The Star - Amending the results of the recent DAP election because of a supposed error in the tallying of votes has raised widespread controversy, with various sectors convinced that it was done purely to bring in a Malay into the central executive committee.
Barisan Nasional and other leaders were especially skeptical because the blunder the party claimed made was disclosed only 19 days after the Dec 15 polls following the flak it got for not electing any Malay.
Moreover, they noted that the amendments pushed up Zairil Khir Johari - political secretary to Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng - from 39th to 20th position to make him the last elected member of the CEC.
Vincent Wu, who was initially declared to have secured the sixth spot with 1,202 votes, dropped to 26th place because he had actually secured only 669, according to the DAP.
Barisan leaders said the DAP had amended the results under pressure to “prove” that the party was multi-racial.
Kota Belud MP Datuk Rahman Dahlan said the coincidence that Zairil was elected into the CEC after the party had another look at the results was “too convenient”.
“If DAP did this to please the Malays, then they are sorely mistaken,” he said. “The Malays will be further insulted by this action. The party has already insulted the community when none was voted in earlier,” he added.
The DAP had said there was an error in the tabulation of votes.
People’s Progressive Party president Datuk Seri M. Kayveas believed the amended results were a “cover-up”.
“Make no mistake. This is an eyewash,” he said. “How do you expect them to run this country properly when they can’t even handle a simple party election?”
Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang tweeted that the DAP had accused the Election Commission of technical failure, but its own system was “rubbish” compared to the EC’s.
Asli Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said DAP should engage internationally recognized auditors and Information Technology companies to verify its claim that the error was caused by a technical glitch.
“The reported glitch in the computer system should be ascertained, otherwise people will perceive it as an attempt to stitch something wrongly,” he said, adding that it would only take a few days for the auditors and IT companies to prepare their reports.
Ramon said the DAP should allow for an open investigation as its integrity, transparency and accountability were at stake.
“It is pertinent for the public to find out the truth from internationally reputable audit and IT companies.”
National Council of Professors’ Politics, Security and International Affairs Cluster head Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak asked why DAP did not announce the error within three days of the polls.
“DAP only announced the error long after the polls following criticisms that no Malay had won a CEC seat,” Prof Mustafa said.
Former DAP vice-president Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said “something was fishy”.
“Just when there were a lot of criticisms over no Malays being elected to the CEC, miraculously the results were amended and voila Zairil made it in.
“It is really too good to be true. And, the people are not stupid,” he said.
He said the whole procedure was highly suspect.
Tunku Aziz challenged the party to prove that there was no manipulation of results.
He said the DAP had lost its credibility to criticize the EC, as it could not even ensure a free and fair party election.
Former Selangor DAP auditor Tan Tuan Tat wondered if the party’s returning officer Pooi Weng Keong was forced to quit.
“Is Pooi being made a scapegoat?” he asked.
He said that there was lack of transparency, competency and accountability in the recent party polls.
Tan said the party should declare the results null and void and call for a fresh election.
Penang Malay Congress president Rahmad Isahak said amending the results long after the polls had concluded could compel disgruntled members to seek legal redress.
DAP’s Credentials Come Under Fire
DAP’s ability, integrity and leadership have come under public scrutiny following its admission to an error made over the tabulation of votes during the recent party elections.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek also questioned the DAP’s promise to bring about a better change for the 28 million Malaysians when it could not even handle a party election that involved only 1,800 voters.
“The DAP’s integrity is also in question as it only made public the error after two weeks,” he said here yesterday.
Dr Chua said the “amendments” that saw a Malay member making it into the DAP’s central executive committee had raised doubts among the people.
“Some people asked whether it is a political tactic, as the DAP is desperate to package itself as a multi-ethnic party,” he said.
Dr Chua said the development in DAP should be an eye-opener for all Malaysians.
“The DAP is very good in misleading the people to gain support while at the same time trading their interest for its own gains,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Dr Chua said some DAP supporters had realized the party’s true colors, and had turned to MCA for help.
He said MCA would help people in need, irrespective of their political background.
“The DAP leaders will tell the people to make sure the party wins the general election so that it can help resolve their problems,” Dr Chua said. “The people have been suffering and waiting in vain for help since the elections in 2008,” said Dr Chua who had met another young DAP supporter who had come to his office for help yesterday.
MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu said the tallying error showed that the DAP still could not get its house in order.
“It’s a major fumble. This whole process is inconceivable,” he said.
“It surprises me that top leaders are still trying to do damage control by blaming their Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.”
Penang Barisan Nasional publicity bureau head Tan Cheng Liang said the difference after the error had been detected was not a couple of votes but a few hundreds.
“This is sheer incompetence. Mind you, this is the outcome of the party’s national election – not some branch election,” she said.
State Barisan Youth information chief H’ng Khoon Leng questioned whether the election outcome was rigged.
“It’s obvious that the DAP is very racist because it has tried very hard to ensure that a Malay face was voted in for political mileage,” he said. “This will become easier when they go to Malay villages to campaign during the general election.”