The Malaysian Insider, By Clara Chooi, October 04, 2010,
IPOH, Oct 4 — Faced with criticisms over his deputy’s recent quit threat, Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham has chosen to eat humble pie by pleading for the public’s forgiveness and urging them not to misjudge him or his cousin Nga Kor Ming.
The embattled leader also insisted on keeping silent over his strained ties with M. Kulasegaran, refusing to respond to the “hurtful” allegations made against him and Nga in hopes that the matter could be resolved internally.
“Forgive us if we have been less than perfect in handling Perak DAP’s problems. Perak DAP calls on the public to allow it to resolve its problems internally and calls on the people to continue to support the DAP for what it stands for and for its proven track record,” he said in his speech at the Taman Kanthan Jaya DAP dinner last night.
He also graciously extended an olive branch to Kulasegaran, whose outburst last week had been the cause of the party’s plunge into crisis, and urged the people not to hate the veteran leader for his outburst on Friday.
“I believe whatever differences M. Kula has with me or with others, they can be resolved internally. I ask that you do not hate M. Kula for what has transpired,” he said.
Kulasegaran had reportedly stormed out of a special leadership meeting held in Kampung Simee last Friday, dangling a threat that he would resign from his post in the state committee.
The meeting was supposedly aimed at promoting unity between the two feuding factions, in the wake of the party’s coming state elections this November 14.
Ngeh (picture), who together with Nga, have been named as the sole culprits behind Kulasegaran’s discontent, also pleaded with the people not to hate him or his cousin, pointing out that their views could be lopsided.
“I ask that you do not hate me or my cousin Nga Kor Ming, after hearing (only) one side of the story.
“You may have judged us wrongly and unfairly,” he pleaded.
Ngeh lamented that the media, in its extensive coverage of Kulasegaran’s quit threat, had produced many “unfair articles” which had generated many hurtful comments against himself and Nga.
“We became the target of hate and are exposed to the attacks of our enemies. For the above reasons, I have earlier expressed my regret that M. Kula should expose internal matters to the media,” he said.
After Kulasegaran’s outburst last week, the leader conveyed his grouses via microblogging site Twitter, where he announced that he wanted to quit.
He continued to flash updates on Twitter the following day, announcing that many supporters and members had urged him to rethink his brash decision.
Kulasegaran had also called for a “tell all” press conference on Saturday, threatening to expose all his grouses with Ngeh and Nga.
The conference was however cancelled at the last minute and Kulasegaran has since departed for a week-long holiday in Nepal.
Following this, Ngeh reprimanded the Ipoh Barat MP for washing the party’s dirty linen in public, pointing out that a responsible leader should know better than to publicise the quarrel.
He however refrained from rebutting all the allegations made by Kulasegaran’s camp in the media, pointing out that two wrongs did not make a right.
“I would like to have my side of the story told but I would be committing the same error (as Kulasegaran). I will be exposing my comrades and the party to the attacks of the enemy.
“A soldier will keep a secret to safeguard a nation and risk being shot. I will willingly suffer the injustice of being denied the right to reply and be subjected to hurtful attacks that have been assailed against me than to put my party in jeopardy and cause the mission of the people to be derailed,” he said.
Ngeh firmly noted that the people’s mission was to have a change of government in the coming 13th general election and to save the nation from “bankruptcy and destruction”.
He pointed out that in any organisation, it was normal to have differences of opinions among its leaders.
“This is because these organisations are made up of different individuals. However, whatever the differences, they must be resolved internally, lest it brings a negative impact and image to the organisation,” he explained.
Ngeh urged the people not to allow the recent episode to soil their confidence in the party, promising that its leaders would do its best to resolve the crisis.
“You must continue to support the DAP for what it stands for and for its proven track record. Please support each and every leader of the DAP.
“I hope this episode will not in any way erode your confidence in the DAP and PR. Forgive us if we have acted less than perfect in the abovesaid episode,” he concluded.
It is no secret that there is no love lost between Kulasegaran and the powerful cousins but their rivalry finally reached a boiling point on Friday when Kulasegaran threatened to quit.
The Malaysian Insider understands one of their main grouses is their disagreement on the formation of new branches in the state.
On the one hand, Kulasegaran and his men have accused Ngeh and Nga of forming over 100 new branches without attaining endorsement from the state committee while on the other, the cousins have alleged that their arch rivals had been illegally reviving old branches to shore up support for themselves.