By Debra Chong and Clara Chooi, October 02, 2010,
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — DAP maverick M. Kulasegaran was told to take a break the day he was to disclose his differences with the party’s Perak leadership, veteran leader Lim Kit Siang said today.
“He didn’t request it, it was suggested to him to go on leave,” the party’s advisor told The Malaysian Insider over the phone this afternoon.
Lim (picture) declined to speak further.
“Enoughlah for one day,” he added.
The Ipoh Timur MP whose constituency borders Kulasegaran’s constituency, had been involved in stormy meeting last night with the ethnic Indian lawmaker.
Attempts by The Malaysian Insider to contact the moustachioed Ipoh Barat MP has been unsuccessful to date.
The state DAP deputy chairman also cancelled a press conference here today to disclose events leading to his initial decision to resign from the state leadership.
“Sorry to inform that today’s PC is cancelled. Since last night, I have received many calls/sms/msg from dap leaders,” the lawyer said in a posting to his Twitter microblogging account this morning.
“Members and supporters asking me to reconsider. I will be away for a week n will then tell all if the need arises.” Kula added today.
Kulasegaran was due to meet the media at the state DAP headquarters here at 10.30am this morning to “go open on internal problems” but called off the meet barely 15 minutes before it was about to start.
Disappointed press members who had gathered at the state DAP office in preparation for the conference had to leave empty-handed.
The Malaysian Insider understands that Kulasegaran, who had stormed off in a huff after an intense quarrel with his arch rivals, the “Ngeh-Nga” cousins during a special leadership meeting held last night, may now be having second thoughts about his decision to leave.
It is believed that the leader has decided to take some time off from party matters to mull over his impulsive decision to quit as state party deputy chairman.
The veteran party leader, known to be the main arch-rival of the two famed cousins in the Perak DAP — state chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and secretary Nga Kor Ming — had apparently stormed out of a “special meeting” held last night after an intense shouting match with the duo.
In his announcement on what transpired during the meeting, believed to have been held in Kampung Simee and not at the party’s state headquarters, Kulasegaran, who is also the party’s national vice-chairman, wrote on microblogging site Twitter, “Just finished DAP leadership meeting in Ipoh. Sad day as I will announce what is lacking in Perak leadership 2molo n whu I have 2 leave 4good.”
Kulasegaran did not offer more details but when contacted by The Malaysian Insider after midnight, he confirmed that he was not leaving the party entirely.
“Leaving DAP no way. But going open on internal problems. I am being run down by Ngeh and I can’t take it any more,” he explained in an SMS.
When pressed for a confirmation however, Kulasegaran remained silent and would not take calls.
According to a state committee member who attended last night’s meeting, the discussion had been summoned as a part of the party’s efforts to unite the two feuding factions between Kulasegaran’s camp and the “Ngeh-Nga” camp.
It is no secret that for years, there has been no love lost between Kulasegaran and the two cousins.
The faction-fighting had however let up momentarily when Pakatan Rakyat won Perak in the last general elections and the party had to concentrate on administering the state with its partners PKR and PAS.
With the two cousins both holding posts as MP, state assemblymen and state executive councillors however, the faction-fighting eventually began again.
The two were also accused of being puppet-masters in the state government by holding total control over former mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of PAS.
This had allegedly been one of the reasons behind the abrupt resignations of three PR assemblymen last year, a move that caused Perak to fall to Barisan Nasional.
Following PR’s loss of Perak, the factional fighting in Perak DAP worsened.
During a function in September last year, the first-term assemblyman for Jalong Leong Mee Meng reportedly wept openly during her speech and later explained that her tears were born out of frustration from being sidelined by the cousins.
In recent days, the formation of new branches and the revival of defunct ones became the latest bone of contention between feuding factions.
According to one state committee member in Kulasegaran’s camp, both the Ngeh-Nga cousins have been establishing brand new branches without the knowledge of other state committee members.
But the Ngeh-Nga faction has accused their detractors of wrongfully reviving old ones.
Their arguments, having reached a boiling point, had apparently led to the recent decision by both camps to engage in a peace plan for the sake of facing the party elections in November.