone's guess but for sure he is no longer the ‘good guy’ to many people.”
Another Malaysia Today reader wrote: “Tunku Aziz being the intelligent man he is, should have known that you must not give succour to a corrupt oligarchy which has been responsible for the systemic rot in our country. Sadly however, this is exactly what he did, either knowingly or unknowingly.”
“I was suspicious of Tunku Aziz's negative comments regarding Bersih 3.0 because it came so late in the day and I noticed that he did not once question why the powers that be considered Dataran Merdeka to be an unsuitable venue,” the reader said. “I was waiting for him to go all the way and resign from the DAP and he did not disappoint like a true Umno trojan.”
“Malaysians should move on and not be sidetracked by duplicitous, self-serving and puffed up individuals with democratic pretensions,” the reader added.
While some had foreseen Tunku Aziz’s resignation, DAP leaders appeared to be caught off guard and expressed disappointment.
DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang wrote on Twitter that he was “heart-broken” by Tunku Aziz’s announcement and wished him the best.
Kit Siang’s son, DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng, said in a statement that he hoped Tunku Aziz would reconsider.
“DAP is big enough for Tunku Abdul Aziz to remain as National Vice-Chair and accommodate his ‘irreconcilable differences’ with the DAP on Bersih’s quest to conduct a sit-in protest in Dataran Merdeka to press for clean elections,” Guan Eng said.
“I would like to express my sadness at Tunku’s announcement. DAP believes in freedom of speech and that every member and leader has a right to differ,” he said.
“Despite Tunku’s open dissent, the DAP leadership does not want him to leave the party but remain as DAP Vice-Chair,” he said, adding he hoped the matter could be resolved “within the party in the spirit of comradeship”.
“I will contact Tunku to see him to discuss with him and hope he can change his mind about leaving the party,” he said.
In a reply to Lim Kit Siang's tweet, Twitter user Ramesh Periasamy said: "Go get Tunku back. I assure you that it's worth the effort. Never let such a character leave for such (a) trivial issue."